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Are your kids driving you crazy? How about putting them on a daily family schedule?

Let me tell you, it was the best thing I ever did. It stopped all the whining, quarrels, and idle time with nothing to do. I also noticed my kids slept much better at night because they were busy all day.

In this post, you will see how a flexible daily family schedule will help both you and your kids have more time to do the things you love.

I will teach you how to create a daily family schedule packed with fun, spiritual growth, creativity, and learning. You will also understand why you should do it and get a few tips to help work out the kinks. First, what is a family schedule?

RELATED: Parental Anxiety: 7 Breakthrough Tips To Calm Yourself Down

What Is a Daily Family Schedule? Why Use One?

A daily family schedule or family routine is a way to organize your family so everyone can accomplish goals, have fun, and create family bonds simultaneously. It’s for parents who are tired of the bickering, too much screen time, and grazing all day in the kitchen.

Here are four reasons why you need to consider creating a family schedule:

  • A daily family schedule is flexible

The biggest reason to do a daily family schedule is that it is flexible; the time blocks allow you to adjust to your family’s needs.

After you settle into a routine, you will see how nice it is to have your day planned out and organized using time blocks that can be moved around at a moment’s notice.

  • A daily family schedule allows more time to accomplish goals

Having a schedule allows more time in your day to accomplish goals. You can schedule work hours during room or screen time while at home.

Even if you don’t have a paid job, you still work at home. You need time to accomplish things like laundry, dinner, or paying bills. Whatever the task, you have time built in every day to do it.

  • A daily family schedule brings peace

Once I established a daily family schedule, it cut down on arguing, fighting, chaos, and mischief. You will no longer be irritated and angry all day. You will enjoy the time you spend together with your kids and keep your sanity.

RELATED: 9 Sneaky Ways Your Pre-Schooler is in Charge and How to Fix It

  • A daily family schedule allows for family time

Having kids home during the day can be a great thing. It is an opportunity to create family memories and an excellent time to work on character issues.

When you are with your kids all day, you will notice some things you can work on, such as whining, lying, self-control, obedience, attitude, etc.

Tailor your devotionals to hit relevant issues and use the discussion time to talk about positive ways to do things.

RELEVANT: 9 Great Ways to Strengthen Family Bonds with Kids (and Teens)

How Do I Make a Daily Family Schedule?

You may be wondering what a good daily family schedule is. Check out this sample routine I used with my kids growing up. It worked pretty well on the days they were home all day.

You can adjust the times to your kid’s age, sleep habits, and time of the year. The activities are in time blocks. Move around the blocks to the time that fits your family. Here’s a family schedule example:

8:30 am-9 am Breakfast

While eating breakfast, read a short devotional relevant to your kid’s age. Find stories that focus on character traits. I highly recommend Adventures in Odessey if you want something to listen to instead of reading. (I am not an affiliate.)

After the devotion, ask a few discussion questions. You can make them up. I tried to make the questions fun and relevant. You don’t have to be a teacher to do this. Any questions related to the story will get a conversation going.

The main purpose of family devotionals is to raise questions about character traits, the pros and cons of each person in the story, and their motives for behaving a certain way.

See also  How to Discipline Kids: 29 Easy Ways to Get Obedience

* I did my best not to let them watch TV during meals. It is a bad habit to get into. Families lose so much time connecting with each other when they sit and eat in front of the TV every meal.

RELATED: Teacher Secrets to Help Get to Your Child’s Heart

9am-9:30am Chores

Get dressed, help with dishes or laundry, clean up their room, empty trash, etc.

9:30am -11:30am Play outside/pool/field trip

This is the fun part of a family schedule! Playtime.

Swim in the summer, go to the park, or take a walk around the block. If you don’t have access to a pool or a park, go on a field trip. Look for kid-friendly places to hang out such as McDonald’s, petting zoo/farm, play gym, airplane museum, zoo, train museum, or whatever local attractions are in your area. Get online and do a little research.

