Structure: Step #1 – Start with a Schedule

What I’m about to discuss with you is not something that you’re unaware of and it’s certainly not one of those subjects, like college Calculus III, that you’ve more than likely never experienced or had a desire to understand.  I mean I can appreciate a challenging mathematics class like the next mom; but when it comes to what I like to refer to as “abstract” math, I tend to revert to the saying…”How am I ever going to use this in real life.”

Well, let me remind you of this readily known but not always applied subject called STRUCTURE… a subject that everyone will need to use at some point in his or her real life.  Remembering that “Structure is Key” will help you and your child time after time  when maneuvering through the BTSB period.  So, before I go any further, I’m going to stop and put out this disclaimer of transparency:

I reserve the right to implore you to do as I say and not as I did; because history would support that I, in fact, am not a subject matter expert in the area of structure.  However, it doesn’t prevent me from addressing the importance of applying this tried-and-true concept in your life as well as in mine. 

In recognizing that structure is imperative to the start of a productive school year, I suggest that you create (like asap) a written schedule that organizes your activities during the weekdays.  Simply stated, your schedule is your blueprint or layout for the day; it develops the routine of actions you will carry out.  And since I’m a HUGE proponent of visual teaching aids, I think it would be beneficial to either write your schedule out on a piece of paper or type it up and save it on your computer.  (If you go the computer route, don’t forget to print out a copy; because your schedule won’t do you any good if you’re not viewing it consistently).  Seeing is believing, my friend.  Now, don’t get me wrong though, I’m not suggesting you carry your schedule around on your person everywhere you go, but post it in your home in a high traffic area where it will be easily visible.  And once you’ve mastered your schedule, you can feel free to toss it; because at that point, your schedule successfully developed your routine, which became part of your way of life.  Wah-lah!  Check out the example of Little Man’s weekday schedule in the link below:

Weekday Schedule

I’ll end with noting the positive results from having a weekday schedule:  1) you’re not flying through life by the seat of your pants (chaos is reduced), 2) you and your child will know what’s expected of yourselves, 3) you’ll learn to create a Plan B for those activities that tend to disrupt your normal day (built-in flexibility will organically manifest itself when needed), and 4) you’ll be better equipped to respond to the BTSB in a proactive rather than a reactive mode.  Mom and dad, be the ma’am or the man with the plan.  It’s never too late to start, so Start with a Schedule!


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