I have always be happiest when everything is crazy. My first job was as a lifeguard. You have to watch hundreds of kids at the same time all over the place. My next job was a bartender. If you have ever been to a bar during open bar, you know that the bartender is definitely on the rabbit mode of their lawn mower. When I was working in a corporate environment, I thrived on having 50 things going on at the same time. If my speed dropped below 125 mph, I got bored. These jobs prepared me for motherhood. It never fails that the moment I start making breakfast, someone poops and the other needs help with a toy all while trying to do the dishes and pick up from the toys that exploded all over the living room.
However, everything with us is completely disorganized. No two days are ever alike. I don’t have the kids that sleep til the same time every day so wake times are all over the place. Sometimes they wake up early and they want to go back to sleep and other days I have to make 3 cups of coffee they are up so early. I felt that with all the unpredictable things that can happen in our day, I wanted something stable. Kids (and me) do much better with some kind of predictability. They need to know that after breakfast we will Skype Grammy or after your nap we will go to the park/gym. I was determined to figure something out. After making my house cleaning calendar (find that here) and still going strong with it after 2 months, I thought I would give the same thing a try with my kiddos.
I knew that I needed to have wiggle room in the schedule. Amelia doesn’t always go down at the same time every day since she does get up at the same time and Connor’s nap can be anywhere from 1 hour to 2.5 hours. Things need to be almost plug and play. If we have extra time because of a short nap, do this. If both kids napped for a long time (you will know this happened because angels will be singing) I need to be able to remove/shorten things without causing meltdowns.
So here is what I did.
I created a block schedule. I know it’s not a huge breakthrough that people will be using for generations to come but it allowed me to do what I needed to do. I also created a monthly calendar for arts/crafts and projects. Here is what the block schedule looks like:
As you can see I did 30 min blocks, so it was not by time, but by duration. I call this a schedule, but there are no times involved. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to adhere to time slot, but I can so something for 30 min or an hour. Anything that is in yellow is something that I can shorten, extend or completely get rid of if needed.
Here is a small description of a couple of the ones that aren’t self-explanatory.
I realize that he is only 2.5 and I use the word chores loosely. He makes his bed and picks out his clothes for the day in the morning and puts his clothes away and helps feed the dog/cats at night.
We have been working on colors and letters. Here are a few things that we do:
Colors – Sticker Match
We have been doing this exercise a lot. It takes to prep other than to scribble the colors of the stickers on to a piece of paper. Connor LOVES doing it and usually asks to do it more than once at a sitting. Any stickers will work as long as you have the same colors at home
Letter Sounds – LeapPad App Letter Factory. I am amazed at how much it has actually helped him. Its cute and fun too. It has 4 different games and I can either sit with him and do it with him or I can just watch over his shoulder while doing something else. I know some are against screen time for learning, but its working and he’s enjoying it…I learned how to count to 10 in two languages from Sesame Street and I think I turned out ok.
Motor Skills – We go outside and we play catch or kick a soccer ball around. We also use chalk on the driveway for a little switch up on the arts and crafts.
Arts and Crafts
We have been working on coloring and using markers and crayons the right way…aka…not eating them and leaving the caps off.
We have been doing some paintings that coincide with Dr. Seuss books that we have or songs that we know. After the Dr. Seuss ones we usually read the book and then after the songs, we usually sing them for daddy as we show him what we did during the day (sappy I know but Connor loves it)
Lately we have been talking about Fall and how the leaves will be changing so we did a fun painting with that. We also have been talking about Halloween and making/painting pumpkins. I am hoping to start to talk about Thanksgiving and Christmas soon. I want to make some hand turkeys like I used to in school and then start to make some Christmas ornaments. I absolutely love Christmas so I will be doing a post about all the Christmas ornaments we are going to make since I am getting each kid their own little tree this year, so look for that coming soon!
We started this whole schedule thing in the middle of August and have been sticking to it fairly well since then. A few days have been crazy when we have had Dr appointments and such. For the most part though, things have been going smoothly!
Do you have a schedule that you use with your kids? Let me know since Ill be looking to change things up after the new year!