The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.
A simple and handy way to keep a family’s schedule organized is with a chalk board calendar. We’ve been using a chalkboard calendar for about five years now. I keep ours updated weekly and it is an easy way to communicate to my family what is on our agenda.
I use it to record appointments, library days, holidays, and other special events.
My youngest two children are still in the “go with the flow” stage, but my nine year old really likes to be able to check in with the calendar and see what we’re going to be up to each day of the week.
I love this system for many reasons:
It is reusable. Instead of tearing off a sheet of paper, I simply erase and start again each week.
It is in a central location. Ours is in our kitchen, a high traffic zone where everyone in the family passes through on a frequent basis.
It is personal. I love that I can get creative with it if I’d like to and vary it each week, adding in color and doodling little pictures, too. I also love it because my husband made it for us, one of those personal touches that really make this house feel like our home.
It is simple. When a change needs to be made, I simply erase. It is easy to care for, too and just needs an occasional cleaning with a damp rag (something that, from the looks of my photos, should probably happen soon).
Easy to Make
You could purchase a chalkboard, of course. However, my husband Chris made this one fairly inexpensively by painting a rectangle on the wall with chalkboard paint.
He used American Traditions chalkboard paint. He didn’t prime the area beforehand because it was going onto wall that had already been painted with matte white paint. I just asked him and he said it took about 4 coats of paint.
The frame is an old picture frame, recycled and painted white and attached to the wall with standard nails. Voila!
Weekly Chalk Drawing
We also have another chalk board in our home that acts as a calendar of sorts by announcing our weekly theme. We follow along with Little Acorn Learning. Each week in the guides has a theme.
This chalkboard we purchased at a school supply store. We have had it for a number of years, but I believe it was around $25.
On Sunday nights I do a very simple drawing on the board and cover it with a large playsilk. Then, on Monday morning the drawing is revealed, giving the kids a hint to our weekly theme. We usually have a book basket and some sort of craft that week that goes along with the theme and the chalk drawing is a fun element to add to that.
This isn’t really a calendar, per se, but it is a method that allows the younger, pre-reading set in our household know what to expect as part of their week.
Other Styles of Calendars
I like the look of the giant grid styles of chalkboard calendars, too. These would be great for organizing a month at a time.
Right now, given the ages of our kids, our schedule is fairly simple. However, I imagine that when all of our children are a bit older and involved in more activities outside of the home, a larger grid-style calendar would be a nice way to keep everyone organized and on top of multiple schedules.
A Chalk Dust Free Option
I’ve also known families who do something similar with a white board and dry erase markers. If chalk dust is a concern, this is a good option. There are a variety of dry erase markers in fun colors and even dry erase crayons.
Chalkboards and white boards are available in a wide range of styles that could fit just about any family’s decor and lifestyle. A quick search on etsy turned up many unique styles and Mandi recently did a round-up of chalkboard and dry erase wall calendars on Productivity Your Way.
For our family, a chalkboard calendar has been a simple and fun tool to help keep us organized.
What about you? Do you have a centralized location for your family calendar? What system do you use so that everyone knows what to expect from your schedule from week to week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.