So, here's how I made our daily schedule. My friend loaned me a book she used to create her schedule. She also emailed me a sample of her schedule. She has four children too. That helped a lot! I went here, saved the schedule as a pdf and edited it to fit our family (deleted a few lines, etc.). Now I have it saved on my computer! As you can see in this picture, everything is in pencil. I decided to leave it in pencil for the first week. I want to see if there is anything I need to tweak. Then I can go back and type it all in and print. This schedule begins at 6AM for me and ends at the kids' bedtime. EVERYTHING is on the schedule. Breaks, snacks, serve chart, read aloud, and everything else. Obviously with a baby, things change. Actually, with a house full of people, anything can happen! A temper tantrum, sickness, distractions, and many other things. I am not stupid enough to think that just because this schedule says we are done by 1pm that we really will be done at 1pm! I can only hope and pray!
I also have a menu plan for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. Nothing major! Lunch may say "macaroni and carrots" and snack may say "apples". I tried this over the Summer and it saved a ton of time and money. I love KNOWING what we are eating. I've always done this for dinner, but not the other meals. It has really been great for breakfasts too. Oatmeal with honey or waffles. Cereal with blueberries or wholewheat pancakes. Lots of options! It sounds crazy, but doing this over the last few weeks has been GREAT! The kids love looking at the menu for all meals!
DO NOT let this schedule I have posted make you think you MUST do the same thing. I failed miserably last year at a schedule. We got everything done and I always had a lesson plan, but I could have been much better at a daily schedule. And let me share this! I took TWO weeks praying over this schedule before I finally got it together. For days and days I would sit down to work on it, nothing came. The BOOK and my FRIEND totally helped me get there! God is good!
I have a friend at church that shares and obsession with me. Post-it notes! At the beginning of the Summer when I began to brain-storm the upcoming year, my white board had rows and rows of post-it notes. One by one they have been ripped off and thrown in the trash! Why? Because I completed the list! I love post-it notes because a big, giant list overwhelms me. These little sticky things do not! I use them for EVERYTHING!
This is a peak inside my calendar/lesson plan book. I plan six weeks at a time. The orange ones are library lists. I have a list of books I need for each week. I sit at the computer, figure out which library has what I need, then I write down their call numbers. When I go to the library I already know exactly where the book is. NO looking once I get there. I go straight to the shelf! The yellow is for Art. The green is for my supplies. I have been gathering art supplies for our projects for a while now. See! EASY! Nothing complicated or fancy about how I stay organized!
This is my lesson plan book. Actually, it is a calendar! I use post-it notes here too. I cut them to make them smaller. The green has the title of our read alouds for History and the page #'s. The yellow post-it has a list of craft supplies. Every Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I gather supplies and get everything ready for the week. Again, EASY! Nothing to it! Not too scary, right?