Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Putting My Plans into Practice

Well, I've decided how I want my year to go and now I'm setting about achieving it.  I love the start of every new year.  The year's routine is different so I need to rework my schedule.  It's a good opportunity to re-assess and make a plan that I think will work.  I've also been madly cleaning so that I am organised enough to do all the craft I have planned for the year.  If the house is clean I won't need to feel guilty! 

Most years I set up schedules for the kids.  Master Eight really benefits from visual aids because it is all set out clearly in front of him.  It's so much less muddly than trying to sort through words that just come and go as quick as a flash.  I used to only make extra schedules for the other children so he wouldn't feel singled out, but I quickly realised that 'regular kids' respond really well to visual aids too!

If things go like past years, we'll start the year with a super-organised bang and then things slowly deteriorate over time as 'Mum' wears down!  By the end of the year I'm in the biggest muddle you could imagine.

Today I set about making our new schedules.

I got down the old ones to see which cards I needed to reprint or whether I needed to add new ones.

It could be overkill but we have a weekly calendar for each child, showing what activities, if any, they will be doing for that day.  Under that are two daily lists - one for the morning and one for the evening.  The idea is that they know what they need to do without constant reminders.  I used to have an envelope down the bottom of the list and as they completed each job, they put the card in the envelope.  Great in theory but we kept losing cards and the envelopes kept coming off.  Now they just leave the cards in place and work their way down the list.

The final piece of organisational madness is a chore chart.  All the children get to choose two jobs.  The cards are located around the edges of the chart.  Then they put their chosen jobs against their names (which I have hidden under the blank paper).  The first job 'tidy up' is obligatory but they love choosing the rest.  It means they don't have to get bored of doing the same job every day.  By the way, I am not really treating my children like child slaves.  The 'clean the bathroom' should read 'wipe bathroom sink' but I forgot to change the wording!  LOL!  I love the idea of them cleaning the bathroom, toilet, cooking the dinner etc. but maybe I need to wait a while!  Once their jobs are done they replace the cards around the edge ready for the next day.

I have found it very interesting to read other people's blogs.  Some parents seem to have the child participation all sorted out but it is something I always struggle with.  When life gets too busy I seem to revert to doing it all myself - with an occasional rant thrown in!


Linn said...

You really have put a lot of work into being organised this year. All kid's really do thrive on routine and knowing what is coming next especially when times are super busy. I use these Christmas holidays each year to organise and declutter also. I too, start the year out really organised and slowly it falls apart. So each January I start again!

Linda said...

Linn I can't even begin to imagine how you organise yourself so well! Life must be hectic at your place. I would love to learn more about how you do it.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Wow you are so organsied. When I am a parent I will be taking a leaf out of your book.
PS just found your blog and have been enjoying reading about your life.

Linda said...

Hi Fiona, lovely to hear from you. Btw there are two types of parents. Those that are incredibly organised and those that are DESPERATE to be organised. I'm the wanna-be category and try every trick in the book to join the organised Mums.