Updated: Feb 5, 2021
It's the weekend. What is your child doing throughout the day? Is he/she spending too much time on video games, computers, or phones?
In this post, I would like to share a weekend planning tool that you can use with your children - the 7-Block Scheduler.
Before I begin - I need to thank my mother for introducing me to this tool in my childhood. It has served me well even now. I also shared this tool with parents before when I was teaching, and it was well-liked.
Children need structure to keep their lives organized. However, having a structure does not mean losing freedom and relaxation time. You can set up a schedule without scheduling things for every hour, yet it can still give your child a system. The 7-block Scheduler allows your child to take ownership of their time.
👇🏻 Below you will find the 3 steps you need to use the tool 👇🏻
Note: The schedule template is available at my TpT store for free.
Step 1: Label the Morning/Afternoon/Evening hours
The hours may vary depending on your child's sleep schedule. The morning block may start when the child wakes up, and the evening block will end when the child goes to bed. However, the following should be consistent.
The morning block should end at noon
The afternoon block is from 12 pm to 6 pm.
Here's an example:
If the child wakes up at 8 am, the morning hours will be 8 am - 12 pm.
The afternoon hours will be 12 pm to 6 pm.
To get 10 hours of sleep, the child goes to bed at 10 pm. Therefore, the evening hours will be 6 pm to 10 pm.
Step 2: Identify the blocks of time available on the weekend
Assuming that the child has school on Friday, we will consider Friday evening as the weekend's start. Each day, your child will have three blocks of time - morning, afternoon, and evening. On a regular weekend, they will have a total of 7.
Step 3: Discuss with your child and fill out the schedule
Here's the part where learning and self-management begins. Given that your child has seven blocks of time every weekend, they need to decide how to use each block of time. They can be productive at some blocks and relaxing at others. The key is to have a discussion and determine what works for your child.
I would even suggest having your child write out the current schedule (even if they don't have one now) to get a baseline of where they are now so that they have a visual reference.
Some questions to guide the conversation
What activities are productive, and what activities are relaxing?
How many blocks of productive time VS relaxing time should you have over the weekend?
How many blocks of screentime do you have? Is it too much?
If you have something important (e.g., exam/competition, etc.) coming up, how will you adjust your schedule to prepare for the event?
If you sleep in until 1 pm, what happens to your morning block?
Here's a sample schedule for a child with four blocks of "productive time" and three blocks of "relaxing time" on the weekend.
Sometimes, one-off events, like family celebrations, happen. In the following example, the parent and child agreed to have 3 productive blocks each week. Since the family had a celebration all day Saturday, the child had all three consecutive productive blocks on Sunday.
By setting the number of productive VS relaxing time blocks with your child, you can ensure that they are still engaging in activities beneficial to their learning and growth.
The goal of using this 7-block Scheduler is to help your child visualize their time and make better decisions. As your child continues to grow, they will be responsible for managing their entire schedule. People who can become successful are the ones who use their time wisely to do valuable things while relaxing at appropriate times to avoid burnout. Time management is an important skill that will prepare your child for any future challenges.
Want this 7-Block Scheduler? Visit my Tpt store.
There is an advanced version with reflection questions. (It's on SALE now for a limited time.)
Did you try out the Scheduler? Comment below to share your thoughts.