Creating a Schedule Your Family Can Thrive On!

"Write your schedule in pencil, and give God the eraser." Have you ever heard this expression? I believe this so much! Although we do not have ultimate control, we do still need to pencil those schedules in, don't we ladies? As I mentioned last week, we're having a scheduling linky up TODAY!!! The linky is hosted here and also at several other fabulous blogs!

After choosing to homeschool this year, I knew my schedule was in major need of fine tuning, so I got to work. I wanted to make a schedule that my whole family could thrive on together- not just one or some of us, and not necessarily the best schedule for my "house" to thrive on...but my entire family. Here are the different stages I went through to make my schedule this year:

 Setting Priorities

Last week I wrote about setting my priorities straight. Obviously we're all seeking God's will for our family. It's important to know your priorities before making a schedule.

 Family Dreams

I've been spending hours on the phone with my friend, Theresa, and we've been discussing our goals and dreams as mothers. We've been taking a step back, and asking...what is it that we really want for our families? What do we want our lives to look like? Time is so precious- how do we want to spend the time we have? What memories do we want our children to have from their childhood? How do I want my children to remember me?

Here were some of my thoughts:
  • I want to limit technology in our household.
  • I want to monitor the technology that we are using in our household (meaning if the kids are watching movies, I want them to be good movies, and if I am on the computer, I want it to be productive time on the computer.)
  • I want our family doing wholesome things together in the evenings such as playing boardgames, singing and playing the guitar, or baking. (Yes, I want to raise my children in Mayberry.) Not really. We can also have "Family Movie Night." ;-)
  • I want to pray as a family.
  • I want our family eating all 3 meals at the table together, and to make sure we're eating nutritious meals and snacks. (But this can't be overly complicated because I hate to cook and clean- lol!)
  • I want our lives to be organized enough to keep things simple, which in my case means we need to own fewer things to maintain. 
  • I want to provide my children with educational things to do when they are bored rather than turning on the tv. 
  • I don't want to waist time. 
  • I want our family to be flexible.
While thinking about how I want my kids to remember me, it occurred to me that I don't want to be "that mom" who was always on the computer, even if I am being productive. So I decided to do my blogging in the evenings when they're not watching me do it.

This led me to a whole new line of thinking: I don't need to only readjust what I do, but when I do it. I'm always thinking I need to make more alone time for prayer- and I do! But I really want my kids to see me praying too! I also want them to see me reading, baking, and playing the guitar. So I tried to pay attention to those things while setting my schedule.

Making Lists

When I was finished pondering these things, I made lists to help myself. Lists of easy and nutritious snacks I could feed my children. Lists of activities I want to do with my kids. Lists of easy-to-make-last-minute dinner ideas. Lists of housework that needed to be done each day or week. Lists of chores I want the children to do. Lists of books I want to read. Lists of books I want to read to my children. Lists of goals for my family. Lists of fun projects I want to do. Also, I made a list of other lists I needed to make. ;-)

Basically, this really helped me determine how I wanted to be spending my time. Some of these are things we're going to start doing right away, and others may be implemented later, but the lists will help me remember what my end dreams are. Next, I needed to consider how I could practically implement these things.

Being Practical

My friend Theresa and I are both young, our oldest children are 5, and we're both taking on "official" homeschooling for the first time this year. I have 3 kids ages 5 and under, and so does she (plus, she's pregnant and due in October.) We all have obsticles in life, and our schedules need to be practical. If we try to bite off too much at once, we'll fail. If we fail we'll feel like...well...failures. (Go figure) I think it's all about baby steps. Here were some of my thoughts:
  • As a mother of small children (who's schedule is unpredictable), I need to schedule around windows of opportunity rather than particular time slots. For example, set a task to happen "during naptime" rather than "at 11:00am"
  • I need to implement my family goals at a steady pace. This is not a sprint.
  • Sorting the movies. At this point in my life, it's not realistic for me to say that my kids can't ever watch movies. I'm not sure how else I would ever put dinner on the table. But, Theresa came up with this idea to sort the movies into 2 different places. One set of movies are for school days, and are either educational or religious in nature. The other set of movies are clean, yet clearly for entertainment purposes only. Those movies will be reserved for family movie night or weekends. 
  • Eating has to be kept to meal or snack time, and can happen only at the table. There's just no other way for me to control it with so many little kids in the house.
After considering these things, I finally moved onto actually making my schedule.

