My At-a-Glance Schedule

at a glance schedule

With my busy {and easily distracted} household, I don’t have time for long and involved schedules that tell me precisely what everyone is doing every moment of the day.  I need a schedule I can glance at quickly to keep me on track or get me back on track when I’ve veered off.

I’ve tried the massive schedules where everyone has a column to themselves, but with a lot of littles those types of schedules seem ill-equipped to handle the real needs of our household.

The children are not the driving force behind our day – I am.  Mom is the one needing and using the schedule 90% of the time {in a household with only littles, this percentage jumps to 99.9%}.  Instead of a schedule lining out everyone’s day, I need one that orchestrates MY day.

So, a few weeks ago I jotted down our basic routine.  I’ve noticed for a long time now our afternoon completely disintegrates into chaos come about 2 pm.  We muddle through until dinner prep starts and then pick our evening back up.  These were wasted hours where craziness ruled the house.  I decided to try writing in a few things to fill that gap and see how our day went.  That gap is where I put our snack time as well as our Special School time.  I also wrote in more structured learning and playing during some of those hours.

I wanted to create a more focused schedule for our school day.  Now when I say focused I do not mean highly structured.  I mean guidelines that keep me heading in the right direction…focused.

After a little tweaking here and there, I finally feel like I have a schedule that allows for mom to take a quick glance and refocus any time she needs to.  Yay!

Here is that schedule:

8 am – Morning Chores, Quiet Time, Make Breakfast
(note:  breakfast is prepared by either myself or one of the children)

9 am – BREAKFAST, Table Chores, 15 minute Tidy

9:30 am – Devotions & Missions

10 am – SCHOOL STARTS
(note:  during this hour, my little boys are watching a DVD so I can concentrate fully on my middles)

11 am – Five in a Row with Middles & Littles

11:30 am – Lunch Prep (Mom & girls)

12 pm – LUNCH, Table Chores, 15 minute Tidy

1 pm – Tapestry of Grace or Grammar with Bigs
Middles/Littles – Fun Time (note:  my almost 9 yo is “in charge”.)
Monday – Paint
Tuesday – Playdough
Wednesday – Movie
Thursday – Water Play

2 pm – Rest Time (Girls take turns practicing piano, Mom works on blog)

3 pm – Special School
Monday – Composer/Hymn Study
Tuesday – Tea & Poetry
Wednesday – PIANO LESSONS
Thursday – Art/Artist Study
Friday – Library

4 pm – Projects / Outside Time

5 pm – Dinner Prep

6 pm – DINNER, Table Chores, 15 minute Tidy

7 pm – Free Time

8 pm – Jammies & Night Chores

8:30 pm – Family Devotions

9 pm – Bedtime

Mommy & Daddy Time
11:30 pm – all electronics off (in bed by Midnight)

I have this schedule printed and laminated.  One sits by my chair where most of the schooling takes place.  The other is hanging on the refrigerator.  I can easily grab a glance and see exactly where my day is supposed to be.  The productivity in the house has skyrocketed!

And those crazy afternoon hours?  Gone!  We are actually enjoying them!

Do we still have kinks?  Yes.  You will always have kinks because a schedule can never take into account real people with real lives.  They depend on everything being 100% the same all the time.  That isn’t going to happen, my friends.  Let go of that unrealistic notion and take charge of your schedule rather than letting it burden you.

What you have in this at-a-glance type of schedule is  a place to go when you need to get back on track.  If I can’t get something in one day, I drop it.  I’ll pick it up next week.  If I continually drop it, then it means something is wrong with the schedule, not typically that something is wrong with me!

I also appreciate that this type of schedule does not micromanage.  My older children have their own routines that fit into the slots I’ve allowed for.  I have not scheduled out their day for them because they are old enough to know what they need to get accomplished and how to go about accomplishing it.

Well, looks like it is time for me to get back on track with my day!  If you get a chance, try making your own At-a-Glance Schedule and see what you think!

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24 thoughts on “My At-a-Glance Schedule

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been struggling with how to make a schedule without being too detailed. The detailed schedules I have made in the past have been complete failures but I need an outline for the day, something to keep me focused, just as you said! This is a great starting place for me!

  2. I love this. I only have littles at home, so I completely understand about the 99.9%. I actually created a list of things for my toddler to do throughout the day so we didn’t always resort to turning on the TV. It’s super relaxed, but has helped us always have something constructive for him to do. We’ve been loving it! I always look forward to your posts, Amy!

