In today’s world, our kids have more options than ever before. Advanced placement classes help them get a jump on college, after-school sports provide exercise and excitement, music and instrument lessons enrich their self-expression, and volunteer work teaches them respect for others. Add these all together, however, and it turns into a pretty tall order on your schedule, especially if you have many older kids.
To make it through a modern childhood, you need a well-coordinated family calendar. Here are some ideas for setting up a calendar station in your home:
- Make it Central: Find a corner of your kitchen or another frequently used family space and put up a dry-erase calendar. Get a different color marker for each family member to write down all of his or her activities. When everything is up, then Mom, Dad, and any teenage drivers can coordinate transportation. The color-coded system also adds a layer of accountability: if an activity isn’t up there in their own color, with confirmed transportation, they can find their own last-minute transportation (or pay for someone else’s inconvenience with money or services).
- Sync Your Calendars: With the rise of smart phones, several members of your family might have mobile calendars in their pockets. You can encourage your family to add events to their phones as they put them on the calendar, and set up reminders as needed. The physical calendar lets you coordinate your electronics without being face to face, which makes a big difference when your schedules don’t align.
- Track Your Meals: You can use the wealth of schedule information on your calendar for more than just punctuality. On any given day, you’ll know who to expect for dinner and when, giving you a leg up on meal planning. You can also coordinate any on-the-go meals you’ll need for afternoon or weekend activities, reducing your kids’ need for vending machines or fast food.