Now that the school year is underway, many Calgary families will find their spare moments are few and far between. With careful planning and with everyone's help your family can be organized and work, school and additional activities can be less stressful overall.
The most important factor to being organized is planning ahead. It is difficult the be on track and ready for your weekly schedule if you are trying to plan everything at the last minute. If everyone in the family knows the duties and activities of the upcoming week, there is less hassle completing chores, heading to after-school activities and getting everyday tasks finished.
Keeping a family calendar is helpful for many families. You can find many different types available from dry erase boards that you reuse to extra large poster board type calendars that you remove each month when completed. If you are unsure, start with a traditional paper calendar and see which suits your family best. Ensure that you write down all after-school activities, teacher consultations, doctor, dentist or eye appointments and anything else that you will need to keep track of.
Many parents can find it helpful to use different colored pens or markers on their family calendars for each child. This way you can tell just from a glance which child has activities on which day quickly and easily. If everyone in the house knows what is coming up, children and parents will both be ready and prepared for the week.
Establish a routine and use it! Children crave routine and thrive when they know what is expected of them. There is less disagreements when the routine never changes and they are expected to complete their tasks each day. Even your kindergarten-age child can do their part by hanging up their backpack, putting their lunch kit on the counter and making sure all papers from school go onto Mom or Dad's desk for review later. As children mature you can expand their duties and give them age-appropriate chores to complete. By taking the guesswork out of personal expectations, your entire family will operate smoother and conflict will not ensue as often as it may if your chid does not know what you need or want from them on a daily basis.