Creating Systems: the family calendar
My calendar system, or lack thereof, used to be a mess. I had a paper calendar on my fridge at home with pens in different colors for each person. Seemed like a great idea and it sort of worked for awhile. The problem was when I was at the dentist and needed to schedule another cleaning in six months I had no calendar in front of me that showed me what the time frame looked like. If I had my calendar in front of me I would see that six months from now is when boy(15) and girl(12) will be at camp so I need an appointment the week before or the week after. Or I might see that boy(15) has an orthodontist appointment that week and I don’t want him to miss two partial days of school in a row. I usually had to reschedule appointments and it was just a hassle.
I started using the calendar on my phone (we have Apple) and that somewhat improved things. Now I could see what I was doing and when the kids had appointments but I couldn’t see when my husband had things going on and I wasn’t putting everything on the calendar. I mean, everyone knows that the kids have piano on Tuesdays right? Wrong. Even I sometimes forgot. And when someone said, “Hey, can you all come to a birthday party on Saturday?” I couldn’t see that my husband was teaching a class and I would be flying solo.
What needed to happen was everyone with a device (parents and three oldest kids) needed to share a calendar AND we needed to put every single thing on the calendar. Every lesson, practice, class, game, and appointment goes on the calendar. Now I don‘t put regular school days, or work, or church on Sundays but I do put any thing that is outside of normal school, work, or church times. So if someone needs to go early or stay late at school I put that on the calendar. If we are having a church potluck I also put that along with any meeting that might be before church. So much better! We all use the same format so it’s easy to see who has something going on. We use “first name - event” for most stuff but also use “boys - dentist” or “school name - open house”. We taught the kids how to add their stuff so when boy(15) is scheduling his next orthodontist appointment he can see what mom or dad has going on on a certain day and add his appointment.
Do you use a calendar? Is it working for you? How could you improve it?