Please forgive this excruciatingly long post :).
As for schedule, this type of schooling is so wonderfully individualized that each family's schedule will reflect its own personality. So, what I am sharing may help; it may be totally out in left field for you. The thing about schedule, is that God knows our needs and so we always start with prayer.
With that in mind, I will tell you that I tend to be a little more strictly scheduled than some because I am one that needs to have all my ducks in a row, so to speak. I am also visual to the extreme and so, if I can see it on a schedule, it tends to happen more often. "Out of sight out of mind" is the story of my life, unfortunately! Also, when we do get sidetracked for whatever reason, it helps me feel like I can be flexible because, for the most part, we are covering all the bases. Plus, with eight children, I need to have things written down so that I know who is supposed to be doing what. I also remind myself that it is my tool, not my master, and that is so key. I believe that we are to redeem the time that God has given us and this is the way that works for us.
Having said all that, we try to routinize wherever possible. The children have their 'morning routines', their 'before lunches,' their 'before dinners,' and weekly chore list.
Beyond that, we do have a pretty strict schedule because you cannot, obviously, have five children on the piano or computer at once. We have assigned a particular time for history, science, etc., but I treat these slots more like timeblocks in that I know we can spend more time on one and then just hit the other a little more the next day.
As for the children, they are responsible for their own schedule (starting when they can read). That helps to build punctuality in them as well as a realization that they are stewards of the time God has gifted them with. Their little feet must be on the bottom step at a certain time each morning, Mom will not be the short order cook throughout the day, dictation happens at a certain time...you get the picture.
I have assigned certain times for each of their independent studies for the simple reason that I need to know that I have provided ample time for them to get it done and that what we have set out to do is a realistic plan. That helps me not overcommit their time and also banishes the opportunity for excuse making :). However, they are free to fudge things as well. Math does not always have to come first, for instance.
I would not offer to have a cm consultant come and analyze whether this is what Charlotte would prefer ;), but it is helpful in our family. I think, in the end, that the success of our day has more to do with my attitude than anything else. I read Sonya's wonderful analogy of the thermostat versus the thermometer in the free download, "Education is an Atmosphere." I'm not sure that's the right title, but it's right on the homepage. That would be a good thing for you to read as well; it really helped to renew my perspective even after 15 years at this! I always thought that people that homeschooled more than 4 or 5 years were soooo experienced! I now think that could be true only if we had cookie-cutter children! There is always something to learn.