Decision-making and problem-solving have become a regular event for parents and families in 2020.

Today was Miss Owl’s first day of school in many months. She rode the bus and attended a socially-distanced classroom.  She “knew” her teacher already from online learning. I’m sure she was thrilled to finally be in school and meet some of the children. I couldn’t help but think about her all day. It is a worry in the pandemic, yet I was so happy for her. Who thought we would ever be going through this situation? Yet, here it is and we must do the best we can.

This PDF has a method for making decisions that are not professional or licensed in any way. We used to use it in gifted-education classes when teaching students ways to solve problems. It downloads at the next link.


Decision making includes thinking about options, deciding what criteria should be considered, and assigning values to possible choices. Such charts are used in business, too. Parents may be familiar with such charts for finance or other areas.

One tool to help make decisions is a decision matrix. Thie attached PDF (free, instant download) is editable and might help some families with this year’s challenges.

On the matrix, points may be entered on a scale of 1-5 to help determine the final decision. Where should our family eat dinner tonight? Should our child attend hybrid learning classes?

Low points from a scale of 1 to 5 are given for options that are costly, difficult, or time-consuming, based on criteria.

Higher points are given for cheaper, easier, less time consuming, and better options, based on criteria.

There is nothing magic about any answers you may find using this process, and you may want to begin again or even solve the issue another way.

This is a YouTube video with a demonstration of using the chart decision making form.

There is a student lesson that uses the decision matrix at this link.

This link is to a YouTube video demonstration of the student form.

If you are not familiar with editable PDFs and do not want to use it that way, be assured that it will print without blue shapes. It may be used with paper and a pencil.

Here is how one matrix turned out when I guess at what numbers to enter. Working together as a family, it may help arrive at a decision everyone can live with.


Thank you for reading, Carolyn



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