Why is keeping a schedule important?

Scheduling is important because it helps you understand what you can achieve with your time and allows you to prioritize essential tasks. Further, it allows for the unexpected, brokers what you can handle, allows you to focus on goals, provides an opportunity for downtime, and, most importantly it, helps you achieve a good work-to-life balance (Mindtools.com, n.d)

Scheduling also allows us to create benchmarks that help promote persistence and perseverance, according to Abby Miller (2019). She then expands to say it provides the following benefits:

  • Represents goals as being tangible 
  • Reduces to redressing previous work 
  • Provides a feeling of being more accomplished
  • Develops your reputation, particularly if you keep everyone in the loop 
  • More apt to deal with unexpected events
  • Minimizes distractions
  • Decreases feelings of being rushed, 
  • Help keep the big picture in mind
  • Opens the door to more opportunities
  • Prevents conflicts
  • Promotes ownership of one’s own life and goals
  • Helps us set boundaries so we don’t take on too much. 

‌Why is it important for kids? 

Not only should we have schedules as adults and educators, but children should also. According to Roman (n.d.), “schedules and routines are important for children because they need to know what’s coming next. If the schedule is consistent, children learn the pattern. Once a pattern is set, children can infer, for instance, that lunch comes after music time. … Schedules help build trust between child care providers and children.”  Further, when children do not know what to expect, anxiety can result in a negative manner.  

How To Work with your Child to Create a Schedule

To create a schedule, Keith (2020) suggests five steps:

  1. Analyze Your Day
  2. Brainstorm What You Want
  3. Write It Down 
  4. Follow the Schedule for a Week
  5. Tweak the Schedule 

Step 1 suggests you use a calendar to track where and what your child/family is doing daily. She suggests you review it to determine if there are issues and how you can structure it to “eliminate problems related to behavior, stress, fatigue, hunger, and disorganization” (Keith, 2020).  Involvement of your family members/children in this discussion is very important.

Step 2. requires you to look at what you and your family members want to get out of each day. Take a hard and honest look at what is important and talk to your kids about what is not a member and what is not.  

Step 3 directs you to write down your new schedule and place it where all family members can view it. Keith suggests using a poster board. Further, it’s a good idea to have family members co-create the schedule so it will be more likely to be followed. 

Step 4. encourages you to follow the schedule for at least a week, even if there is grumbling. Remember to encourage children to take responsibility for their responsibilities per the schedule. 

Step 5. Suggest you review the schedule to see what worked and didn’t and continue encouraging each member to follow the schedule. “In a few weeks, you’ll marvel at how this simple tool has changed your family life for the better” (Keith, 2020).

Keith concludes with a reminder that even if something happens that takes you or your family off schedule, get back on schedule as quickly as possible. 

Although Keith suggested using a posterboard to keep a family schedule, keep in mind there are many ways to keep an individual, family, or classroom schedule.  You can use digital platforms, spreadsheets, or various other methods because, let’s face it, not all families are the same. Take homeschooled families, for instance. 

What Schedule Works for a Working Parent that also Homeschools?

Christina Clemmer (2020) shares other things parents should consider to help maintain a viable schedule: 1) estimate your work hours and 2) schedule shifts with another person to help. She also suggests incorporating the following components in blocks of time. Family connection time

  • Independent learning time
  • Semi-independent learning time
  • Meal and snack time
  • Outdoor time
  • Quiet time
  • Independent playtime
  • Screen time or technology time

She suggests that the parents remember to be flexible and realistic when making plans. For example, in her article for homeschooling parents, Good Housekeeping’s Marisa LaScala (2020) provides 16 modes that help kids of different ages and capacities keep to their schedule.  

Daily Schedule Example

Here is a list of online calendars that integrate family, work, school, shopping, and even co-parenting schedules, such as Bievo, which has free and paid options. Also, check out this simple downloadable daily modifiable schedule that was created by Tia Dye, Ph. D, and exampled below.

