Productivity Tuesday: Creating Schedules for Children

As I was thinking about better ways to be productive, I didn’t envision throwing Little Man into the mix, but my son’s productivity reflects highly on my productivity these days. And while he’s home with me for the remainder of this school year, I’m finding that a child’s schedule is in order. I guess I need to reflect back to my days of homeschooling and see what I can muster up.

Anyway, I can’t be the only one who can use a few helpful tips to assist in setting up some semblance of structure in a home inhabited by a school-aged child who used to spend his days away from home. So, let’s see. What can I come up with to help those of us (less structured) gain some control over our daily routines (to include our children)?

Well, here are some tips that come to my mind — tips that I plan on implementing in my home as I’m working to create a schedule for Little Man. Hopefully, some of these insights will spark some helpful ideas for you and your little one’s schedule.

Scheduling

I Own His Schedule.

Little Man’s schedule will cater to the things that I want him to do, first and foremost. His schedule will not be based on what he wants to do. Reason being: cartoons, movies, and video games would be the extent of his work day if I leave the scheduling up to him. So, mom gets to determine the items that go on the schedule.

Recreation is Scheduled.

I will definitely schedule in time for Little Man’s recreational activities, so the cartoons, movies, and video games will make their appearances. Though, they won’t be allowed to steal the show.

Additional Recreation is Scheduled.

I will also be scheduling in other (more productive and essential) recreational activities, such as meal-times, periodic breaks, and exploratory time. After all, Little Man didn’t do coursework the whole time he was at his brick-and-mortar school. He was allowed time for lunch; given water, bathroom, and recess breaks; and engaged in exploratory classes like library, physical education (P.E.), art, and music.

A Child’s Schedule can be Flexible.

I won’t be hardcore with Little Man’s schedule. As a matter of fact, I plan on using a super-simple block schedule for him, which will allow me some flexibility in making sure that the most important tasks for his day are accomplished within a specific block of time during the day. The order in which those tasks are done and the time it takes to do the tasks are negotiable, as long as the tasks are done during the specific block of time they’ve been assigned to. (I foresee blocking out Little Man’s day into thirds by: a morning, an afternoon, and an evening session.)

Physical Activity is a MUST.

Children MUST HAVE physical activity! And, if I’m slick enough, I’ll work in some of the chores with the portion of his schedule that will include that physical activity. But, I promise I’ll give him some fun assignments too. I have some calendars from last year and this year that his P.E. teacher gave to his classes for additional exercise challenges (one for each day of the month) to do at home. If those extra activities were completed, then the student could turn in the parent-signed calendar, indicating that he/she completed the exercises, and receive a reward from the P.E. teacher.

Well, Little Man didn’t always complete those challenges, which is why we still have some of the calendars. I love those calendars because they’ll come in handy while he’s schooling at home; and since I’ll have them as a reference, I can’t possibly run out of ideas for physical activities for him to do. Between the chores, push ups, burpees, tummy twists, sit ups, frog jumps, lunge steps, mountain climbers, planks, jumping jacks, high knees, squats, jump ropes, walking/jogging, fast feet, bike riding, and so on, Little Man’s going to be one physically-fit little dude.

Chores are Physical Activity, Too.

Chores will, most definitely, be a part of the scheduling mix. While I have Little Man at home, there will be no excuses for having an unkempt room, not picking up after himself, and not assisting other family members with cleaning commons areas of the house.

The Reason for the Schedule

And, the reason I need to make a schedule for Little Man is that he’s not going to make one for himself. Well, I take that back; because as I stated previously, he will create a schedule for himself. That schedule will consist of cartoons, movies, and video games all day long. (He used to throw some Lego-building in there, but that’s tapered off dramatically.) And to me, this is not a schedule.

So, I have to create some structure for my child. I can’t expect him to do it for himself; he’s a child. I’m a grown-up and, most times, I don’t even want to create structure for myself. So, there you have it. As his mom who’s able to be at home with her son, I must make sure to set Little Man up for success in every facet of his life (mind, body, and spirit). I figure a schedule is a good place to start. Organized chaos, here we come!

By the way, I’m planning to have a schedule worksheet as part of the template packet I’ll be creating for parents. Check out yesterday’s post, What Learning Tools Do Your Children Need?, where I go into my new product planning on learning tools for parents to use at home for their children.

Tip of the Week: In general, just keep your eyes open. In these trying times that we’re in and that we’re facing, there’s a lot of turmoil going on. But while many doors are shutting, there are other doors opening. There will be plenty of opportunities to do some really meaningful things to uplift others and to be of assistance in their time of need. Let’s all strive to make a difference for the better. Our world could definitely use it right now.

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