by Karen Sampson Hoffman, MA
ALONG WITH SHOPPING FOR HOLIDAY
GIFTS (eight children call me aunt and one toy store
awaits my mad dash), I hunt for two calendars every year. One will
become my sister’s family notebook, where she keeps track of
everyone’s schedules and events, and one will be a pocket calendar
for me. Without them we wouldn’t be able to keep track of the
routines, events, and holidays in our very busy lives. It just
wouldn’t be New Year’s without the New Calendar.
In homes affected by AD/HD, planning takes conscious effort. More so for
long-range planning, which is what most of us do as we approach the new
year. Getting our calendars ready is important. Finding a calendar early
is vital, since they disappear from stores sometime in early
Planning for the year
There are rhythms in routines. The rhythm of the year goes into the
calendar first. If you find a calendar with holidays already marked,
you’re ahead of the game. Mark the dates of public and religious
holidays, along with family holidays and neighborhood or school events.
Next make sure to add birthdays, followed by anniversaries. If you know
vacation schedules, put them in now. This is the time to make
reservations for family trips or to schedule time in the coming months
to do so.
For those who have children affected by AD/HD, now is
the time to make plans for your child to attend specialized summer camps
• Start early in finding and applying to
camps. Programs fill up quickly and scholarships may be limited.
• Review your options. There are many
styles of camps, from day camps to overnight adventures camps, to one s
that focus on academic, arts and social skills.
• Evaluate your child’s strengths,
weakness and desires.
• Talk with your child about possible
programs. You may want to select three programs you are comfortable with
and allow your child to choose from among those.
An article on savvy tips for selecting camps for children with AD/HD
appeared in December 2007 Attention, and is available to CHADD
members at chadd.org in the Attention archives.
The National Resource Center on AD/HD (help4adhd.org), a program of CHADD, also has a
resource on camps.
Planning by the month
For each month, consider which events will require additional
pre-planning. The goal is always to take large projects and break them
into smaller “bites.” Perhaps your family celebrates Easter;
one weekend could be Chocolate Bunny Day for making candies and a
separate weekend will be Spring Cleaning. The same can be done for other
Most organizations keep members informed through e-mail newsletters.
When the monthly or weekly announcements arrive, jot them on your
calendar right away. Get information in the calendar as soon as it comes
your way and you’ll be better able to plan.
Planning by the week
Some calendars allow you to view one week at a time; or, you can draw up
weekly calendars to keep on your desk or the refrigerator. Decide which
day is your Day 1 or the start of your week. On Day 1 check your
calendar for all events, holidays and projects. Prepare a to-do list and
keep it with your calendar for easy reference. Many people find it
helpful to cross off accomplished tasks or to draw through a day once
• December or January—Mark all
holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and vacations. Find summer camps,
programs, or holiday destinations.
• February—Begin discussions with
family and friends about where to celebrate holidays or take vacations
during the year.
• March and April—Review
and revise your calendar.
• May and June—Prepare for summer;
make arrangements at work for vacation time off. Finalize summer
plans for children.
• July—Mid-year review of the
• August—School shopping, late
summer sales for business clothes and start finalizing plans for the
• September and October—Start
budgeting for holiday gifts and home repairs before winter.
• November—The holiday season
has begun. Break holiday projects into “bites.”
• December—Finish holiday shopping.
Make the holidays work for you by delegating and keeping projects
And December’s most important task: Find a new calendar for the
Karen Sampson Hoffman, MA, writes from Hanover, Maryland.
This article originally appeared in the December 2008 issue of
Attention magazine. Copyright © 2008 by Children and
Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). All rights
reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission
from CHADD is prohibited.
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