Well, I must say that when I was younger, I did not like schedules. They reminded me of rules and school. But I do not mean you must have a rigid, set-in-stone schedule. In fact, moms have to be flexible because kids get sick or have a million other ways to force you to change your plans. So when you plan, don't drive yourself crazy with having to stick to time slots. But here are some ideas:
1. Establish a morning routine. It doesn't matter what time you begin your day, but teach the kids what to do--in order--when they first wake up. It should be automatic. This way, once they start school, it will be a breeze for them to get ready. Just show them by example and start from the time they can walk by themselves. a. Wake up. b. Make the bed. At least let them watch you make the bed and let them put on the pillow, etc. or whatever they are capable of, age-wise. c. Hygiene. Brush teeth, wash face, comb hair. d. Get dressed. e. Feed and water pets. f. Have breakfast. g. Put dishes in dishwasher.
You can rearrange this, but simply move through these motions daily in the same order and soon, they will do it all by themselves because it is part of their daily routine. You won't even have to write it on a list or schedule.
2. Then, have an evening routine: a. Take a bath/shower. b. Brush and floss teeth. c. Story and prayer. d. Good night!
If you do only these routines--and it doesn't matter what time you start them--after a while, you can just say, "Ok, PM routine!" and the kids will just do it.
I also had an after school routine which was simple:
a. Backpacks in the hallway closet. b. Wash hands. c. Snack. d. Homework at the table.
After that, they knew they had free time until dinner.
Consistency is the key so they will know what to expect. Sometimes, there were afterschool errands or rehearsals, but that didn't upset the routines at all. I guess when I said "schedule" it makes it sound as though everything was on the clock. But I never set a time slot for things because life was not that rigid. For example, we did not always eat at 6 pm.
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