In the past two months I have taught six different sewing classes and am preparing for two upcoming craft fairs in the beginning of December. Can you say busy? My husband is starting to give me puppy eyes every time I swing out the door before dinner even begins.
One thing that has kept us all sane when things get busy is careful calendar keeping. It’s so boring but keeping everything written down and organized is the only way to keep from forgetting everything. It helps me feel things are under control and manageable. Nearly every grown-up keeps a calendar of some kind. It’s basic.
But, what about kids? As our schedule gets crazy and schools start with half-days and events and performance and days off…I keep coming back to calendars I made with the boys this summer. In the middle of one week of summer camp, J asked me every morning, “Do I have summer camp today?”. He woke up with no idea of what his day was going to include. Not a clue. It finally hit me what an upsetting feeling that must be!! So, I decided the boys needed their own calendars. I found these amazing blank calendar kits from Bare Books for around $3 including stickers.
While we have a family calendar that is visible to everyone the act of filling in their own calendar became an unexpected learning opportunity.
For J, he was 4 then, it was handy for him to practice his numbers and reiterate the order of different numbers. His attention span for project was shorter, of course, but he filled in what he needed to in order to “X” off a few dates and gain a better sense of what was coming with each day. Job done!
For C, though, it was a richer learning experience. Once he figured out that different months have different number of days and the next month starts the day after the previous month ended he was on fire! It was like a little math puzzle.
(Notice that Ironman picture next to him. Everyone works better with Ironman by their side!)
Several months later we will use these calendars regularly. When things get wacky, we sit down and cross off days and discuss what is coming…when family is arriving for Thanksgiving; how much time will pass before Christmas; when school has a half day; etc. It’s immensely helpful and gives both boys a sense of control and knowledge about what is to come. It’s been a good reminder for me, as well, to involve them in planning things and give them advance notice of what is coming up. It’s sparked great and hilarious conversations as well. I especially love the ones about how different months are longer than others and how the shorter months must ‘feel’ about that. Ha!
Of course, the calendars are getting sloppier, as evidenced below:
That only illustrates how well-love they are, right? Yup. Mama is gonna let go of messy. Function over form for this one.