Go to the library once a week to get books. If they have storytime, attend it. This is a great indoor activity when it is hot or cold outside.

If you can’t leave home, send your kids outside to play. It’s essential to let them create games and have time to imagine. If they come back bored, give them chores. They’ll go back outside real quick.

Provide a fort, swing set, sandbox, playhouse, etc., so they have something to start their play with. They can take it from there. If you don’t have money, garage sale, use the FB marketplace, Craigslist, the Next Door app, etc., and Look for freebies.

Don’t forget the big cardboard boxes. They are so much fun!

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11:30am-12:30pm Hobbies/Teach a skill/Lessons

Crafts-daughter

My daughter liked doing crafts during her family schedule, so I had a bunch of paints, colors, pencils, Play-Doh, etc. There was no Pinterest back then. She just created things. I tried to keep the mess to a minimum.

You can set out a towel or shower curtain liner to keep the paint from getting everywhere. This can be done inside or outside. I preferred outside! Other ideas include teaching needlework, cooking, and piano. (Pick something your child is interested in.)

Outdoor play/sports

My son loved being outside as part of his family schedule. His hobby was sports. We signed him up for the swim team one season and tennis the following season. Eventually, my daughter did the same thing when she was older. Later, she did dance.

12:30pm-1pm Lunch/Picnic Outside

Eat lunch at the park or the pool, or have a picnic outside in the backyard when the weather is warm. This will make lunch more fun when doing your daily family schedule. If you are swimming, it will extend the time outside.

*If a devotional is not good at breakfast, do it at lunchtime (if you are home).

1 pm-2 pm Free Time

Let the kids watch TV, use the computer, iPad, etc. This gives everyone a little time to wind down after the morning activities and prepare for room time.

2pm-3pm Room time/Reading/Rest

Whatever age and reading level, your kids need to read books daily. If they are young, you can read to them. They can work on their school reading list or have free reading time if they are older.

I let my son read comics for free. Reading is an important part of your family schedule, and the older your children are, the more time they need.

RELATED: 25 Ways to Make Reading Fun for Your Child

After they are done, they can stay in their room, play with their toys, rest, etc. During this time, I started teaching my kids about personal quiet times.

They read the Bible or a Bible story for the same amount of time as their age. For example, ten years old equals 10 minutes of Bible reading.

If they keep trying to leave their room, send them back. You can train them to do this with a few consequences and rewards.  Example: Make their room time tied to the screen time. Every minute you stay in your room playing or reading, you earn screen time in the next hour.

See also  Parenting Preschoolers: 10 Tips to Be An Awesome Mom

3 pm-4 pm Educational Screen Time

If you have older kids, find math, reading, science, and history games for them to play on the computer or iPad. I tried to capitalize on the areas they struggled with the most.

Be careful because computers and iPads are addictive. Too much screen time can also cause sleep issues. If they are on at night, the blue light will keep them up.

There are apps, programs, and so many different things to download. Ensure they think it is a fun game, so it is not a huge power struggle.

*One summer, my son and a friend designed a theme park with different rides and games. It took them most of the summer to finish, but it kept them busy for hours.

RELATED: 37 Easy School Readiness Skills You Can Teach Your Child Now

4 pm-5 pm Play Time/Help Mom

This is a perfect time to let your kids go back outside or play in the house if it is too hot or cold. Older ones can help in the kitchen with dishes or set the table.

This allows you time to work on dinner if you have not started. They can also help you with anything around the house, like laundry. Chores are an essential part of your weekly family schedule.

5pm-5:30pm Clean-Up Time

Everyone helps pick up toys and clean up before dinner.

5:30pm-6:15pm Dinner

Eat as a family without the TV. Talk about the day, what they learned in their reading, devotions, etc. Include Dad in the day’s events so he can participate in the discussion.

6:30 pm-7: 30pm Family time/ younger kids get ready for bed

If possible, have some whole family interaction in the evenings. Try a board game or game outside. Notice the emphasis on the outdoors over screen time.

