Rhythm, Routine, or Schedule? {And Enough With the Comparison Game Already!}

The school year has started and you’ve probably been bombarded with lots of back-to-school posts already. I think it can all be a little hard to digest.

Mom A posts about her homeschool day, complete with a schedule planned out in 15-minute increments.

Mom B talks about the importance of daily devotions before her children head off to school for the day.

Mom C discusses the free-flowing nature of their “unschooling” day.

I don’t know about you, but I read these think, “What is right for our family?!” It’s enough to make you scream or just go hide in your room.

As parents, we really do want what is best for our family, but too often we mistakenly take what is best for some other family and try to force our family to fit that mold.

Frustration sets in.

Why didn’t my day turn out more like her day?! Why isn’t my family responding like her family?!

Because, friend, your family is NOT her family!

So instead of looking first to others this back-to-school season, might I suggest evaluating your own family first?

I needed to do this in a big way this year.

Last year, our daily homeschool schedule was planned out by the hour. The boys and I both needed the structure to keep us focused during our first year of homeschool. It worked well for us and I was very sure this year would be the same story.

But I forgot about a few changes that would affect our homeschool schedule. Not only was I going to be homeschooling two children now, but we also added a baby to the mix.

A baby can be a big schedule buster.

After a week of school, I decided that a schedule was not going to work as well for us this year. Routine has become our friend.

Instead of a timed schedule, we go through certain routines throughout our day and use checklists to guide us.

There is a routine for what the boys do when they get up, the beginning of our school time, what happens before lunch and supper, and so on. Prayer and devotions are an important part of our routine. We’ve loved using the Hide and Seek Devotional during the day and the Heroes and Villains of the Bible for bedtime stories!

As for checklists, the boys {and I} love checking things off and we are still able to stay on task, even if the baby takes up more time than I thought he would on a particular morning.

While routine is our standard for most days, I’ve also learned to feel out the rhythm of each day as the morning unfolds. What is everyone’s mood? What else is planned for the day? How much do we need to get done? I can tell a lot about what the boys need for that day by how our morning starts. And then I can make adjustments to our plans so our rhythm is in sync with one another.

Let it be known that I do love that bloggers share what works for their families. I have found many wonderful ideas to use with my family, and I share my own when I have something that works!

What I don’t love is when we get down ourselves because someone else’s schedule doesn’t work for our own family. This verse from Romans 12 has really impacted me lately:

Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. – Romans 12:6 {The Message}

Let your family be who they are. Try things until you find something that works. Figure out if your family thrives with a rhythm, a routine, or a schedule to your day.

But by all means, do not get discouraged because your family is not like your favorite blogger’s family! And know that the blogger’s family probably had to try a million things before they figured out the best for their home. This blogger can tell you she is still trying!

Is your family a rhythm, routine, or schedule family? Or are you a hybrid like us?!


Erin Mohring is a follower of Jesus Christ, a doctor’s wife, and stay-at-home mom to three lively young boys. The hubby and Erin have been blissfully married for nine years. Big J is six, Little J is almost four, and Double J just joined the fam in March of 2012! She’s learning quickly about life in the world of boys – which you can follow at Home with the Boys!