Ever since Megan was a year old, she’s gone to daycare two or three days a week. Even when she started school last fall she went to after-school-care for a couple of hours three days a week. It’s been a VERY long time since she was home seven days a week, so it was a difficult decision to not put her in part-time daycare during summer break. But that was the only way to make her school tuition balance out in the budget. So here we are… John will still go to daycare two days a week, but Megan will be home with me… every day… all day.
After being in school for nine months she’s used to having direction and activity throughout most of her day. I set up a daily schedule for her years ago and she really benefited from it. But, of course, the schedule needed to be updated. The trouble with the schedule is that when I’m busy (and most need her to stick to the schedule) I tend to get focused on my work and forget to prompt her to do the next thing on her schedule. Therefore, no schedule, board kid and big problem. I found an app for my iPad a couple of months ago that I’ve been playing around with: Mom Planner. It’s not perfect, there are things that I wish worked differently, but most important to me is that I can set a different schedule for each day that will repeat until school starts again in the fall, and it will sound an alert for certain items. Google Calendar can also be used for this (for free), but I wanted an app so that it would remind us even when we’re away from my computer.
Some of the key things I put on the schedule are:
- Active Time (playing in the yard, a park, or indoor activities like Simon says, yoga or anything we can think of)
- Coloring or Craft time (with Mommy at least once a week)
- Workbook (it has to be a second-grade level or it’s not challenging to her)
- No more than two hours total of computer or TV time
- Reading time (with Mommy and John)
- Cleaning her room every day so it doesn’t get to be a gigantic monster mess (it’s been so nice during school, her room doesn’t get nearly as messy as it used to)
- And most important, plenty of free time! (more on that later)
I’m hoping this schedule will work because I spaced the things that she “has to” do throughout the day with fun things and free time inbetween. The entire schedule is focused on keeping her happy and out of trouble. The only thing on the schedule that is for somebody else is that she has to play quietly in her room during John’s nap… that benefits EVERYBODY.
Oh, and I also marked off my work time, so she can see when I’m working, and I marked the last two hours before it’s time to start dinner as “flex time” for me. Meaning that if I’m busy, I’ll be working, but if I’m not we will do something together.
Above all, I’m going to ENJOY this time with my daughter. It just takes some planning to make it happen while still getting my work done.