After getting two relatively easy organizational projects under my belt, it was time to tackle the biggie . . . . setting up a schedule. I’ve been struggling to have a semblance of schedule for the past year or more . . no dice. It’s hard to smoothly run a household when noone knows what is going on. I was grouchy, so then the babes were even crazier than normal, and nothing got done and it was just mayhem. So, come hell or high water, we were going to get on a schedule. In the interest of having a successful schedule, I enlisted the babes to give ideas on what should be on the schedule. They are still very impressionable, so in the end, the schedule was really full of my ideas, but they felt like they had a part =)
I found some teaching poster boards at the Dollar Tree that were perfect for filling in the schedule. I divided it up so that each person in the family had their own column. Then, we just filled in the info and popped it up on the fridge. We’ve been doing the schedule for about a week now, and it seems to be working pretty well. We have yet to be “on time” for everything. But the goal wasn’t to be totally rigid with the schedule. It was more of a motivation to get the babes moving and to keep us (DH and I) from whiling our time away doing foolishness. So in the morning, the most hectic part of the day, it’s easy to say, “We are going to miss playtime before school is we don’t hurry, guys!” And when there’s something they don’t want to do, I can blame it on the schedule, “Well, the schedule says snack time isn’t until 3! So we have to do what the schedule says.” I’m not really sure if the babes have noticed a difference, but I feel like there’s a wee bit more order. There are still some large blank spots in my schedule as I haven’t totally decided how to divvy up my time. I’m sort of waiting for the baby to get on a more predictable nap schedule, which should be happening here in the next few weeks. I’m also needing to sit down and sort out all of my home-making responsibilities (bread-making, cleaning, laundry, general cooking, paying bills, etc.) and then assign them to particular days and pop them into the schedule. But that’s an organizational task for another day.
As I mentioned, the morning is the most hectic. Half of the time, it would be 10am and noone had gotten their hair brushed, or their beds were still a disaster, or sometimes they were still in their pajamas! So we created a little morning routine poster to put up in their room. I printed off some clip art and then let them color them in. Once that was done, I helped the older two glue them onto the poster and then they wrote in each step (with spelling help from me). It’s a great poster, because the two babes that aren’t reading yet can identify the next step based on the picture, and the 5 year can read what the next step is. So far, so good. They come out from their rooms ready for the day, we didn’t have to constantly nag at them and they are building independence. Win-win in my book!
We worked on one more poster this week. It doesn’t have anything to do with schedules, but it is part of process, so I’m dumping it into this post. Handwashing. My 5 year old has really wonderful handwashing technique because I spent lots of time teaching him how to do it. After babies #2 and 3 came along, well, I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t spend as much time teaching. The 2 and 4 year olds generally hear, “Go wash your hands, guys.” This is a totally unreasonable expectation given that I haven’t really spent much time teaching them the proper steps. My solution? A handwashing poster. Again, I printed some clip art and had the babes color them in. We then glued them to the poster and I wrote in the directions. Since it was going to go in the bathroom (AKA – splash central), we covered it with clear contact paper, then taped it up on the mirror. The 2 and 4 year olds really love the posters. They are always telling me, “Mommy! I followed the sign and my hands are CLEAN!” The big victory with the 5 year old is that he is now wiping down the counter after he is done. Hooray for no more messes on the counter!
All in all, this was a productive week in organizational land!
Total time: 2 hours
Total cost: $1