Hello Monday – 9/25/23

Happy Monday! I’m here with Holly and we hope you’ll link up with us for Hello Monday!

I usually share our weekend fun on Hello Monday, but this week I want to share a little bit about how we plan for the school year. We’ve changed things a bit and I am loving how it is going.

Typically, Jeff and I have calendar meetings each week. We sit down with our calendars – Jeff on his computer and I have my Erin Condren paper calendar. Jeff always tries to convince me to go digital so we can share calendars, but I just love a paper calendar too much to change.

Our calendar meetings typically involve looking at the next two weeks to be sure we know what’s going on and where everyone needs to be. The two week format mean that we are looking at each week two times and I like it that way. It gives me time to think about the most sensible way to get everything done and all four of us where we need to be.

Of course, we both add the boys’ games, practices, and activities to our calendars as they are released from coaches or schools. For swim team, we get a schedule in September of all the meets our team will be participating in and get to pick what meets the boys will swim in. No matter how much we stay on top of things, there is always an addition or two each meeting that we have to figure out.

This year, Jack’s swim group had a meeting and the coaches told them the meets they were expected to swim in and meets that were optional. When Jack started to explain it to me, I got the idea to have a family calendar meeting and I am so happy I did.

We all sat down last Sunday morning with our calendars. Jeff and Jack are electronic and Luke and I use paper planners. We sat down with the following schedules:
Luke: swim, soccer, lacrosse, and school commitments
Jack: swim, water polo, golf, and school commitments
Sarah: pool board, school, grad school, social stuff
Jeff: pool board, school, travel, and social stuff

We went day by day through the school year. It may sound tedious to you, but I think it was worth it. In the past, I would tell everyone what we were doing and when with no explanation of why. And our family is busy, like lots of us are, so we can’t do every thing. We always do our part and everything we signed up for as part of a team. We do not always do the extras. The kids would get a little upset or disappointed about this in the past until I explained why.

This year, we talked about every tournament, swim meet, weekend with travel, family event, and all the rest. Jeff and I shared our perspectives about why we are doing certain things and how it will affect our family schedules. I am really hoping that the kids learned a bit about time management, commitments, and making four schedules work together.

This felt like the ideal year to do this for a number of reasons.

  • Jack and Luke are old enough to understand the concept of long range planning.
  • Luke is on the same soccer team as last year and we have an understanding of what the year will look like.
  • Jack is starting high school and there are so many more things to do at or with school.
  • Jeff has a new job this school year and will be traveling some. He takes Jack to and from school every day so Jeff’s traveling affects Jack and he needs to prepare ahead of time for those days.
  • Swim team coaches have a more explicit expectation about meet participation.
  • Jack and Luke are making more plans for themselves and need to know what’s going on in the family.

Now, where do we go from here?? Well, I know that things come up and our long term plans may change. So my goal is to continue my weekly calendar meetings with Jeff. We are the drivers so we really need to be on the same page. I also want to continue calendar meetings with the boys each month.

By including the boys, I hope to help them improve their time management skills, take ownership for their events, and have a better understanding for what’s important and what we can pass up. Doesn’t that all sound so wonderful??? To keep things real, here’s what my actual takeaways are. Luke was excited to be included in the planning and Jack was constantly looking for ways to make everyone else’s schedule work for him. Typical second born and first born kids – haha! We’ll sit down again the first weekend in October, so be on the lookout for an update on the monthly meetings then.

How do you do your long term planning? Do you involve your kids? Do you have any suggestions for including kids? I can’t wait to hear about it in the comments. Have a great day full of sunshine and books!

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11 thoughts on “Hello Monday – 9/25/23

  1. Gail Is This Mutton says:

    A very organised approach and definitely needed with your complex schedules! I use both a paper calendar and an electronic organiser, although it’s a bit tedious. Thanks for the link-up.

  2. scottaew says:

    Very smart, Sarah. We never did anything like this, but I did have a paper wall calendar. Also, we were just not that busy. Tom never traveled for work and always worked 8-5. Our kids had after school things at their schools where they walked home. After age 8 or so, we were done with the demanding sports commitments – seriously. They were on a baseball team that had things 5 nights a week and it burned all of us out. Ha!

  3. Holly Binda Breton says:

    Nice work Sarah- you got this! We use the the Outlook calendars on our phones- we have a family calendar set up so we all know where we need to be and who needs a ride and where- it is a team effort!

  4. jgalvinwhite says:

    This is such an interesting post to read. I feel like some of our evenings are hour by hour haha
    We still use the Cozi app and it’s been great …Hayden’s the only one who forgets to look at it lol
    He’s getting better tho

  5. Adrienne says:

    I love that you guys sit down and go over your schedules. Brian and I need to start doing that all to often we are scrambling at the last minute for someone to be home to get a kid off the bus or pick someone up because there is only one of me and 3 kids. Brian and I have our google calendars linked but not all his appointments show in my phone. If the appoint is from his email I wont see it so things get messed up there too.

  6. hislightandjoy says:

    I love paper calendars, but finally switched to a digital one so that we all have it on our phones. I use FamilyWall and I love it because you can color code it and also can meal plan in the calendar right next to your activities. So it gives me my fill of being creative with the color coding.

  7. Joanne says:

    We’re at the point where my older two can pretty much fend for themselves schedule wise but at some point over the weekend or on Mondays at dinner I do check in just to see if anyone has any schedule changes and to try and get ahold of who will be here for dinner on what nights (plus I still at least like to know WHERE they are even if they are fully capable of driving themselves).

  8. Pamela says:

    What a great system! You’re really setting up your boys for success later on in life. It’s great to give them the what, where, and when but you’re adding the why as well which is just as important.

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