Tuesday, October 23, 2018


I'm a fan of systems. They bring order to chaos and make life easier. If you have a system in place, it's easier to get people to help you.  You can give them clear directions about what to do to make the system work. 

I also like designing systems.  Start with an outcome and work backwards.  It's probably why I enjoy making how to pages for my teachers and students.  Step by step pictures and words of what to do.

I try to design systems at home too.  Here's what we're going to buy each month at Sam's Club, divide it into baggies for lunches, hide the baggies, have enough food for school lunches all month.  Here's all the meat we're going to buy at Sam's Club, cook some of it, divide it into meal portions, freeze, eat later.  Easy peasy.  Breakfast each morning is egg and sausage burritos.  Sunday night, make the egg and sausage mix.  Breakfast is ready.

Creating a new system is my solution to a problem.  For example, B has a hard time at before school care.  How can we change our routine/system to take him to school at time instead of early to before school care? 

A few weeks ago, we had a parent teacher conference with B's teachers and found out that he should be reading 100 minutes a week at home.  Yep, that's gonna require a system. B likes to come home from school and be done with 'school things'. So job one was to convince him that reading is a life thing not a school thing.  Momma-librarian for the win!

Next, I created a visual system for B to see how many minutes he has read and how many are left read.  I divided a 100 bill into 10 sections.  I wanted him to see that he could eat the elephant in small bites.  I also wanted to remind him that his reward at school is classroom dollars. 

The first week was awesome! He was super excited to color in sections.  Also, we went to Dav Pilkey in Frisco - he read all the way there and for 30 minutes while we waited.  He was so excited to show his teacher when he colored in all the sections.

Of course, it's living the system that's the rub. He's supposed to read 100 minutes every week, not just one week.  He's not as excited about the chart.  He likes it but I have to remind him to read and color in sections.  He's happy to do it but he's not reminding me that it needs to be done yet.

Sticking with the system is crucial though.  So, I'll set reminders to remind him until it's second nature.  Once the system is second nature, that's when it's really a benefit. 

Are you a systems person or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

No comments :