How to Make a Permanently Perfect Schedule for Your Home/School!
You are sick of rescheduling your children’s day every day? I don’t blame you!
Sick of arriving late, due to lack of schedule? I don’t blame you!
Sick of never getting it all done? I don’t blame you!
Your problem may not be what you think, though.
You may need to learn how to make a good schedule that works for you!
The Three Parts of a Perfect Schedule
Make a schedule that’s easy to remember. Of course, any new habit will take a while to gel, in everyone’s memory, but there are ways! Make your schedule MEMORABLE.
- A perfect schedule has the same elements every day. I know, I know, your days vary. Of course they do! However, with a perfect schedule they will vary less, believe me, and with that schedule firmly in place, variations will become “ho-hum”. Really. Just keep reading!
- A perfect schedule is written down. How much easier to remember something with a cue card! Don’t worry; this is a ten-minute job on a computer. Or copy and print my graphic below! Trust me, that’s all there is to it.
- A perfect schedule is enforced. At first, implementing a schedule will go against everyone’s grain. After all, having lived unscheduled, or differently scheduled, can make this change seem too drudgy. However, after you’ve fought the good fight to get there, you will be so glad.Give yourself and everyone else 21 days to make/break this into your lives. That’s 21 school days, please. Announce it with apologies for never thinking of it before, set an amazingly cheery example, ask husband for reinforcement, and GO!
Make a schedule that is reasonably doable. The schedule I will discuss on this page was how WE did it. It was exceedingly doable for us. We thrived on it. I was ecstatic about it. I even . . .
Okay, here’s how:
- Your perfect schedule includes every activity your family performs. List them on paper, ask for input, and add to it if you remember more. And by “every” I mean: bedtimes, meals, church, chores, field trips, piano lessons, etc., and school work. It will help if you list it in groups such as: daily, weekly, twice weekly, monthly, etc.
- Your perfect schedule is pared down. Many mistake home schooling for hunting down someone to give lessons on every imaginable subject. If you are seldom home (as in home school) rethink a bunch of the outside activities. Or rethink being one of those who arrives on time and gets everything done?
- Your perfect schedule is amenable to gentle management. Once it’s in place, quiet reminders will be enough. Once it’s in place, your children will adopt your schedule with contentment, will self-start according to it, and may even thank you.Once it’s in place.
—Purpose-able (That’s not a word, I know, but read on!)
A schedule that works, will create beautiful things for you and your children. You sense that; probably that is why you are reading here. And you are right! There is a reason airports, hospitals, and even God do things on schedule:
It creates beautiful things for those involved.
- A schedule benefits administrators. That’s you.You’ll have a reasonable idea of where your children are, or need to be, at any time. Because you are the enforcer, you also are the one who can adapt your schedule at any time. Oh the joy of redirecting an entire day with just a few words! (as I will explain.)
- A schedule benefits students. They eventually fall into the plan and begin relaxing and working on math, because they know that they know: Park Day begins in three hours!
ALSO—and this is big—they learn how to schedule themselves. They grow up to understand the wisdom of deadlines, how to meet them, and why. This will carry over into such adult scenes as college, the workforce, milking cows, planting in spring, and many other extremely important aspects of living. They will learn that getting up and getting going, with cheer, is what it’s all about.
- A schedule benefits truth, justice, and the American way! Joking!
However, if you show up to a meeting on time and even remembered to bring the cookies as you said you would, your schedule will win friends and admirers for you!
If your school allows for field trips, lessons, and play days, AND finally is over for the year, your schedule will win your children over!
If your husband comes home to children ready to play with him or learn man chores with him, guess what! Your schedule wins again!
And just think if you actually had a chance for quiet time almost every morning…
My Perfect Schedule
While I have a tendency—as do many others—to think my way is the only highway, I realize we have friends who have other (gasp!) schedules that are perfect for them.
We know a family of which the dad was an ER physician who came home every night at 11:00 or so. He wanted to teach the upper-grade science in their school. So the older children stayed up until Dad got home for their science lessons. Therefore, school, for them, began at 10:00 every morning. Reasonable, don’t you think?
I’m sure you would be squawking if I said you had to arrange your schedule as I did! Still, I think you can learn from the old schedule we always followed, and it’s natural to be curious, so I include it here.
Feel free to read it and say, “Nope! Not going there!”
That will be good, in fact, because it will mean you are gradually forming in your own mind what your own schedule ought to be for your own family and purposes. In spite of the fact that I love my adoring fans to slavishly imitate me. Ha!
Seriously, study it, in all it’s naked glory and glean:
5:00 – Mom awake. Quiet time. Breakfast for Dad. Start Mom-chores.
6:30 – Kids awake. (alarm clocks) Dress. Quiet time. Feed pets. Feed self. Clean kitchen. All in that order.
8:00 – Opening exercise. (hymns, Bible memo)
8:30 – School work begins. Mom works with K-2 students. Older ones prepare goals and self-start.
