Happy New Year! It’s that season where we make plans, dream dreams, and promise, “This year will be different!” How do you want to make this year great? Have a daily quiet time? Eat better? Exercise consistently? Stay within your budget? Weekly date night? More family time? Less tech time? These are always on my list!
My favorite way to start a new year is to sit down and make a schedule. Yep! I am a list-making-cross-it-off kind of girl. When our daughters were little, a schedule helped all of us know what came next. That made my life so much easier! It gave the girls a sense of security (when I stuck to the schedule, that is!) that Mama and Daddy had a plan. It minimized the “what’s next?” queries. There were definitely days when the schedule went out the window, but on the days we used our schedule, it made our home life much more peaceful.
You may not think you are a schedule type of person. That’s okay – just consider trying one to see how much more you can get done and how much less chaotic life can be! When I am without a schedule, life gets a bit more chaotic than I am comfortable with and I don’t accomplish as much! Here’s how I start.
- Follow this link: https://growingfamilies.life/class-handouts/ and download the Family Activity Planner and Children’s Activity Planner under “Toddlerhood Transitions”. Fill these out for your husband, yourself, and your children. What do you absolutely need to get done every day? Think of spiritual, physical, and family activities. Like me, you may like to start your day with a spiritual foundation including time in God’s Word, prayer, and maybe a short devotional reading. There were seasons where five minutes of prayer for my husband and a few minutes for the rest of us plus a brief reading was all my schedule allowed. Meal planning came next, including time for prep time and cleanup! Since we homeschooled, that was on the list, too. What events occur weekly? Church services? Date night? Parenting class? Grocery shopping? Housecleaning? Bill paying? And then there’s the monthly list. You get the idea!
- Download the Daily Activity Planner at the same link. What has to be done and when? This worksheet keeps everyone in sync! It also helps me visualize how my day is laid out. Do I need more margin between activities? Is roomtime scheduled while we’re in the car? 😉
- Next, if you are feeling adventuresome and ready for more, download the Weekly Activity Planner. This is where those consistent items are listed: naps, meals, laundry, It’s a good place to see if there are too many evenings out planned.
- If there is an infant at home, whether using Prep for Parenting or Babywise, there are downloadable schedules available at: https://pin.it/wedcku77zld7o3
The joy of using these worksheets is that you can make a plan, save it, try it for a couple of weeks, and then come back to tweak it later without having to start from scratch! Life is never etched in stone, but schedules help give your days structure and set routines in place.
Additional video resources can be found at https://growingfamilies.life/toddlerhood-transiton-blog/?rq=Toddlerhood%20 video #17 9TTV4-025 or https://growingfamilies.life/parenting-from-the-tree-of-lifeblog/?offset=1530016751972 video #102 LSV14-055.
Mp3s or CDs on “Structure and Routine” are available at https://christianfamilyheritage.org/product/structure-and-routine/
Believe me, taking the time to come up with a schedule will save you time in the long run. The old adage about “a penny saved is a penny earned” applies to time, too. Try using a schedule to make sure your time is invested in what counts and what brings peace and order to your family life. Someone in your home needs to know, “What’s next?” and it should be you! 😊
Glen and Jerrine Hicks have been married 32 years and live near Sedalia, CO. They have two adult daughters and one son-in-love. Jerrine’s idea of a perfect day would include a pot of PG Tips tea, some dark chocolate, a Jane Austen movie, and time reading Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Jerry Bridges, Emilie Barnes or L.M. Montgomery. She loves couchtime with her Glen. She is an introvert. 😉 The Hickses have been involved with Growing Families since 1996.