Monthly Checklists

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Monthly Checklists ~ Episode 459

There is value in monthly checklists, right? Learn how a list-hater has turned into somewhat of a list lover. Felice Gerwitz shares her best-kept secrets, lists that work.

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Checklists are created to increase productivity as well as to get the things done you want to accomplish. This may be setting short or long-term goals. Please note all dates in this post and podcast are reflective of 2022.

In my attempt to explain to you the things that worked for me I created several podcasts, one is Mega Lists, here. And then there was the interview I gave about the perfect homeschool, here. The four-square planner I’ve talked about in the past and included with my planners was such a help to me for daily and even weekly planning. But, I wanted more. I want to plan for a month at a time and found as with routines there are things that happen every month, or more accurately things I wanted to do each month with my family that I did not want to forget.

What are your monthly to-dos? What are the things you want to cover with your kids? For example, for February it might be creating handmade Valentine’s Day cards or, perhaps showing love and kindness by paying it forward, doing things for other people in your family, extended family, and even strangers. These things are fun activities with a greater impact and have set an example for the children (even teens) that will follow them throughout their lives.

Remember the reason to make monthly checklists is to look at your monthly goals. What do you want to accomplish in January, February, March, and so on? What is the top priority for the month? It will vary with all of us I am sure but at least we can talk about some common ground. There are fun calendar lists online, such as “” and then there is a list by year. Kids may enjoy things like national buffet day (Jan. 2), World Braille Day (Jan. 4) or National Trivia Day. And, that is just in January.

Monthly Checklists:

What are some of the monthly activities you want to cover? For example here is a quick list by month:

January: January first, the celebration just continues with a new year, then Epiphany is January 6th, but celebrated at church on the weekends. What other dates are important to you this month.  Clean up after Christmas, organize and donate excess, back-to-school after the holidays, start collecting those tax documents that come in during this month. Set some personal short and long-term goals, academic goals for your children, and so on. Are there any routines you want to see changed or improved upon? Write those down. What celebrations do you have this month, keep an eye out for the following month? Shop ahead and look for sales.

February: Valentine’s Activities, celebrate valentine’s day, plan a field trip, work on academic or homeschool activities, plan birthday parties, or other celebrations. Will you celebrate Groundhog Day, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day? What are your goals for February? Gather paperwork for taxes (most file by April 15th but if you have a refund coming you may want to file earlier). Refund coming? What will you do with this money? Make a plan.

March: Spring is on the horizon and Easter is next month. Don’t let it sneak up on you, what are your plans or goals for this month? Are you gearing up for Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday a day of fast, and the beginning of Lent the 40 days before Easter which is April 17th? Daylight savings time begins in March as well, check your local time. Then there is St. Patrick’s day on March 17th, St. Joseph’s Day (my dad’s favorite day – and would you believe the day on which he died?) March 19th. What other dates on March will you celebrate or what is on your to-do list? Maybe you are planning a summer vacation, a camping trip or you have plans to start a garden and gather seeds in the ready, or to paint a bedroom, make a list ahead of time and watch your productivity soar!

April: With Easter this month (the 17th) what are your plans? Are you hosting a dinner or are you going to a relative’s home to celebrate? Are you planning to take off from schooling? Look at your books make a plan of where you want to leave off and give this to your children as a goal. It will help the family to focus. Don’t forget tax filing on the 15th. And, what about those holidays to celebrate this month? No one will want to miss April 2nd which is National Pillow Fight day! (Yes, it’s a thing). There are many likewise serious and silly things. On a serious note is Holy Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Easter Sunday. There is National Siblings Day on the 10th, Patriot’s Day on the 18th, National Picnic Day on the 23rd, and National Honesty Day (our world needs more of this) on the 30th.

May: In May there are holidays such as Cinco de Mayo as well as National Prayer Day on the 5th, Mother’s Day (8), National Nurses Day the 6th, and National Space day as well. National Apple pie day on the 13th, Armed Forces Day on the 21st, and Memorial Day on the 30th.  May is also a time when many homeschool families are winding down their year. There are homeschool online conferences as well as in-person events you may want to plan to attend. There are the end-of-the-year parties and events. (My son graduates from college this month, and enters the military as a Second Lieutenant. This means a trip to another state for us, and it is on the calendar. What are your plans for May? Any milestones, graduations, birthdays? Are you schooling throughout the summer? Are you planning to take a short break so everyone can regroup?

June: Are you planning a vacation this summer? If so, I’m sure it was on a previous month’s list. Are you finishing up your homeschool, or planning to learn something new? Do your children have summer leagues they are part of or are you enrolling your children in some type of summer camp? Again, that would be planned in the previous month. Be sure to take a make time for a break, even if it means enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning staring outside for five minutes a day! Do you have plans to unplug even if just for a few hours? What birthdays or events will be celebrated this month? On our monthly calendar, we have World Bicycle Day on the 3rd, Pentecost on the 5th, National Donut Day as well on the 5th. Corpus Cristi on the 16th is often celebrated on Sunday in Church. and the not to be missed Father’s day on the 19th. What special activity will you do on this day? Do you like to make crafts, summer is a great time to make presents ahead of time for special birthdays or even Christmas.

