Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Guest Post: Routines and Schedules for a Family

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Guest post  from Tauna:
Our family has been going through a time of re-thinking, prioritizing, and simplifying. We are now a family of 6 with one on the way.

One day, as I was relating to my husband some struggles I have been going through with the kids and some "big feelings" I was having, he gently suggested we take a good look at our family needs, desires, and resources and start scaling things back.
I thought I'd share with you what we've come up with so far. It's still in the works, as we're "working it," but it's a great place for us to start.

Remember, every family is different, so their schedules and routines will be different! Don't give up when it doesn't gel the first time, either. This has taken us several iterations and it will likely change again when the baby comes in November!

We post our schedules on a cabinet in the kitchen - they're hard to miss!

Daily Routine

The times are very flexible and we're in process of trying and tweaking this schedule - it's more important that I get most of these things done in this general order. But it helps to have this in front of me so if I find myself way off at any point, I can jump right back in and skip what isn't critical.

6:00 Mom's work out and shower
6:30 Mom's Bible and prayer time
7:00 Mom's planning and coffee-guzzling time


7:30 Breakfast and devotion
8:00 Kid's quiet time (Bible time then outside or read books)
8:30 Morning chores
9:00 Free play (a.k.a "whatever")
10:00 Snack and school time
11:30 Special activity / Story time / Free Play
12:00 Lunch and devotion
12:30 Naps/Quiet Time
3:30 Snack
3:45 Reading/Other lessons
4:00 Free play

5:30 Story time / bath time
6:30 Dinner and family devotions
7:30 Kids in bed (youngest in bed earlier)

A Note About School Time: Technically, "school" happens all day. But in the weeks where there's nicer weather and the kids can play outside, we may spend an hour or so of "school time". We like it that way.

Weekly Family Routine

We've also found it helpful to have a weekly routine for our family that's separate from the daily (instead of all in one spreadsheet). Not sure why, but we have an easier time actually reading and following our routines this way.

•    Monday - Date Night
•    Tuesday - Early Night
•    Wednesday - BSF, Mom's Cooking Day
•    Thursday - Playdate/Co-op, Mom's Night/Budgeting
•    Friday - Guest Night
•    Saturday - Early Night
•    Sunday - Lord's Day, Church, Special Family Worship

Date Night: Pretty much written in stone. My husband is off Sunday and Monday. Thus the Monday date night.

Early Nights: My husband and I spend intentional time together. We read a book together, listen to a podcast, play a game, etc.

BSF: Bible Study Fellowship. This is a great time for me to do some intense Bible study during the week. The kids learn about Jesus during that time too.

Mom's Cooking Day: Still working on this, but the intent is to have a couple of hours each week to do make-head meals, freezing, canning, etc.

Playdate/Co-op: Right now we're in a preschool co-op that meets Thursday afternoons.

Mom's Night/Budgeting: I use this time for planning, going out with a friend, or for things like a local quilting class. My husband uses it for his own planning and budgeting tasks.

Guest Night: We try to have people over for dinner once a week, although we're taking a break right now with a busy Fall ahead of us. However, we see it as a very important time of fellowship and ministry. We invite friends, neighbors, people from church we want to get to know, my husband's co-workers, etc.

Special Family Worship: We just started doing this. Weekly family devotions are usually brief prayer and reading from a devotion book with the kids. On Sunday we're going to try to have an extended time where we get a special treat (cookies), pray, read from a devotion, sing some songs, and so on.


Get started on your own schedule!
•    Read the Scheduling Success series on Our Out of Sync Life. It's one of the best step-by-step guides to making a workable routine and schedule I've seen.

•    Read the free Maximize Your Mornings ebook from Inspired to Action. I used it to help me plan my morning time. It is very motivating and encouraging!

•    Include margins of rest: There must be rest for your family. Make sure there are "white spaces" in your day, or you'll burn out and any schedule will go right out the window.

•    Stick to your priorities: If it doesn't align well with your priorities or takes away too much from something more important, it doesn't get on your schedule. Period.
You can do it!

Why are schedules important in your family?

Tauna loves her family and loves God. She has been married for 7 years and has 3 young children with another on the way. She writes at ProverbialHomemaker.com, so named because, as she says, "me becoming a wife, mom, and homemaker proves that anything is possible with God."

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