  3. Hi Amy. I like your idea, and have found that works well with myself. :) I was impressed with the afternoon /evening schedule. How do you function with so little sleep? I rest for an hour in the afternoon and I am asleep by 10:30 at the latest. When I have babies I need a two hour afternoon rest. I am really impressed with your energy level!! :)

    • Hi Sara! I have never required much sleep. But that’s me. For someone who needs more, they would definitely need to adjust this schedule. And when I’m pregnant, I do require more so I would probably choose to nap during Rest Time. ;)

  4. That’s a good overall schedule. I like how you broke it down. Mine is more detailed it feels like. However, I’m finding now that school has actually started again that my schedule is no where close to as I planned it to be. :)

    We’re getting it all done though amazingly.

    • Does it feel comfortable to you? That’s what I go for…not a breakneck speed, but a reasonable and semi-relaxed pace. Isn’t it funny how what looks good on paper doesn’t always work in real life! :)

  5. I like your schedule. I guess I use something similar in my own house and I agree the afternoons are the hardest. But I do have some questions. When do you do house chores and shopping such as for groceries? And what about exercise for you and your children. I also was wondering what time you get up in the morning and get yourself ready? Also, My children are in public school so it kind of blows my mind that you have breakfast so late and that you do not start school until 10a.m.! the tardy bell rings at 8 a.m. Around here. That means we are out the door shortly after 7am so we get up really early. I enjoy reading your blog!

    • Hello and welcome! My husband’s day doesn’t start until at least 9am most days, so we have adjusted to that. I typically shop on the weekends or in the evening after my husband gets home from work. Sometimes he does the shopping. I was just thinking about exercising today and where that fits in since I did not mention it. Frankly, there are a lot of things I didn’t mention here because there is plenty of “down time” built in to this schedule. My oldest gets up early and works out. My husband will often work out before he heads out for the day as well. I do not like to exercise in the morning. For some reason, it wrecks my day. I prefer to use the Project/Outdoor Time or the Free Time for that. It’s a better fit for me. The younger children play outside and get most of their exercise then. House chores happen on Friday. You can read about it here: http://www.raisingarrows.net/2012/03/the-one-day-home-blessing/ I think I got all your questions answered. :)

  6. How do you fit in breastfeeding your baby, and his routine? I find I always get way behind because my baby needs to be fed, changed etc. I only have two (almost two and 8 m) and it gets a bit crazy, I’m wondering how to manage when I have more children, homeschool + a baby

    • Hello Tania! Two things I can say to this question:
      1. This schedule has plenty of extra time built in to it.
      2. I’m quick! (lol)
      We are not running from one thing to the next. Each section has some down time before the next thing starts. I also nurse and snag a quick diaper change for my baby and 2 yo during that down time. And I don’t HAVE to start on time. This is a guideline, so if baby needs me at 1pm, I hold off with the big kids until baby is settled.

  7. Hey there! This is very similar to my schedule! I am comfortably starting school at ten every day, but my goal is to get going around nine, we are working towards that. Just curious, when do you do math? Is that your first hour? Also, is science built in to the TOG? I’m not all that familiar. Anyways, thanks for sharing! I really enjoy your blog!

    • Hi Emily! Math is part of that first hour. The bigs work on their own and I work with the middles. Science is not built in. The olders work on their own and I do science with the middles during that hour I am working with them (although not every day).

  8. I love that you’ve scheduled daily fun time ideas! I found the same thing happened in the afternoons with my preschooler while I was trying to help my high schooler. So I created a jar with things she could choose from to do independently during this time. It gives my son and I time to work together without just popping a movie in!

  9. Your fully booked schedule inspired me to put mine up. Even though mine changes week to week when I wrote it down my jaw dropped. It’s amazing what you can get done in a day :-D It also shocked me that the schedule is somewhat similar to what it was when the kids went to traditional school and the time I spend homeschooling them, I used to spend helping them do homework and trying to teach them what they didn’t learn during the day at school.

  10. I had to come back and say THANK YOU for posting this. I had been struggling and unproductive in my homeschool days for 2 years. The whole day goes by and I have no idea why I didn’t have anything done! I’ve seen and tried other schedule systems and most of them are so complicated that it was truly a failure from the start. Your At-a-glance system is so simple and effective. Since I’ve started it in my homeschool 3 weeks ago I’ve been able to get all of our school work done by 2:00 p.m. It has transformed my homeschool days. THANK YOU so much.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your schefule — this is what I was looking for! This type of thing would work well for my family as it is very similar to what we do (even times!), but with some helpful structure in some areas. I love your ideas in your special school hour and the fun times for littles!! I’ve been trying to figure out how to incorporate music study, piano lessons, story time, foreign language study, etc. An hour set aside once a week looks realistic and I know my children would really look forward to the times!. :-) Excited to try this! Thank you for being a blessing!