A 5 y.o. Composes to-do Lists

a woman's hand on a tale, writing a to-do list in a notebook

This morning was thinking of how to inspire teachers and teacher trainers to compose to-do lists. To get more inspiration, I started scrolling my Facebook feed. And guess what? I found a comment by Kristin C., under one of the posts, that her 5 y.o. son composes to-do lists! He cannot write, so he draws them. Isn’t he a genius!?

Right away, I told Kristin that I’d like to write a blog post about her son. Her story is amazing! Kristin and her family of 7 live in Sacramento, CA, USA. Kristin works for the state government, and her husband is in construction. 

I asked Karin to tell us a bit more about her 5 y.o. son – Samuel. This is what she says:

“I noticed that he started making these to-do lists in the last 6 months or so. I think he started doing it as a way to tell me the things that he wanted to do. As a busy, working mom of 5 kids, my time spent with my kids individually is often limited. His lists typically have items he likes doing (arts and crafts, riding his bike, playing on his tablet, etc.) and will even often include “cuddle with mommy.”

I do write lists! It’s the best way for me to stay organized, remember all the tasks I need to accomplish, and prioritize what needs to be done more urgently. Though my lists are typically not on paper and instead tracked on the Notes app or a Word document on my computer, I’m not sure he’s even seen or witnessed me making lists. 

I will say that I’ve always “prepared” my kids for the day ahead by talking about and going through a “list” of what we will be doing. For example, in the morning, I might say, “We have to get ready. Then we are going to the store. When we are back from the store, we can go to the park. And later, we are going to Grandma’s house.” I feel like that helps kids process and prepare for what their day will be like.” 

Here is another example of a to-do list from Samuel:

I am truly proud of this little genius! I believe it is a new master of time-management!

Would you like your kids try composing to-do lists? Let’s talk about it in the comments. Or you can always contact me via email or social media. 

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