Making the Schedule
Ok, now that you've heard my thoughts about scheduling, I'm going to share my (tentative) schedule for this school year. I'm trying to be careful not to "over list" things because I think that complicates things. For instance, I don't need "go to the bathroom" to be on my morning checklist, because I'm not going to forget to go and ultimately, checking that box is actually just one more thing to do.

My Daily Schedule:
  • Get up, personal prayer, get dressed, have kids get dressed.
  • Make breakfast, pray and eat at table with kids. Have kids clear and wipe table.
  • Teach kindergarten reading and math lesson.
  • Put the baby down for a nap. Have children do morning chores, and do my own morning chores.
  • Have the kids play outside, weather permitting.
  • Make lunch, pray and eat at the table with kids. Have kids clear and wipe table.
  • ------Technology Line------- (What I mean by this is that until this point in our day, the tv and the computer are going to stay off. That is, if I can remember how to turn them off.)
  • Window of opportunity between naps to run errands. 
  • Free time. (Movies, activities from our project drawers, crafting time, check email, make phone calls, whatever.)
  • Afternoon snack.
  • Put 2 little kids down for nap. Do rotating lesson with Lydia.
  • Read aloud from chapter book for kids.
  • Afternoon chores.
  • Begin dinner.
  • Pray and eat dinner together as a family at the table. Clear the table asap and do the dishes.
  • Family time after dinner.
  • Family prayers before bed.
  • Spend time with my husband, read, blog, exercise, etc.

That's how I'd like a typical day to go around here. In my post about priorities, I mentioned not over-committing. I'm really hoping I haven't done so for the Fall! Here's what a week at a glance looks like for us:

Sunday: Mass and CCD. (Lydia is going to kindergarten CCD and I'm teaching 2nd grade.)
Monday: Weekly library trip. This is something that can fall through the cracks if it needs to, but I'd like to make it happen.
Tuesday: Farm CSA pick-up. (We joined a CSA, so I still have a box of produce to pick up every week from now through November.)
Wednesday: Homeschooling Co-op. (This will take up our whole morning, but I'm not a main teacher, and we won't be doing any other school on these days.) When we get home at lunch time, this day becomes laundry day. Wash, fold, put away, done. This is the hope. My husband says he'll help me fold in the evening. Also, we've decided as a family that the computer and tv never turn on all day Wednesday. I'm very excited about this!
Thursday: Chorus class for Lydia in the afternoon. (It was being offered for free to homeschoolers and I couldn't resist. :-)
Friday: Playgroup or Co-op extra curricular activities. These are things offered by 2 of my Catholic mothers groups I'm in. I'm thinking about not doing either of these things, although these don't require a commitment so we can come or go as we please to fit our schedule.
Saturday: Family time.
Once a week in the evenings: (these days move around) Blog and schedule posts for the week. Have a baking night.

Obviously I put a lot of time and thought into coming up with our schedule, so I'm hoping it works out. I've been implementing the new things into our schedule for the last couple of months, so I'm hoping things are going smoothly when we officially start school next week!

A big thank you to all the other hostesses for today's link-up! Be sure and check out their scheduling posts, too!

Now it's your turn! Share your schedule by adding your link below, and visit the other links left by others! I can't wait to see what you've all come up with! (I also wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow is our First Friday link up right here at Catholic Icing! So bring your cute Catholic posts!)

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS. Photobucket


  1. Quality posts is the secret to be a focus for the users to pay a visit the web page, that's what this web page is providing.
    Also visit my homepage selling life insurance

  2. I every time spent my half an hour to read this website's posts everyday along with a cup of coffee.
    Here is my web page ... clothing stores online

  3. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it
    is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I
    could I want to suggest you some interesting
    things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.

    I want to read more things about it!
    Also visit my web-site -

  4. Please let me know if you're looking for a writer for your weblog. You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd
    absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link
    back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested.

    Look at my homepage: seo india
    my web page :: internet marketing hong kong

  5. Awesome blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I'm hoping to start my own blog soon but I'm a little lost on everything.
    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many options out there that I'm totally confused .. Any ideas? Cheers!

    Here is my blog; internet shopping

  6. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one today.

    Feel free to visit my blog ...

  7. Hi there, this weekend is fastidious for me, for the
    reason that this point in time i am reading this impressive
    educational post here at my house.

    my web page; oldlavender.skybookmarks.Com

  8. Hi there, I discovered your blog via Google whilst searching for a similar subject, your site got here up, it seems to be good.
    I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, simply changed into aware of your blog through Google, and located that it is truly informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I will be grateful if you happen to proceed this in future. Lots of other people will probably be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

    Here is my blog ...


Thanks for your comments! They're the icing on my cake ;-)