What You Need:
- School calendar that takes you out the next 100 days
- Graph paper
What You Do:
- Have your child take note of all of the school and extra-curricular activities that he's going to be engaged in during the next several months. He should refer to the school calendar as well as any other calendars in which you keep his special appointments.
- Ask him to take a piece of paper and fold it into thirds, creating three columns. Have him write “School” at the top of one column, “Sports/Clubs/Hobbies” in the second column, and “Family/Friends” in the third column.
- Invite him to list activities in one of the three columns. Things that fall under School are pretty self-explanatory, and would include fundraising events, school holidays, field trips, class parties, etc. The Sports/Clubs/Hobbies section would include extracurricular activities and interests including sports practice and game schedules, chess club, choir, drama, etc. Finally, the Family/Friends category would include family get-togethers, birthdays, sleepovers, and siblings’ activities. If activities overlap in more than one category, just have him pick one that he thinks fits the best.
- Once he has listed all of his activities, have him take inventory of the master schedule. Which area takes up the most of his time? Is he surprised at how busy or relaxed the next 100 days are going to be? If he had his wish, are there things that he would like to add or do away with in the near future? Does he think his time is well spent?
- As a parent, you might be surprised at your child’s level of involvement in different areas of his life. This might be a good time to work together to either scale back or beef up certain areas, so that there's better balance. Or, you might be right on track with a happy, active, well-socialized child on your hands. In that case, give yourself a pat on the back!
If your child enjoys this activity, consider giving him a calendar of his own in which he can keep track of important dates. Most kids have school planners to keep track of homework assignments and projects, but with a personal calendar, your child can easily manage all the other areas of his life as well.