If you are married, sit with your spouse for fifteen to thirty minutes of “couch time.” You will have to train your kids not to interrupt you.

7:30 pm-8 pm Bathtime for older kids/bedtime for younger kids

My kids loved bathtub paints. There are plenty of bathtime activities on Pinterest to keep your kids engaged in some fun. Play is an integral part of your daily family schedule, whether alone with others.

8:00pm-8:45pm Storytime/School Reading

If not done during the day, it’s a great time to read storybooks together or catch up on school reading.

8:45pm-9pm Prayers/Bedtime for older kids

Pray together before bedtime. You can pray for other people you know. Or you can pick someone you don’t know like a missionary or someone you have heard of that needs prayer. This gives your kids the opportunity to care about those outside of themselves.

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Get your FREE FAMILY SCHEDULE PRINTABLE right here and make more time for those you love!

How Do I Plan My Daily Schedule?

It is not hard to keep your family organized if you write everything down and communicate with each other regularly. Most importantly, you and your spouse need to set boundaries.

It is easy to say “yes” to too many activities. Before you know it, you are gone all the time. Here are some tips to help you:

1. Write out the daily family schedule with your kids

Ask your kids to help you build a family schedule. Make it a family affair. They probably will balk at first, so don’t be surprised. Keep moving forward and stay positive. Remember that they would rather watch TV and eat junk food day instead of following a family schedule. So would I.

2. Post the daily family schedule so that everyone can see it

It is much easier to follow a family schedule when it is out for everyone to look at it. There are no surprises or confusion about what is expected. I put ours on the refrigerator.

3. Adjust the daily family schedule if needed

You may find your kids do better playing in the afternoon and sleeping until 11 am. You do what is best for the lifestyle of your family. The time blocks are easy to move around.

4. Choose what is important

We read and did devotions every day. It was the one thing we didn’t adjust. I suggest you do the same thing. Some things are worth keeping no matter what your day looks like.

See also  The Ultimate Guide to Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

5.  Enforce the daily family schedule

A few times, one or both of my kids didn’t read when they were supposed to. They had to read during their free time. This is not the fun part of the family schedule, but it works because you have free time. So do it!

If they left their room during room time, I added more time. There will be times of conflict, but overall, your kids should buy into a daily family schedule if most of the day is fun.

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How Do You Manage a Daily Family Schedule?

Here are some tips to help you manage your daily family schedule and make it successful. Your attitude toward a schedule must be positive if you want your kids to buy into it.

  • Encourage obedience: You are in charge, not your kids! Be firm but loving about the activities you have chosen for the day.

RELATED: 9 Sneaky Ways Your Pre-Schooler is in Charge and How to Fix It

  • Selling it: If you don’t think it is fun, you won’t sell it to your kids as fun. Fine-tune your schedule to their talents and needs. Allow your kids to help choose some of the activities so they have ownership in their day. Be excited!
  • Stay flexible-don’t be rigid with the schedule. It is a guide to help you with your day. If your kids are having fun, don’t go inside or put away the paints, etc. Let them have 30 more minutes to play and create. (One exception is nap time. I suggest you keep it at the same time every day.)
  • Screen time: I tried to limit screen time to about 2 hours a day at most. If your kids have sleep issues or nightmares, limit screen time to 1 hour daily. Make sure you keep an eye on what they are watching.

No matter what, keep an eye on how much time they watch TV, etc. You must also see what your kids watch, whether on TV, video games, iPad, phone, or the computer. Screens are not a good form of education or entertainment all day long. It should be used sparingly.

We never allowed a TV or computer in the bedrooms at night. Setting blocks on the phone is essential when your kids get a smartphone. Pornography is too easy to access.

I hope you have fun with your daily family schedule and find ways to be intentional with your kids.

What activities do you put into your daily family schedule? Comment below. 

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Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!

Are you experiencing family problems or an estrangement? Do you feel shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement (and reconciliation) from my Christian family but also gives solid tips to help you with your family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.

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Creating Family Memories Book

Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids.  It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.

