Encourage communication in your family with our Weekly Planner

Encourage communication in your family with our Weekly Planner

The Weekly Planner is a versatile tool designed to help you visualize your week, planning family life activities and tasks. Having a visual calendar encourages effective communication among family members, couples, or roommates, fosters collaboration, and teaches your children how to plan (Jackson, 2016). It allows everyone to track their time and responsibilities. The Weekly Planner also serves as a memory palace, as discussed in the article on the memory palace.

Each day is divided into 4 parts: morning, afternoon, late afternoon, and evening. Each time block is indicated by an animal or object.

Selection and Placement of Your Cards

STEP 1: Begin by selecting your cards. This helps create a clear and comprehensive overview of the week's plans, allowing you and each family member to see their commitments and coordinate schedules.

STEP 2: Then place them on your Weekly Planner.
Integrate repetitive household chores into the planner, assigning age-appropriate tasks to each household member. This fosters a sense of responsibility and shared contribution to the home. Perhaps set a specific time for family cleaning, for example, 2 hours every Saturday morning.

Ensure the planner also includes fun family activities such as games, excursions, crafts, and outings, creating a balance between work, household chores, and leisure time. This encourages the family to bond and create lasting memories together, highlighting the importance of quality time. Involve your children in choosing the cards, this approach cultivates their confidence in participating in family life, thus encouraging their sense of initiative and autonomy.

Planning the Week for Adults

Adults cannot plan their professional day with the Weekly Planner, as that is not the purpose of the tool. The Weekly Planner has the dual function of serving to indicate events and encourage better communication with family members about events concerning family life. For example, if you have an extra activity, an additional day at work, a business trip, a night out with friends, exercise time, a visit from a friend or family member, a hairdresser appointment, movie night, swimming with your daughter, watering the plants before leaving for the weekend, or going to the recycling center.

Planning the Week for Young Children from 3 to 5 Years

After adults have set the example, it's time to involve children in the planning process. We recommend introducing the Weekly Planner no earlier than age 3, or when they begin to understand the concepts of time: yesterday, today, now, tomorrow. To help them navigate this phase, the activity card of the Sun is placed on the day and the child moves it each morning, or on each time block represented with an animal.

Start by adding the days when they are at school and at home, using the corresponding activity cards. Allow them to play with the cards even if it does not correspond, as this exploration stage actually helps them integrate the functioning of their Weekly Planner and make it their own. And then when it comes to indicating today or the time of day, you take this opportunity to put the cards in their place, if they agree ;) Otherwise, it will come with growth, and each time, you propose sticking the card in the right place. Observing you do it with yours will facilitate imitation.

Give them time to integrate this first step before adding other cards. As they grow, you observe that they get a little tired of this step, then they might want to use the other cards to express their desire to do particular activities. If you do an activity on the weekend, biking, swimming, forest, visiting family, show them the card to stick. Thus, the cards and the Weekly Planner support taking initiative and therefore autonomy, but also language development.

Planning the Week for Children from 5 Years Old

For the older child, from 5 or 6 years old, the Weekly Planner takes on another dimension, as the child is more autonomous. They have integrated the concepts of time and know the days of the week. The days when they are at school and at home are integrated, so they are more capable of expressing thoughtful intentions. Guide them in adding their events, tasks, and activities to their planner, showing them how to allocate time for school, hobbies, and play. Let them take charge of their schedule while you accompany them in gradually acquiring time management skills.

Including your child's homework in the planner helps you visualize your available time for home instruction, whether it's school homework or subjects to reinforce such as writing and math, for example. Most school subjects should be among the activity cards.

Tips and Advice

  • Depending on their age, make sure each family member has their own Weekly Planner to follow individual schedules and plans.
  • To remind yourself to review your planner, place the Merlinstruction Blackbird activity card in the Weekly Planner or in a key location, for example before going to bed, place the card on your breakfast table or on your coffee machine or even on your phone.
  • Activity cards also work as reminders anywhere in your home. The refrigerator, front door, or computer screen are all great places to hang important reminders such as taking out the trash, taking medication, paying bills, or that dentist appointment or remembering to hydrate.
  • Set aside cards that are relevant to you but do not need to be used now, on the wall next to your Weekly Planner to keep them handy.
  • Use custom prints from Merlinstruction.com/fr to get additional cards for specific activities, if necessary.
  • The Weekly Planner is great for unloading the mental load that we keep in mind, having difficulty sharing it with others. We highly recommend learning to use the Bullet Journal system which works perfectly in conjunction with the Family Time.

By following this guide, you can effectively use the Weekly Planner to create a harmonious and organized life. Planning together encourages open communication and collaboration, teaches children valuable life skills while fostering a sense of responsibility and shared contribution. It also teaches them to adapt, project themselves, and anticipate planning.

Use the Weekly Planner alongside your Annual Calendar, transfer cards from the Annual Calendar when an event comes up, a birthday, Christmas, a weekend, etc. as well as the Routine Planner and the Habit Tracker.

The Mnemonic Bestiary

Your Weekly Planner integrates a unique memory system: a bestiary. Imagine an albatross leading your Sunday morning yoga session, or a heron carrying his shopping bags on Monday evening.

Each day of the week is divided into four slots, each represented by a creature or object. This visual and imaginative system ensures that you remember your schedule by telling surreal stories. Children love it!

Ryder Carroll. (2018). The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present

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