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Stay Organized With Family Schedules For Being At Home

A schedule adds structure to the day and helps you and your children manage school, social and family obligations. Young children develop a sense of security and master life skills and daily tasks as they follow a predictable schedule. Older children develop a sense of self when they have input in how they spend their time. Use the following tips to develop, keep and manage your family's schedule, stay organized, and better enjoy your time at home together.

A girl circling dates on a calendar hanging on the window.

Complete a Time Study

A time study gives you an accurate view of exactly how you spend your time. For one week, use a print or digital calendar to record everything you and your family members do each day. This step is solely for the purpose of collecting data, so don't worry just yet about analyzing, sorting or changing how you spend your time.

Identify Patterns

After you finish your time study, tabulate the results for each family member. Add up all the time you spend sleeping, eating, working, playing, and completing other tasks. This data shows you exactly how you each spend your time and allows you to identify helpful and unhelpful patterns. Maybe your kids spend so much time online that they don't get the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical exercise, or maybe you notice that your kids could help cook dinner if you started the meal prep earlier. These patterns can give you insight into changes that improve your family's schedule and make it better suited to your priorities.

Set Individual and Family Priorities

Ask each family member to think about what's really important to them. Maybe your kids want more free time for hobbies or you want to establish a consistent bedtime routine. There are no right or wrong answers, but it is important for each of your family members to have a voice. Your children are more likely to follow a family schedule that includes non-preferred activities like chores if they're part of the decision-making process.

Discuss and set your family goals and priorities, too. Perhaps eliminating rushed mornings, reviewing your insurance coverage annually, or learning new hobbies together is important. These priorities guide the creation of family schedules that give you time to accomplish what really matters.

Write Down the Schedules

Your family could use a pencil and paper, or a visual or digital calendar. The type of calendar depends solely on your needs and preferences. Just be sure that your family members know how to read and use the calendar you choose.

Revisit the Schedules

At least weekly, meet as a family to discuss your schedules. Use these meetings to create schedules for the next week and to build stronger connections, review priorities and promote teamwork.

Stay Flexible

Special events, medical emergencies or inclement weather are three of many factors that could affect your schedule. While you can't control these disruptions, you can plan for them. Add some degree of margin to each day and practice resilience. Your household may operate more smoothly when you stick to your schedules as often as possible, but unexpected changes need not ruin your entire day.

Your family will set unique schedules that help you stay organized, productive and calm. Use these tips to create schedules for being at home that fit your needs, priorities, goals, and preferences.

Family in the kitchen.

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