Join the group Christian Family Living on Facebook

Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the Christian Family Living group. This is a place for Christian women to freely talk about parenting, marriage, faith, family, and culture. Being a Christian is hard! Let’s do it together. Most of all, a sense of humor is required. Got memes? Bring it on!

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There are tips on building a Christian home, parenting, marriage, family issues, and faith. Learn how to get back to the things that matter most in your life and your family’s life.

Author

Julie is a wife, mom, teacher, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, parenting with a touch of humor.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the article. This is one more which I found today. It shows few different ways how to block porn sites.

  2. I think having a schedule for when the kids are off makes such a difference for them but mostly for your own mental health too so you can feel that you are in control of the days!

  3. Really useful tips! As long as you can stick to the routine you set hah! that’s what I’ve always struggled with! Self-discipline is very important

    • I know it can be hard at times. It is important to put things in the schedule that you actually want to do. That will make it easier to do.

  4. Your kids aren’t the only ones who need a schedule! I’m a teacher in my last week, and I will be making a schedule for myself so that I’m productive and don’t just lay around all day. I don’t have kids, so I’ll be getting a break for a few months. Hope you and your kids have a wonderful summer!

    • Tawnya, I think this is great. It is good for us to know what we are doing or the days just melt into months with no productivity.

  5. This is a very tight schedule to keep, but it would keep the kids busy for the entire day. How do they handle the structure?

    • Katie, have them help you design it so they have some ownership. You can be flexible. There will be some conflict over reading and naps, but everything else is pretty good.

  6. These I would say a perfect summer schedule for the parents, it is really a productive summer for both kids and parents. Busy but full of activities 🙂

    • Laurence, I think it is a good way for kids to not lose everything from the school year. It definitely helps them keep up with their reading skills.

  7. I do not have kids 🙂 this is so handy, having a routine is significant. thank you for sharing these tips 🙂

  8. I don’t have any kids, but I love how organised this all sounds! Especially all the activities. I loved those as a kid!

  9. Kids can really drive you nuts if you let them, but because you’re an adult, you have to check up on this. I agree that preparing a schedule with their input at hand can be so awesome and definitely works out. I always tend to ensure my young brothers help in some easy chores to get them busy….or else… it’s gonna go crazy!

    • Ha Ha! So true. Kids can drive you nuts really fast. Glad you have gotten help to keep busy. Thanks for your comment, Dalene.

  10. I don’t have kids yet so I never went through keeping the kids on check. I remember my brothers and I to be quite behaved on holiday to be honest! Maybe it is because we did not have electronic devices and we were by the pool all day in the garden!

    • Viva, you will be so glad you did. It’s painful at first, but soon everyone slips into it. Don’t let them talk you out of it. They are going to try! Have a great summer!

  11. Oh my goodness, this is so fate! I was literally thinking to myself yesterday, if this stay at home mommy thing is going to work I need to get into a routine. This is so perfect! I think I have free time too much and they start fighting and yelling and then I begin to yell and it has been a hard Summer already! Whew! I am so glad to have this template. Thank you so much! #Blyssyourheart

    • Oh, I am thrilled this will help you. It doesn’t take long before the yelling starts when there is idle time. Hope it works!!

  12. Routine is so ver important! I love reading this post so many children are forever claiming to be bored or over working themselves on school work and forget how to be a child. This sounds like the balance between.

  13. I love your point about consequences for things that are important. When I’m home with them I need to do more redirecting on small stuff so they can work things out between each other and save consequences for important things!

  14. I like this alot. I am thankful for the rest of summer break but I also don’t want to feel like we’ve waisted time doing nothing.

  15. Very nice plan for a relaxing and productive summer with the kids! My favorite part was always and still would be the swimming and the story time, lol! ??

  16. We always had a schedule for our son (even now that he is a teen) so he wouldn’t be playing video games all day.

    • You’re smart! They tend to gravitate to one type of screened time. My kids just wanted to sit in front of the TV all day.! Thanks for your comment,

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