Schedules and Kids

I think schedules or at least routine is incredibly important in a child’s life. Over the years I have discovered that my children behave significantly better if they know what is expected of them on a daily basis. I use Manager’s of Their Homes as a framework for creating our schedule. I think this is a great resource, but for those who are completely unscheduled this book can be overwhelming.

Each August I create a master schedule for our family. It usually lasts about a month, and then I start to see areas that need to be modified. This is because my children change and grow each day and the things they need from me change as well.

Now that we have been schooling for eight months our schedule looks more like this.

  • 7-7:30 Kids wake up
  • 7:30-9:00 Showers, breakfast, clean-up
  • 9-10 Little girls play on rug or color at table, mom and 7 yo work on school, 8, 12, 14 yo work on independent work
  • 10-11 Three youngest play, 8 yo school with mom, 12, 14 yo independent work
  • 11-12 Three youngest play, 8 yo finishes school, 12 yo goes over work with mom, 14 yo independent work
  • 12-1 Lunch/ Clean-up
  • 1-1:30 Everyone is getting back into their routine, older kids are usually working on school
  • 1:30-2:15 Science or Social Studies with 8 and 12 yo
  • 2:15-3:00 Meet with 14 yo to go over work, check answers, discuss school
  • 3-3:30 Chores, projects w/ mom
  • 3:30-4:30 Free time

During my school time with my 7 yo, my younger two girls usually sit at the table and work on puzzles, crafts, or other preschool type toys.

My kids have been known to get up really early and work on their school work before everyone else is awake.

On Sunday nights I print out a schedule for each school aged child. The schedule details all the assignments they are to complete for the week. This allows them to work ahead if they want to.

Currently we have our family bible time in the evenings. For a few years we had one in the mornings as well as the evenings, but this year it wasn’t working. Each child has bible time in their curriculum, and we work on it individually rather than as a group.

When the weather is nice sometimes I will work with a child on the front porch so the other children can play outside. When we had a fenced back yard I would let the little children play outside in the back while I watched them through the glass doors.

I will let my 5 and 7 yo play educational computer games for a limited time during the day. I usually don’t like for them to spend more than 1/2 on the computer per day. Joy has a compiled a list of great educational sites for kids on her blog.

During the week we do not allow the children to play on the computer or watch movies. There are exceptions is someone is sick, or I am sick, but we try to limit computer/movie/ Wii time to the weekend, and even then it is limited.

My homeschool curriculum is listed on a separate page on my site.

Currently my two preschoolers are girls, when my preschoolers were boys things were much different. My girls are happy to sit, color and play at the table for long periods of time, while my boys would have considered that torture. Last year I wrote a series of posts on preschoolers, I listed them below.

What to Expect from your Preschooler

Energetic Activities

Great Preschool Books and Toys

Messy Fun

Make it Yourself Preschool Activities

Printables for Preschoolers

Many times my dining room table looks like this.

While I sit at the other end and work with another child on school.

I am a neat, organized person by nature and I start to get headaches, nausea, and the shakes when my house looks like this on a regular basis.

But, I have realized over the years that I don’t want my kids to look back and remember me like this…

While it is important to teach children responsibility and how to pick up after themselves, it is okay to let them create, make messes, and have fun, as long as they clean up when they are finished.


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  1. How did you sneak a picture of my dining room table and what it looks like every day. Seriously! I have got to get the school room under control. Printing out our schedules on Sun night is a great idea….one I’ve been advocating….for years. Now doing it? UGH! Thanks for encouragement. I want to finish strong this year. I always start to fizzle right now. We have someone coming over to drop something off and my organized daughter just said, “we’ll just close the school room door, mom, so she doesn’t see it.” 🙂

  2. I always like to see how other people schedule their time. I am awful at having schedules, I usually just do things as they come up, but I know I’m much more relaxed if I know what’s happening when.

  3. Loved how you did this! So cute! I am off to read your other posts!!!

    Thanks again!

  4. Thanks so much for this post – I am a semi-organized, routine person, but being at the start of the homeschooling journey is a little overwhelming to me when I start thinking about the day-to-day tasks.

    I’m excited to browse through your preschool stuff!

  5. Southern Gal says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    I was thinking on this last night as I contemplated the coming week. My youngest is in first grade while his older siblings are 20 and 17 years old. We had more of a routine when they were younger. I don’t know if it’s just having one to school or what, but my scheduling has been so slack. It doesn’t bring out the best in me or my son.

    I will enjoy gleaning wisdom from this post in my plans for a more structured daily routine.

  6. Okay, I have a question. You might not have this problem but I am hoping you would at least have some advice.
    What do you do when you have a child (or children) who don’t do their chores? My children are suppose to get up in the morning and get a few chores done each. I have one specific child that atleast 3 to 4 days a week doesn’t do them or I have to chase her to get them done. Now, one of her younger brothers is following suit after her. I am totally fustrated!!!
    This can set that tone for the whole day. It puts me in bad mood. Especially since the days hubby is home this doesn’t happen.

  7. Great Post! Thank you!! What are your little girls wearing at the table to do their crafts? They look like bigger versions of pocket bibs. They look like they really work in keeping messes off kids clothes. If you don’t mind would you please share what they are?


  8. I struggle with routine, I am just not a planner. What would you recommend to keep a 19 month old busy while I am helping his brother with homeschool? I have tried a lot and nothing seems to keep him busy and away from his brother.

  9. I REALLY enjoyed this post, especially because our children are around the same age! I like seeing what others are doing in their days. I can totally relate to how you feel when things are disorganized and messy and have really had to work on that over the years!

    Thank you so much for sharing a peek into your life!

  10. I wish that I could figure out how to get my 12 y/o to work independently. He needs constant redirections and prompts to do his work. And there is still much that he can’t do on his own. He’s going to have an interesting adjustment next school year when he starts taking classes at our Coop and is not depending upon me so much.

  11. Your schedule reminds me a lot of how things were for me as a little girl. I come from a family of six kids and we were all homeschooled until 8th grade. I would often wake up in the wee hours of the morning to start my daily assignments so that I would be done with my schoolwork before noon. Then, I’d head outdoors and ride my bike or play with the neighbors until dusk… 🙂

  12. I am a MOTHer too! And, you’re right… every four months or so, the master schedule needs some tweaking! Kids keep changing… and so does a mother… we are in a place where I need to do some brainstorming and rearranging. Good thing we have family spring break/low-tech week starting Friday. I can work on the schedule and jump back into our routine refreshed!

  13. I love this new theme of blogs. It’s giving me ideas and helping me think through my own homeschooling efforts. ^_^ Thank you.

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