5 Tips to Manage Chaotic Schedules

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

After more than a year of a slower pace of life, parents and guardians are about to – or may already – feel the crunch of juggling their job with their kids’ time in the classroom and extracurricular activities.

If you have children in sports or practicing instruments after school, the pace can be chaotic. However, we’ve got some tips to help you keep things sane and manageable throughout the work week.

Empower Kids to Be Responsible

Juggling extracurriculars works better if all of the equipment packing, cleaning, and maintenance is shared between parents/guardians and their kids. Help your child work to take full responsibility for the gear, equipment, and other essentials that pertain to their commitment of choice. This includes packing everything into the appropriate bag or case, and then getting it loaded into the car prior to heading out.

An added benefit is the responsibility the child will learn in managing their own supplies for their chosen pursuit.

Keep a Family Calendar

To keep the whole family on the same page, literally, try keeping a calendar front and center in your kitchen. This can be a physical calendar on the wall, or perhaps a digital one on the device of your choice. Either way, we recommend color-coding the calendar by type of activity and/or the person the event pertains to. This will allow you to assess everything at a glance and see which days are heavy in activities and which are free for spontaneous family fun!.

Quick Meals

A busy work (and school) week leaves little time for elaborate home-cooked meals. But it doesn’t have to mean fast food and unhealthy choices.

In the Phoenix area, we have a vast variety of meal-delivery services available to us that can help us in these time-crunch situations. Some meals are ready to go straight into the microwave, while other services provide all of the ingredients and require minimal prep.

Meal-prepping is also an option. If you make bigger portions, you might have enough for everyone throughout the week. Make Sundays a family occasion and spend time together prepping for the week.

Balance Homework and Recreation

For the evenings that aren’t completely on the go, it’s best to get into a homework routine. Getting into a routine will help establish discipline and give kids a better shot at not letting their grades fall by the wayside.

Similarly, one would hope there’s time for leisure during the week as well. Designate a specific time in the evening for kids to decompress. This can be a half-hour to an hour for reading, using a tablet or smartphone, working on a hobby, watching a little television, or having a friend over.

Stagger Activities

If you have multiple children with multiple interests in activities that are offered outside of the normal school day, you will have to map it all out in a way that won’t overload you, or them. There are many ways to do this (such as choosing activities on different days of the week or having one child choose fewer or no commitments for a few weeks to pave way for the other one’s current pursuit), but the key here is to avoid burnout – by everyone in the family.

Even families with one child can still use staggering techniques when taking a year-long view at the activities desired and then scheduling them accordingly. Ideally, one season will finish and give you a few weeks’ rest before the next season starts up.

Read More Parenting Tips from PVSchools