What's your best household management tip for organizing the family's school year schedules? Include a link to a photo if you have one!
I actually made a household binder to keep track of all the crazy schedules in our home. My husband works a lot and our schedules tend to conflict, so this binder has not only organized our weekly/monthly schedules, but given him a chance to keep up to date on what the kids are doing. It's been a lifesaver! I've put schedules, school calendars, medical paperwork, contact information, etc into the binder. I broke it all down in one of my blog entries, with pictures and links to where I found the printables.
We have a color-coded spreadsheet that shows all of our regularly scheduled activities. Everyone's practices, rehearsals, carpools are listed. I also include specials at school that require some kind of prep (bring library books, wear sneakers for gym, etc.) and - very important for busy moms - my own activities, both administrative (PTA meetings) and personal (pilates class, book club) so that I don't forget myself in all the running around. A happy, relaxed mom = a happy family.
An example of our spreadsheet and the folder I carry all of our info in is here on my blogpost - http://slackermomof4.blogspot.com/2012/08/keeping-track-of-family.html
I have 9 year old girl-boy twins. The two are VERY different and have different activites and schedules. They are entering 4th grade and like I've done every year since kindergarten, I make a universal color-coded kid schedule that we tack up to our refrigerator.
It's very simple (and not fancy) but it works like magic. Here's how:
1. Using Word on my computer, I select the Table icon and make a chart with columns
2. I color code (our daughter is pink, our son is blue, combination activities are green).
3. As soon as school sends home schedules, we huddle around my lap top and add everything: specials (like PE and ART and library - don't forget those books!), after school activities and clubs, sports (karate, ballet), and any other appointments.
4. Once our masterpiece is finished, it goes up on the fridge and everyone also gets a copy. During the first few weeks of school I make sure to have each of the twins review the schedule and eventually they memorize their days (along with Mom).
5. For special items that come in during the year, we use a wipe board/bulletin board and tack those sheets where we can see them.
We rarely miss anything with our time-tested method. Happy Scheduling!