10:00 – Break for P.E.
10:30 – School work resumes
12:00 – Lunch break. Eat. Clean kitchen. Free play.
1:00 – School work resumes.
3:00 – School over. Dawdlers begin “homework”.
5:00 – Dad comes home. Examines, praises day’s work. Still dawdling? – Lecture!
6:00 – Supper.
6:30 – Clean kitchen.
8:00 – Bedtime for littles.
9:00 – Bedtime for olders.
10:00 – Bedtime for Juniors and Seniors, if needed due to trig, calc, or research paper.
11:00 – Bedtime for Mom. Yes, I worked on six hours of sleep during the week, usually.
What About the Rest of It?!
I’m so glad you asked! That part is coming!
First I want to explain a bit.(The bit that makes it adaptable, flexible, and usable!) You see, just as English forms the past tense with “ed”, except when it uses “ought” or “ank” or “ang” or . . . , our family also used our wonderful schedule, except . . .
Except on Tuesdays, Fridays, and once a month on Thursdays.
Because on Tuesdays we had lessons with home-schooling friends (Spanish, bowling, tennis, piano, and/or art) and I took time to shop in the big city, then, and treat them to pizza out.
On Fridays, we cleaned house, which threw the schedule off usually about an hour.
Once per month we had Park Day with our support group, which included picnicking and playing wild (rollerblade basketball?) and fun things in the fresh air with homeschooling friends.
Therefore, on Tuesdays, with the MWF lessons skipped, they usually did not do Spelling, either. On Fridays, the house cleaning was their P.E., when they dusted and vacuumed their own rooms, and I fixed no supper since it was our popcorn and movie/game night. Once a month, during Park Day, they only did Math and maybe English on that Thursday, and then off we went.
For Field Trips, I gauged the day according to the schedule for the trip. Once a year the Field Trip was to the County Fair, and I closed school. When we stayed up nights for meteor showers, we slept in the next day. Mmm . . . . Many times I told them the Field Trip would be exactly like a Tuesday.
Get this: because my kids were plugged into this schedule, I could say, “Don’t forget the Field Trip today; it will be just like Tuesday, only we’ll leave a half-hour later…” and I could know they would totally know what to do about it, including wearing shoes! Ha!
Of course, when they are little, you just tell them what to do. After they learn to read is when all this locks in, as you will see, shortly.
Now that we’ve mentioned the little ones, let me confess I never stood up and lecture-taught my children. After they learned to read, we handed them their books and required them to read for understanding and follow directions. The olders were free to ask me when they had troubles, but not during the littles’ math, reading, or phonics lessons; the beginning of each school day was for getting the littles squared away and working. And I taught the littles on the couch in the cuddling mode.
Exceptions? Yes, when they worked on Mapping the World by Heart, I jumped right into it with them and we all learned this alternate method for learning. Loved it. Also, when they began typing, I started them in the summer so they could learn the way I’d learned, which included dictation.
They got their practice at taking notes from lecture in church. I required they take notes from the sermon, for which we always received a helpful outline, anyway, so that was tailor-made.
In my school, if they have a problem with their lesson, they do not interrupt someone else’s lesson, nor my lunch preparations or phone conversations. They re-read or set it aside for something easier, until a better moment to get help.
Indeed, from the time they were in 3rd grade, on, they worked independently. They self-taught. They learned to prefer that, because it was faster. And they scored their own work with the goal of learning quickly what mistake to correct. Each paper was reworked to 100%.
(Don’t worry. The score keys were in my kitchen, only red ink could be used for scoring, red ink pens were forbidden outside the kitchen, they could not keep going to score the same subject 50 times a day, and we always made spot checks for cheating, since being the parents, we knew when to suspect . . . )
The kids knew how to schedule their own work each day, even. Inside the front of each text book, I would write things like: 2 pages per day, one lesson per week, one unit per month, etc. Thus, in two weeks, they should have 14 pages, or two lessons, or half a unit done, and they knew it. And they knew I knew it. This method did take some oversight. I could not just watch soaps and eat bonbons!
But we had a schedule that we lived by for nine months of each year.
We had a schedule their dad or I could check on and see if laziness was creeping in.
We had a schedule anyone could step in and help for a day or two if we had to be gone.
We had a schedule that so freed me that after the sixth child was born, I began writing for magazines.
And the way we did it was to give our kids the following small chart for keeping track of their weekly goals. They filled in the chart. They crossed off each completed goal. They did the work. They self-taught. They finished before summer. They got summer jobs. They got high ACT scores. They got scholarships. They finished college. They got jobs.
And on and on, and I think. partly, it was because they learned the wisdom of living on schedule.
The child’s chart:
Okay. That’s all I know about schedules! If you had trouble understanding, let me know in the comments or the contact page. If you loved this, share it with those you know need it.