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For busy families, working out a family schedule can help parents keep track of activities, get to their meetings on time, and figure out when they have free time to enjoy themselves. Getting your family in the habit of following a schedule can be a challenge, but after a few weeks, living by a schedule will become a habit instead of hard work. Here are some tips for parents looking to create their own family schedule.

1. Hold a Weekly Family Meeting

To figure out the schedule for the week, parents should hold a weekly meeting that includes everyone, including the children. They can write down their school and work schedules, figure out the appointments and meetings that are happening this week, and ask everyone what works and what doesn’t. If their schedule is becoming too crowded, they can drop an activity like a dance class or soccer practice.

During the meeting, parents should ask their children if they have anything to contribute. They might need more time to complete their homework or want to add a new after-school activity to their schedule. When everyone in the family is on the same page, it’ll be much easier to keep everything organized.

2. Stick to the Same Routine Every Day

At first, it might be tempting to sleep in or skip the lunch meeting they had planned. But if parents stick to the routine in the beginning, it’ll be much easier to adjust to their new schedule. They should be prepared to wake up at the same time every morning, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and be ready to leave the house. If they don’t stick to a routine, they’ll find that the whole schedule falls apart and they’ll be disorganized again.

3. Make Sure Everyone Has Access to the Schedule

A schedule should be placed where everyone has access to it, including the children. Parents can hang a dry-erase calendar in the kitchen or laundry room. Even if they don’t think their children will use it, everyone in the household will glance at it at some point throughout the week. Writing down the schedule in one place also helps them keep everything straight, so they know what to expect for the rest of the week.