Family, Projects

picture day planner

I’m posting here a home video. It’s a home video in every possible way, shaky, moves around too much, my horrible voice in the background, long, containing too many pointless, non-memorable moments… and yet… I still love it enough to share it here. I love my little girl’s voice, her love of reptiles and sharks, her crazy hair, her chubby thighs, her impatient whines… lol. You really don’t have to watch it all, but I thoughts perhaps the grandparents might enjoy it, if no one else does.

Jon has always told stories while drawing pictures of things and Juno has always been his most captive audience. His stories are occasionally kind of…well…awful. But our kids have never seemed to mind. I don’t think Juno is traumatized by a story about Dad throwing her away outside of Chapters… but I suppose there really isn’t any way to know for certain. If nothing else this video could be a wonderful prompt to pray for the Sodeman children. 🙂


So anyway, I’ll try to tie the video in later… 🙂


We have determined that greater consistency in our days would help avoid some battles with Juno (she doesn’t manage change or options well). The trouble is that the only consistent thing about me is my inconsistency. And one of the things I love about staying home and homeschooling is that we can add lots of extras to our days and we can be available to do things at ANY time. We don’t have to be owned by the school schedule, etc. We have more of a weekly routine than a daily one. So on Tuesday mornings we will go to Bible Study. And on thursday mornings we go skating. And while we can still get everything we need to done in a day without having every day scheduled the exact same way, it sort of leaves my little miss thinking some activities (like school) are optional every day. Plus she can easily get fixated on something she wants to do… “can I watch a movie?” “I want to watch a movie!” “When can I watch a movie?!” “I want to watch a movie!!!!!!!!!” and I can drive myself bonkers explaining on repeat what comes next and where the movie fits or doesn’t fit into our day.


I’m honestly so so so tired of the arguing and explaining over what the day holds each morning.


I wanted to create a daily planner that Juno can view the night before the day starts. She can hopefully mentally prepare herself for the activities she doesn’t like before the day gets started, have a hand in choosing some of her own activities (from a limited pool of options), and hopefully begin to gain the lacking “consistent routine” without me actually having to hold to a consistent routine.


So when our day starts she already knows what to expect. 2 days in I can tell you this is helping SO much. When she asks me when she can do a certain activity I direct her to check her calendar. She looks and sees that movie comes after room time today (which comes after skating, school, and lunch). Hopefully over time she will come to embrace the basic pattern of our days as well; tackle the hardest tasks first! 🙂 Work is so much easier to push through when fun is on the other side.


So here’s the video tie-in – when I decided to make Juno a picture day planner, I recruited her Daddy with his mad skills to help personalize it to our curly girl.


The idea is that each evening before bed we plan out the next day. Some cards mommy chooses, because many parts of the next day will not be optional (or necessarily her favourite). For example…
photo copy 6


If it’s a normal day at home I would then let her choose 1-3 activities to slot into the afternoon (post room time)…
photo copy 7


Some days she might not get to choose the extra activities because it’s a day when we have something fun already planned…


We line the cards up in order (of course they don’t include EVERY activity we will do during the day, but they cover the major time slots). Right now we are just using a page protector sleeve, to hold the day’s cards. At some point I will laminate the cards and attack small bits of velcro to the back of each one. I think I will attach the other side of the velcro to the top of our school whiteboard, but it could be laid out anywhere; on a card, on the fridge, across a yardstick, etc. I was waiting to see how it worked before I got too permanent with my placement. So far, so good! 🙂


I think in 2 days we have about covered just about all the calendar rules. “No you may not rearrange the activities so PS3 comes first.” “If you remove cards from the calendar there will be trouble.” “No we cannot work backwards from night to morning.” 🙂


Our daily activities were never up for debate, but this planner is helping HER understand that, and in the process making life just a little more peaceful!

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  • Reply Jon February 28, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    My favourite pics are of you shopping and Juno skating, and tooting in bed.

  • Reply gottabekdcanada March 1, 2013 at 1:26 am

    the shopping one is my favourite for YOUR expression, then the poor frog for playing outside. very cute and clever idea! i find having a daily plan really helps some kids- at work my kids seem to thrive on that. my own kids are pretty happy go lucky, but they still like weekly routines and knowing what to expect.

  • Reply Jen March 1, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Wow! Super idea! 🙂 Great pics too! I would not have noticed the tooting in bed if Jon had not commented on it. 🙂

  • Reply Debbie March 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I love this!!!

    I’ve been thinking of making a picture morning/evening routine for Ruby…just simple….brush teeth, brush hair, put on PJ’s GO TO SLEEP!

    Never thought of drawing them myself! I love yours….. lovely artistry Jon!

  • Reply Jon March 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    That video reminds me of just how crazy Juno can make me sometimes. But at the same time how life would never be the same without her craziness.

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