Connecting with Your Schedule

If you were to write down what a typical day in your house was like, what would it sound like?  Would it sound like a scene from I Love Lucy, full of chaos that would make others laugh? What about a soap opera, where everyone's life is falling apart and it is always someone else's fault?  What does a day in the life of you look like?

By now, most of us have begun our new school year.  Our homes are buzzing with the sound of math drills, pencil sharpeners and reading lessons.  For us moms we have spent countless hours planning and preparing for this time.  So, how is it going?  I know that for me, I have already had to rethink some of what I had planned and my schedule was the first on the list.  It was only a few years ago that I decided to put a schedule of our day down on paper.  It has really helped me to be a better steward of my time.  Here are some tips to help you either create your first schedule or tweak the one you already have if needed.

First thing that is important to do is decide how you will use your school days.  You have lots of options such as, will you school year round or take a summer break?  Speaking of breaks, when will you take them?  If you are going year round then you have room to take more.  Some families like to school 3 weeks on and 1 week off with no summer break.  Our family does take summer off so we like to go 10, 4 day weeks on and 1 week off.  Are you working 5 days a week or just 4 days?  And don't forget about holidays, vacations, field trips & other important events that you already know of.  Many years our school was on the "new baby schedule".  Depending on when I was due we would start school.  If I was due close to Christmas then we would start early summer so that we could take a break & not start back until the baby was about 1 month old.  If I was due in late spring or summer then we kept our normal school schedule of ending in May and starting in August.  Flexibility is the key!

Next is your monthly schedule.  It is helpful to write down meetings that occur on a monthly basis such as, business meetings, homeschool, church, 4H, etc...And don't forget about birthdays!!  Also, some find it very helpful to include their monthly cleaning schedule if you have one.  For example; every 1st Monday we clean base boards, 2nd Monday, outside windows, 3rd Monday's, light fixtures, etc...

Your weekly schedule is next.  Routines are important and your weekly schedule is a great place to get those established.  Some have found it helpful to set aside one day or half a day a week for errands, and catch up on house work.  If you know ahead of time what activities are on your schedule then you will better decide what new activities you will have time for.  Write everything down that you want to accomplish during the week and see if it is even possible.  We can't do everything so don't forget to schedule your children's chores.  My kids have weekly chores & daily chores.  It doesn't take long for the weekly chores to become habit.  Ours is something like this. Monday- bedrooms, Tuesday-bathrooms, Wednesday-closets, Thursday -boys laundry, Friday - girls laundry.  This had really helped the flow of things when the kids know what to expect.

Last is your daily schedule.  This one takes me the longest to get right.  I begin with the very start of my day & I write down everything that needs to get done & everything that I want to get done.  Also write down everything that your kids need to do.  I always start with myself first then work my way down through the kids starting with the oldest.  I found some things do not need to be on the daily schedule so I move then to either the weekly or the monthly schedules.  So, what kind of things do you include in your schedule?  I put EVERYTHING, or else I will forget until it becomes habit.  I schedule one on one time with kids, time for myself, reading lessons, time for myself, dinner preparation, time for myself...o'k so maybe I don't take so much time out for myself.  But it is important so don't forget it.  If you have older kids and younger ones then put in your schedule time for the older one to play with the younger one.  They will enjoy it more than you think.    Take your time doing your schedule.  It takes weeks to find the one that will work well for your family. If the first one doesn't work, that is O.K.  Keep tweaking until you find what does work.   An excellent resource for this is Managers of Their Home by Teri Maxwell. In it you can read the schedules of other families & how they manage to fit so much into one day.  I really enjoyed reading it though I didn't implement all of it. It has become one of my favorite tools to use.

Once you have a general idea of how your schedule should flow you will need to put it down on something.  Donnayoung.org is a great place to find printable blank schedules in 30 time increments.  Or you can just make your own if you have EXCEL.  I put the names of our family across the top in individual columns and then the time increments down the side as rows.  You can make this as simple or as complex as you want.

Creating a schedule for your school is not rocket science, but it does take patience.  Your goal is to get a good routine down so that you don’t have to keep looking at your schedule.  I don’t even type out a schedule anymore; we know what order to do our lessons that work best.  But in the beginning, I spent a lot of time re-evaluating and tweaking my schedule.  It still changes with the new seasons of life we come into.  That is why I love homeschooling so much, it changes with our family.


Dana Bailey & her husband have been married for 19 years & have 10 children. They have always homeschooled & graduated their first child in May, 2009. Dana enjoys blogging about just about everything, but mainly encouraging mothers in their biblical role of womanhood. Visit her website at danabailey.blogspot.com.

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