As much as I hate to be confined to a schedule, I have to admit that it is very liberating to the whole family to know what to expect. If I don’t follow a schedule, life goes somewhat like this: get up late, work on something that is high priority (in my nightgown), get waylaid on a long phone call while the kids wreck havoc, fix breakfast when the complaining gets too loud, get dressed because it’s too late to exercise now, try to pull homeschool together late and unorganized, fix a quick (rather than nutritious) lunch when the complaining gets too loud (about 2:00 p.m.), feel discouraged because I’m so far behind, etc. Get the picture? It is a downward spiral because you get to bed late because you are so far behind on fixing dinner, and so you are off to a worse start the next day.
Reality is that I never exactly meet my own time schedule. It does serve to keep order in our home, however. If school is scheduled to start at 8:45 a.m. and I see that my watch says 8:30 a.m. while I am still in my nightgown, I really pick up my feet and move. A schedule is not to make your life miserable as much as it is to motivate you to carry out your own good intentions.
Here is our current (ever-changing) schedule for the school year. In the summertime, we have a family work time in the garden during the first hour of homeschool. Then I only require personal scripture study and journal writing, a math lesson, and some reading (the 3 Rs). I always have several boxes of library books. We try to flow with the seasons since we live in an extreme climate, so we begin our summer schedule as soon as the weather warms up enough to be outside. We sometimes don’t begin full-time school in the fall until the first serious storms force us back inside and back to the books. This was our schedule for that particular school year:
HOPKINS FAMILY SCHEDULE
6:15 Wake up, personal prayers
6:20 Family scripture study
8:15 Personal grooming, bedrooms in order
9:00 Homeschool until noon
11:45 Mom checks that all schoolwork is done
12:00 Lunch preparation (assigned child helps)
1:15 Lunch cleanup
1:30 Quiet reading (or listening to audios) for children
Naps for Mom and little ones
2:00 Free time (Can do jobs for $, play with friends, etc.)
5:15 Dinner preparation (assigned child helps)
6:45 Dinner cleanup, dishwashing
7:30 Family Prayer, prepare little ones for bed
8:00 Children up to 10 years old go to bed
9:00 Children 11–15 years go to bed
9:45 Teens 16+ go to bed, Mom and Dad talk
10:30 Mom and Dad go to bed
Schedules, by their very nature, have to change constantly to fit the needs of a growing, changing family. Be flexible, but make it work for your gang. Everyone will be happier!
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