After thinking long and hard about some of the difficulties we've been dealing with in our family, we decided to put Jaime, and therefore the rest of us, on a schedule. I didn't expect that she would love it so much. She does. She loves asking me what's on the schedule and doing what it says. The schedule includes things like school time, creative time, craft time, game time, freeplay, and chores. The first day went really well but I felt completely burnt out by the end. We've settled into some place between following it strictly and "freeplay" all the time like we used to.
She loves school time. We have different workbooks for letters, colors and numbers and she gets to choose which subject we learn about on the 3 days a week we do school time.
She gets creative time to color, do playdough, or make bead necklaces.
We've instituted a craft time twice a week that she loves.
For perhaps both of us, our favorite part is the chores. I had no idea she would love them so much. Each day she is supposed to help me with the dishes, set the dinner table, and clean up the front room, living room, her room and Vida's room. Usually I'm right there with her and we do them together, so it's good bonding time as well. Her incentive is 25¢ a day if she completes all of her chores. She then gets to spend that on our weekly grocery trip or at the dollar store.
Every Monday night Family Home Evening is on the schedule and Jaime always has a responsibility that we help her fulfill. On this particular night we did a lesson about tithing because she is earning money now. Vida got to play the part of Heavenly Father - which meant accepting one orange slice and one quarter as part of the object lesson. Afterward, she demanded all orange slices and we gave them to her. So much for the object lesson :)
We still do a weekly play date with their cousins which has been part of our routine for over two years.
All in all, I think it is helping us. We're learning together what works for us, and working to enjoy everyday and not just survive through the day. To me, that means learning to be more accepting of my own faults and to value and be content with what we do do, and not worry so much about what we don't do.