Just seeing the word “schedule” may evoke feelings of anxiety for many parents. It’s a struggle to create, let alone maintain, a systematic routine for our household. However, with devotion and inspiration, the investment can yield great benefits for a family.

Creating a visible chore list and mentally sorting through the logistics of their completion, force us to prioritize. And by realistically distinguishing between the “must haves” and the “bonus” accomplishments in a given period, we allow participating family members to develop a healthy sense of what’s important and what’s not.

Set Aside Time for Schedule Development
Set an appointment with a scratch pad and pencil or in front of an Excel spreadsheet. List all chores that need to be accomplished in any given period, assigning family members various tasks. Whereas every family member may be assigned a similar task (making their own bed), split other household responsibilities according to ability and availability. Incorporate developmental goals into a child’s chores.

The five year old may be charged with cutting coupons from a presorted stack of flyers, simultaneously allowing them to improve their fine motor skills.

And the seven year old may load the dishwasher, learning how to sort and arrange items.

The bigger weekly chores may be assigned to the busy teenager, developing their own time management skills.

And for the tween or teen exhibiting leadership capability and desire, appoint them to select and share the weekly scripture for family devotion.

Think Big Picture
When my husband and I were going through pre-marital counseling, our pastor proposed that we develop a family mission statement. He explained that our mission would ultimately shape our reaction to a number of anticipated life situations. And while having a pre-defined purpose wouldn’t make life easier, it would remove some ambiguity amidst hard decisions.

A similar parallel exists in how we budget our time. When we step back and ask “is this time investment in line with our family mission?” we become more purposed in our daily life. Creating a master plan allows us to naturally weave the family mission into the family schedule.

Whether earmarking a period for our own personal renewal or arranging for the family’s participation in an outside service project, without any pre-planning, those things typically don’t happen. Giving the forethought to creating a family schedule allows us to live each day with greater confidence and purpose.

Along with her husband and young son, Amy Fenton Lee lives in Cumming, GA. For more on Amy and her writing see www.amyfentonlee.com and www.theinclusivechurch.com.