CREATING BALANCE WITH A SCHEDULE

While preparing for the 11plus exam is essential, it is important to be aware that it can easily become all-consuming which negatively affects life for your whole family. Finding balance in general is a challenge for most of us but it is truly something that is worth putting the effort into during this time.

Schedules are a very effective tool for creating balance as it gets everything you may be juggling and puts it all clearly and neatly into one place. While drawing up schedules can feel time consuming, they ultimately save you hours in the long run as they allow you to get a big picture view of your life and show you where you may need to make adjustments to create greater balance.

 

TIPS FOR SCHEDULES

  • Have two schedules: a monthly calendar so you get a big picture of the month as well as a more in-depth weekly schedule.
  • Get very specific on your weekly schedule as scheduling things using hourly increments can be very useful while obviously being open for flexibility because life doesn’t always go according to plan.
  • Put it up where everyone can see it and make it easy to follow and read.
  • Colour code the activities by making little tags, for example, or using coloured pens.

 

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN A SCHEDULE

Here are some examples of what can be put into your schedules, but there may be a few things that are more family specific that you want to add.

Set study and break times:

Ensure everyone is on the same page which can save you from those last-minute arguments that arise around studying.   

 

Commitments and appointments:

This is for all the other things you may need to do in the week and being able to see them all in one place prevents forgetting or them having to occupy valuable mind space.

Some examples include: doctors, dentists, extra mural activities like sport or music, religious and cultural events.

 

Free time

It is so important for your child to have time where they can exercise a bit of free will by allowing them to choose what they want to do within that time.

It is vital for their emotional well-being as well as for them developing their own ability to self-regulate by figuring out what they need in the moment.

This is where you allow them time on their screens for example.

 

Family time

Connection is the most important thing for a family and while scheduling connection may seem strange, it is often the first thing to go when life gets busy and stressful.

Choose something you love to do as a family. You can even allow one family member to choose an activity each time.

This is a time where no work, school or exam related things are allowed to be discussed. It is important to be strict on this as it can be so easy to have this time become all about 11plus etc again. You all need a break from this!

Examples include: a meal together, a board game, a family walk together, movie night, going out for ice cream or something fun as a family.

 

Meals

When life is busy, having to think about cooking can be an added stressor and meal planning is an effective way to overcome that.

This may look like setting aside a chunk of time on the schedule for meal preparation so your time is freed up during the rest of the week or it simply be knowing what you are planning a grocery list and meals for the week.

 

Household chores

Try putting some music on while you all get on with household chores. Maybe entertain your child by pulling some embarrassing dance moves while jointly cleaning the house!

 

Spontaneous time

This could include time where nothing is planned and you get to decide as a family what you would like to do in that time.

This creates a bit of fun and some mystery in the week which makes life more exciting.

It could be a whole day where there is no schedule or simply a chunk of time on one day for example.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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