Before 9:00 AMWake up!Make your bed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, and get dressed
9:00-10:00Outdoor TimeFamily walk or outdoor play
10:00-11:00Academic TimeNo Electronics! Reading, homework, study, puzzles, journal
11:00-12:00Creative TimeCreative play, drawing, Legos, crafts, music, cooking, baking
12:30-1:00Home ChoresClean rooms, put away toys, take out garbage, and pet care
1:00-2:30Quiet TimeReading, nap, puzzles, yoga
2:30-4:00Academic TimeElectronics are OK! Educational games, online activities, virtual museum tours
4:00-5:00Outdoor timeFamily walk or outdoor play
5:00-6:00Dinner timeFamily dinner, help with clean-up and dishes
6:00-7:00Bath timeBath or shower
7:00-8:00Reading/TV timeRelaxing before bedtime
9:00 PMBedtimePut on PJs, brush your teeth, put clothes in the laundry.

Ditye, T. (2020, August 26). Modify and Print our Daily Schedule for Kids. Mommyhood101. https://mommyhood101.com/daily-schedule-for-kids

Admittedly it does take a little work to set up a schedule for you and your children, but it is well worth the effort because, ultimately it makes us 

  • more efficient, it reduces our need to plan,
  •  creates structure in our lives that make us feel comfortable, 
  • it saves time, instills good habits, 
  • helps us to be more proficient at things we regularly do, 
  • it reduces the need for determination and willpower, 
  • reduces procrastination, builds momentum, 
  • builds self-confidence, helps us track our success,  
  • And reduces stress, and in the long run, it provides fiscal savings.  (18 Reasons Why a Daily Routine Is So Important, 2018).

So sit down with the family, grab some paper and markers and start outlining what each of your schedules usually looks like; discuss what you would like it to look like, make changes in the structure of the day to make it happen, follow your new schedule and tweak it as needed. 


18 Reasons Why a Daily Routine Is So Important. (2018). Skilledatlife.Com. http://www.skilledatlife.com/18-reasons-why-a-daily-routine-is-so-important/

Ask The Scientist. (2020, April 3). 7 Neurotransmitters Involved in the Brain-Body Connection. Ask The Scientists. https://askthescientists.com/neurotransmitters/

Clemer, C. (2020, August 25). Okay, but seriously: How do you schedule your day with kids home from school? Motherly. https://www.mother.ly/child/daily-schedule-homeschool-coronavirus/particle-1

Ditye, T. (2020, August 26). Modify and Print our Daily Schedule for Kids. Mommyhood101. https://mommyhood101.com/daily-schedule-for-kids

Keith, K. (2020, January 10). 5 Easy Steps to a Daily Family Schedule. Verywell Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/easy-steps-to-a-daily-family-schedule-620635

Kos, B. (2014, November 27). The most effective way to learn new things. AgileLeanLife. https://agileleanlife.com/the-most-effective-way-to-learn-new-things/

LaScala, M. (2020, March 16). These Easy-to-Use Visual Schedules Help Keep Your Family Organized. Good Housekeeping. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/g31669687/daily-schedule-for-kids-visual-routines/

Miller, A. (2019, December 9). 25 Benefits of Creating a Schedule for Your Tasks. Calendar. https://www.calendar.com/blog/25-benefits-of-creating-a-schedule-for-your-tasks/

MindTools.com. (n.d.). Effective Scheduling: Planning to Make the Best Use of Your Time. http://Www.Mindtools.Com. Retrieved September 7, 2020, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_07.htm#:~:text=The%20Importance%20of%20Scheduling

Roman, M. (n.d.). A Place of Our Own: The Importance of Schedules and Routines. http://Www.Aplaceofourown.Org. Retrieved September 7, 2020, from http://www.aplaceofourown.org/question_detail.php?id=47#:~:text=Schedules%20and%20routines%20are%20important

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s