Habits and Schedules

Awhile back, before we moved our homeschool to the country, I was asked by one of my readers, “how do you stay on schedule or task, each day?” Besides the busyness from moving, I had to really think about that one. I’m usually pretty quick in my educated responses to people… but this one really gave me some pause. Not because I didn’t know the importance of a schedule or staying on task… but because I didn’t know how to share how we actually do stay on task.

So, right away I started analyzing my strategy on this subject. For me, staying on task is not that hard. I’m a very schedule oriented person. I like to do the same things pretty much at the same time, everyday. A break in routine is not easily accepted by me. But when things come up, and they do, I also adapt pretty easily as well.

Anyway, how do I teach my children to keep on a schedule? First, we keep a “Household Good Habits Schedule” posted on the refrigerator. This is posted where everyone can see it… daily! And it reminds everyone what they should be doing.

If your family is not used to sticking to a schedule… let me suggest that you start slow… and change a little at a time. A year ago or so I noticed my kids grabbing snacks just before dinner almost every day. So, I put a stop to this by saying snack time was from 3:00 P.M. to 4:15 P.M. After that time, you’d have to wait until dinner… and I stuck to that. It took some time {and a few tears} but now most everyday at 3:00 o’clock… sharp… someone is in the kitchen getting their snack. At first, I had to remind them… but now… it’s a habit.

Also, because I believe having good habits also means good eating habits… like not skipping meals and making sure we eat healthy snacks… I included healthy meal choices on our “Good Habits Schedule.” It’s a great reminder to make a healthy food choice while grabbing a snack… although junk is not readily available in our house either.

Now, just because I have this schedule typed up and posted on our refrigerator, doesn’t mean it is written in stone. It is only a basis for how we “should” keep good habits.

The other thing that I do to keep my kids on task, is to not allow screen-time until after their breakfast is ate and cleaned up, teeth brushed, chores are complete, and any “school work” is done. Screens are the biggest distraction in our house. So, if they stay off… more will get done… and quicker… using diligence. Once those things are done, that need to be done… then the kids have the afternoon to do pretty much as they wish.

The phrase often heard from my lips… “do what I ask you to do, then you can do what you’d like to do!”



Diligence is required in our home school. What do you do to keep your kids on task or some sort of schedule?


  1. This is so true in our place of four kiddos, enjoyed! Snack time was my hardest to make “a good habit “, but we good now. 😀

  2. I like the word “routine” better than “schedule” because it sounds more flexible. I was a very-tight-follow-the-schedule-kind-of-person when I was younger and I drove my kids crazy. Now, we just know the time frame for getting things done instead of the precise hour and minute–chores before breakfast, devotions before schoolwork, schoolwork before play, etc. Thanks for your thoughts, Jen. I have also found that posting things cuts a lot of the arguments down, too.

    • I agree “routine” is a much better word Carol. Since, I was asked about “schedules” that’s what I called it. Personally, I fall very easily into a routine… by the rest of my family does not. So, in order to get them to follow any sort of routine… I’ve had to make a schedule. Once we start back to school next week, I think it will be easier to follow that schedule which eventually leads to a routine. 🙂

  3. We are really working on our routine this year! We started Bible and Language Arts (along with our before schedule routine) on Aug 6. Then this week we added Anatomy. In two weeks we will add the next subject. We have never started school little by little before, but so far I am loving it, especially considering we have already had at least one sick day. Thanks for the tips! I believe diligence and consistency are huge keys!

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