I am a planner. Organizing is a hobby for me and gives me energy. So, with the start of school came the excuse to organize and plan for the school year. I have younger children that still are trying to understand the days of the weeks and months of the years. They still confuse “yesterday” with any day before the current one, and “tomorrow” as any day that follows. It just made sense to give them a visual understanding of when events will take place: when Lauren will be home, when a birthday will be celebrated, when we go to church, etc. I pulled out the trustworthy Melissa and Doug magnetic calendar only to discover that many of the numbers were missing and the magnets for activities did not cover our personal needs.
But, have no fear, I have a large magnetic dry erase board that serves as a command and teaching center for our entire home. I decided that I would post one week at a time and label the month and year at the top. In addition to our weekly activities, I like to plan the meals out as well. This makes grocery shopping more efficient and it eliminates the end of day decision making for “What are we going to have for dinner?” I didn’t want to waste the M&D magnets, so I reused them by putting stickers on top. Sophia enjoyed putting small round stickers over the numbers and these became our new “marks” for our reward system. We customized the other magnets by printing 1×1 pictures our favorite foods on labels. I cut the labels to size and the kids covered the magnets. I also just use blank labels and write in activities that seem to re-occur on a regular basis.
My older children are each responsible for planning and making a meal or snack. The magnet system has worked well in helping them plan the meals out for the week and takes all the guess work out of meal times. Another addition I have made is to incorporate the Liturgical Calendar. I bought these stickers of feast days several years ago. It took a little bit of work, but I placed the stickers onto magnetic paper and then cut them out. Someone should really produce these as magnets! It really helps to tie our days together with the days of the Church and is another way to remind us why we are really here and where our journey is headed. Learning about the saints encourages us in our own journey and continually reminds us that God is an awesome God!
One last suggestion is to buy the magnetic paper and print directly to the magnetic paper. I used labels and the wooden magnets from Melissa and Doug only because I already had them on hand. Although, the thicker wooden magnets are easier to grip; the magnetic paper would eliminate several steps and is relatively inexpensive.