The Schedule Serves Me and My Family (not the other way around) - Although scheduling our days is a great help, I (or anyone else) reserve the right to change it at a moment's notice. Sometimes there are days or weeks when we don't follow the schedule at all. That is okay because we may have other things that pop up which are more important. This has probably been the most important lesson for me to learn. I used to get down on myself when I couldn't follow a set schedule. Now, I am learning that it's no big deal. It's there, written down, when we are ready to jump back in.
The Schedule is Imperfect - The odds of having the perfect schedule is probably zero. It takes tweaking as our family dynamics change. Plus, we may discover things that don't work or spaces in our day that we've not allowed enough time for an activity. We tweak as we go. It is a working schedule not a finished masterpiece.
The Schedule Helps Our Bodies Rest - Before this type of schedule, it was hard to manage how much rest and sleep each family member was getting. When I blocked off time to make sure we were all getting adequate sleep, I quickly realized that before we weren't getting enough. This has been very helpful. God intends for us to rest. We can't do it all, and a laid out plan helps me to prioritize what needs to get done and what is not necessarily profitable for me and my family. Sleep is good!
The Schedule Tames The Kiddos - Kids are kids. They are wild and rambunctious. With 6 people in our family, it gets a little loud and crazy at times. It goes with the territory. But, it's also important as parents to train our children to reign in those childish and foolish ways and learn how to be respectful, get along with others, and serve in the family. Our schedule allows for focused time (school, chores), free time, family time, and alone time. I think the mixture of these activities allows my children to learn responsibility and yet still have freedom to just be a kid. A huge thing that helps my children get along with each other is assigning them a time to play alone with another sibling. This way they are not all 4 playing with each other all the time. You would be amazed at how just taking one child out of the mix makes a difference in the dynamics of the rest of the group. Our schedule helps to ensure that certain siblings get that opportunity to form a closer bond. That is precious to me as a mom!