family schedule

I know lots of you out there are cringing right now at the very thought of creating a schedule for your family. But my family seriously cannot function efficiently without one. I struggled for years with trying to find the time to get everything done in a day that I needed to. I found myself barking at my kids often because they wanted to do something that involved me, but I was up to my elbows in laundry and dishes. It was hard for me to find joy in pulling out the microscope or the craft supplies that require my supervision when I was distracted by the oodles of chores and other responsibilities that seemed to be calling from every corner of my 1200 square foot house. This summer I feel like I have digressed big time. Our previous schedule has pretty much gone out the window. As a result, there has been way too much TV watching, way too much snacking all day long, and way too much barking (by mom) because she is stressed out and disorganized. So today, I present the revamped, new and improved Burden Family Schedule. I hope this will help you figure out how to create a family schedule that will work for you!

Burden Family Schedule

This comes straight from the book Managers of Their Homes by The Maxwell Family. I cannot stress enough how valuable I find this book. I have gone back to it again and again for new ideas and inspiration on how to run and organized home. I still have a LONG way to go, but compared to a year ago, we are making progress.

The book guides you step by step through how to create a schedule that is completely personalized for your family. Every family has different needs and priorities, so by starting from scratch and working around all the things that are important in your situation, you end up with a schedule that works FOR you not against you. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to follow someone else’s routine only to find out that it didn’t work for us. Then I’d be left feeling like a big fat failure who couldn’t get her act together. Guys, this book is so NOT that.

So how do you get started?

Grab a pencil and a piece of paper. First you need to list out all the things that are important for YOU to complete in your day. This should include getting ready in the morning, chores, devotions (if you’re into that sort of thing), meal prep, errands, play time with the kids, etc. List even the things that you’d like to do that you don’t have time for now…like reading for fun…or taking a nap…or working on a craft or hobby. Trust me. You’ll have time if you do this!

Next, do the same thing for each of your children. Be sure to include chores, meals, sports, or anything else that is specific to your children.

Once you have your lists completed, go through and determine how much time each item should take. I start with meals and naps since they are pretty consistent. I also know how much time (in a perfect world) I’d like to spend doing school-related things with my children. So I made my schedule with that goal in mind.  Once you’ve got an idea of timing, it’s a matter of putting this all together in the form of a huge puzzle. The book Managers of Their Homes comes with a really handy planning sheet that allows you to write all of the activities our on little squares of paper so you can move them around until you figure out how to make your family’s puzzle fit. This tool alone was worth the cost of the book for me. It was immensely helpful in getting our initial schedule mapped out. Now I don’t need to do that step every time I need to change it. The basic plan is in place so it’s just a matter of tweaking the stuff that doesn’t work. Getting the puzzle to fit takes a little time in the beginning, but the positive results that stem from this tool are immeasurable.

When we are following our schedule, I don’t have to bark at my children because I have time for laundry set in the schedule. They don’t beg and whine for snacks all day because they know when snack time happens. We read more books because it is in the schedule…and the bloody TV is not blaring all day because we have designated TV times. The chaos level in the home is taken down by at least 50%, and we are all happier because we know what to expect.

Do we follow this perfectly every single day? No way. Sometimes it’s just a good day to blow off everything and take a picnic to the park. But for those days when we ARE at home, having a plan makes all the difference.

How about you? Does your family follow a schedule? How did you come up with it and how is it working for you? If you don’t currently follow a schedule and if you are feeling a tad overwhelmed with life (really who isn’t???) then give this a try. It’s SO worth the time it takes! If you want to use mine as a template to get you started, head over HERE…you can edit to your heart’s content.

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