July: July will flash by if you do not have some plans in place. Are you taking a trip, or enjoying nature in your own backyard or local park? Are you planning a rainy day activity in advance? Are you looking at the looming school year and making some plans for the kids? What about thinking of field trips to enjoy the summer weather? Is there a project you want to tackle, like painting a room or bathroom or maybe organizing one kitchen or bedroom drawer a day? The calendar shows not to be missed dates such as International Joke Day on the 1st and the 4th of July. How will you celebrate the 4th? Will you have a party, barbeque, or special dessert for dinner? Do your children know why we celebrate Independence Day? National Ice Cream day is on the 17th and Parent’s Day is on the 24th. July was my mega cooking day month with gearing up for the time when school would be upcoming with quick freezer meals to thaw and serve.

August: August means school is around the corner or already beginning in many homeschools when the weather is so hot and days can be covered with more time taken off in the Fall. Is your planning complete or do you need more time to gather books or supplies? The first day of school was always a big day here with a special first-day sign for each child with their grade, and pictures of course. There was the gifting of school supplies and a bin or notebook to keep all of their papers in one place. It was celebrated as a day to look forward to. We also planned a special field day during this month often with only our family or one or two other families. August was also a time to plan for upcoming events in the fall and other field trips we hoped to take in a future month. August was a big birthday and anniversary month for us and we did plan accordingly. Dates such as National Chocolate Chip Day (4), Purple Heart Day (7), American Family Day, National Book Lover’s Day (9), Assumption of Mary (15), National Waffle Day (24), National Beach Day (30). What other goals do you have for this month?

September: This month might be back to school for some, but be sure to leave some pockets of time for things such as reading with the family, movie, pizza, game, or puzzle night. This might be the month that you plan an overnight camping trip as the weather starts to cool, or walks in the park. Look at your schooling and be sure you stay on track with weekly checklists for academics. Be sure one or both parents check this list to be sure no one is lagging behind. Are there sports, music or dance lessons? Be sure they are on the calendar. Our monthly calendar shows National Wildlife Day on the 4th (a great day to make a bird feeder out of popcorn or perhaps pine cones, peanut butter, and bird seeds. Labor Day is the (5), Read A Book Day on the (6), Grandparent’s Day on the (11), National Peanut Butter Day on the (16), National POW Day on the (16), and Constitution Day on the (17), Johnny Appleseed Day is the (26), and National Voter Registration Day is the (27). As you can see many of these dates are a great time to teach the children mini-history lessons or have the children do a presentation.

October: October is the kick-off for fall in many locations and studying the different trees and fall leaves was a favorite of ours, this is also a time to hit the books and get work done. With an eye toward the holidays, I often put shopping for deals on my calendar this month and shopped ahead for my large family. It was also a time of harvest parties and events, baking with seasonal produce (such as pumpkin), and freezing meals. Events such as National Taco Day, Feast of St. Francis Assisi, and World Animal Day are all on the 4th World Teacher’s Day on the 5th, and World Smile Day on the 7th. Columbus Day is the 10th, National Dessert Day on the 14, National First Responder’s Day on the (2), and what we celebrate is Harvest Day on the 31st. Your calendar may vary with your goals for October.

November: Thanksgiving is the date I kept in mind as I was often the host to our extended family. This was also the month we looked at our weekly schedule and began to tweak what worked and what did not work. Did we need to double up on math? Were we on track to finish our year by the second week of December? When were we taking a Thanksgiving and Christmas break? Those were on the forefront of our month, along with the goals to skip any field trips if we were behind or add some if we were ahead. As a family, we often used arts and crafts to prepare for celebrations and these were planned ahead. Daylight savings day ended on the 6th, so we planned for that as well. All Saints (1) and All Souls (2), were celebrated when possible with church attendance. Other dates such as National Sandwich Day (3), National Nachos Day (6), Veteran’s Day (11), National Kindness Day (13), National Entrepreneur’s Day (15), Thanksgiving the 24th, Black Friday (25), Cyber Monday, following and Giving Tuesday the (29).

December: And, then there is December. What are your goals this month? Is it to celebrate and focus on the upcoming Christmas holiday? Is it to look at your homeschool and take a break? Is it to spend time with friends and family, decorate, bake or shop? Make time for a break which is important when we tend to get overcommitted with events, celebrations, and parties. This is the month to celebrate the monthly events sparingly and focus on the Christian holidays. Christians celebrate on the 8th with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day church events. There are other national holidays that may be celebrated (or not in this overloaded month such as International Volunteer Day (5), St. Nicholas Day (6), National Brownie Day (8), National Cup Cake Day or Bill of Rights Day (15), National Ugly Sweater Day (16), Wright Brothers Day (17), of course, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day always on the 24 and 25th, and New Year’s Eve on December 31st.

Making monthly goals will get you on track to finish the most productive year ever! I hope this short list helps as well as well as the explanation about getting the most of the monthly holidays as teaching events for your children. Homeschooling can be very rewarding for the entire family and I pray that this year’s monthly freebies (Monthly Checklist Downloads) for the email subscribers of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network are helpful as well!

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