I thought I was busy before having children. I was, but it’s so different now. Scheduling kid activities can be a bit of a free for all, especially if it’s not organized. I’m not one to purposefully overschedule my kids (or myself for that matter) but I can see how it is easily done.
I didn’t understand how many obligations you can easily find yourself under.
For example; little Jane likes dance but you think she needs an art class too. That’s not to mention the daily preK program she’s signed up for. Then you want to do something with baby Jimmy so you enroll him in a mommy & me class one of the mornings his big sister is in school. Then YOU! You want to commune with other women…so you sign up for a weekly mom’s group. Then you still want to get to the gym a few times a week?
These examples don’t even begin to touch on the adult obligations; like keeping up your home, meals, and bills, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Instead let’s do some mind mapping and see what all we want to accomplish, what we HAVE to do, and what can possibly fall to the wayside.
Tips on Scheduling Kid Activities
- First, make a list of EVERYTHING you are thinking of including in your schedule
- Next, block off your calendar with all the times that are booked up (can add NOTHING here, unless it’s an emergency)
~You can use a paper calendar with time slots, a spreadsheet, or an online system like Google calendars <~~ my fave
- Third, start plugging in the most important extracurricular kid activities
~You can use a different color for each thing, or each child.
~Plug in all the possible time slots for each until you find a schedule that will work.
- Fourth, go back in and delete or erase anything that overlaps or won’t fit
~You can block off a time for “extra credit” if you don’t want to schedule anything specific but know you’ll use the time to do something with your child.
~Sometimes kid activities overlap, but don’t actually interfere (example below: big sister school and baby class/gym – you won’t be with your child at school so you’re still free to take a class or go to the gym…or whatever).
- Last, make sure you don’t book up so tightly that you can’t allow for traffic or a trip to the store!
As you can see, it’s not easy to keep track of everyone’s schedule. I like to post calendars where everyone can see them. I use a mix of paper (a regular wall calendar with brief notes) and an online calendar. Google Calendars lets you share with other Gmail users so everyone can view and add to the family schedule. Here are some more apps for organizing your family schedule.
How do you keep your kid activities straight?