Keeping the Family Schedule Organized: Our Chalkboard Calendar

[really_simple_share]

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.

[really_simple_share]
About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

Comments

  1. I was just telling my husband that I wished we had wall space for a kitchen chalkboard!

    My oldest is only 3 1/2, but he does have a calendar in his room where we draw pictures of his events. It’s made a HUGE difference in his cooperation level. Each morning we can look together and see if it’s a “S” for school days, or a fish for swim lessons, or smiling faces for a playdate.

  2. Great idea! I too I love using chalkboards and/or whiteboards with my children.
    In my old house, I did not have the wall space in my kitchen to hang a board so I painted my pantry door with chalkboard paint. I used magnetic primer first. Most often it was used to post my son’s weekly spelling list.
    Donna-Lee´s latest post: Fun on the Farm

  3. Kara, thanks for nudging me to get a more visible family calendar. B/c I keep all the apptmts/dates in my “black book”, I end up being the one getting everyone else going or thinking about what’s planned. A family calendar helps bring the whole family into knowing what’s ahead and planning for it more.

    I have a whiteboard one that I’m definitely going to put to use.

    Just a note on chalkboards – when we moved into our house, my daughter discovered with delight that her bedroom door had been painted w/ chalkboard paint. It’s been great to watch what creations, musings, etc. have come to life there over the years!
    Sarah Clachar´s latest post: Healthy Fast Food- 7 Ways To Eat Better Quickly

  4. I lived by a wipeoff calendar (60 day) when I homeschooled and ran a family business. I have also seen whiteboards divided using colored tape to customize it however you want, kinda like you have with your chalkboard.
    Love the other chalkboard too!
    Bernice
    Living the Balanced Life´s latest post: Setting boundaries when working at home

  5. I love this… are those colors of the day that I see??

    We’re trying your colors of the day on for size this week to see how we like it. :)

  6. I think this is a fantastic idea. My eldest son loves having visible routines and reminders of whats happening.
    I think, as some other commentors have mentioned, that making the white/chalkboard magnetic would be very handy too.
    Catherine´s latest post: inertia

  7. I like the idea. I would note that you can use washable crayons as well as dry erase ones on a dry erase board. The regular washable ones just take a damp cloth to remove. We did that a lot when my oldest was little.
    Stephanie – Green Stay at Home Mom´s latest post: Are The Benefits of Nuclear Power Worth the Risks

  8. I’ve had a project in mind for our mudroom since we moved in. I have an old corkboard (2’x3′). I want to paint the frame, cover 1/2 the board with fabric to dress up the cork side, and put in a piece of white metal on the other half so we can use it as a white board as well as a magnet board.
    I really need to get a can of spray paint and a quarter yard of fabric and get cracking! Not sure what I’ve been waiting for!

  9. Wow!! I love that he did that right on the wall, genius I tell you. I am also in love with those dry erase crayons. We have numerous dry erase boards around the house, because I think they’re better for practicing writing than tearing through tons of paper, but the markers… bleck. They dry out, caps get lost and they are so expensive. I can’t wait to test out those crayons. Thanks for the heads up. :)
    Jackie Lee´s latest post: Pet Strollers for Large Dogs

  10. I just love your chalkboards, Kara! And your drawing of the bees–Steiner would be totally impressed, friend. I know I am!!
    Simple Homeschool – Jamie´s latest post: Lessons from a Life Skills Day

  11. There is also dryerase paint available at IdeaPaint.com, that was on the Martha Stewart show the other day and another option by another company is available at the following link: http://rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=128

  12. Diana Burress says:

    All great ideas! Thanks for sharing! Diana ;-)

Share Your Thoughts

*


9 + 8 =

CommentLuv badge