Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
A note from Jamie: We’re home from England! Settling in, slowly conquering jetlag, and unpacking bags. I’ll be back next week to share about our trip, but for today enjoy this repost. It originally published on June 6, 2011.
Young children love bright colors and pretty pictures. Moms of young children love peace and a semblance of rhythm in the home. Is there a way to merge the two?
Yes! A visual schedule.
About four months ago, I began feeling frustrated by constant questions from my three sweet babes. “What are we doing next, Mommy? When are we having dinner? When can we watch a video?”
It brought to mind a schedule chart I remembered using when I worked in a first grade classroom. I decided to invest the time to make one for us to use at home. My return on investment has been huge!
Here’s how you can make your own, too.
1. Create or order a background template for your schedule.
I’m not really the crafty type, so I went online searching for the one I remembered from my classroom years ago. Yep, found it–the daily schedule pocket chart from Scholastic.
2. Adapt the chart for your own needs and purposes.
The Scholastic chart I ordered is for traditional classrooms and when assembled looks like this:
Not very homey, is it? I found it a bit too institutionalized for my tastes, so I switched the paper strips around and listed the activities I wanted.
Now it looks like this:
Those of you who are artists or have toddlers/preschoolers could add drawings or clip art to represent the activities you need.
3. Use it!
Like any good resource, a chart adds nothing to your day unless you use it. Since most of our days follow a similar rhythm, it doesn’t take me long to get it ready in the morning. I do this while I’m downstairs prepping for the day before the kids have gotten dressed.
My children love our visual schedule! It’s the first thing they run down to check before breakfast. My oldest two, both readers, read it outloud together while my youngest listens and follows along. I love not being pestered with the “what’s next” variety of questions.
The chart has added one more layer of peace to the rhythm of our day, and I will take every ounce of peace I can get.
Have you ever tried using a visual representation of the day for your kids?