It just dawned on me as I was buying my son’s new backpack for kindergarten, because “Mom, Diego is so preschool”, that school is almost here. I am excited for my son to begin his educational journey. I am not excited for the crazy twist that this will put in our morning routine. We have also decided that our son needs to take responsibility for his things. So, I suggest a visual schedule. I also suggest you make this with your child so they have ownership of their chart. This will also save you a lot of time asking those questions like have you done… do you have… what should you be doing? I do not guarantee it will reduce all the redundant questions but it will help your child become empowered. You can allow them to change the order of their tasks to provide for further choice making opportunities. Does it really matter if they make their bed before brushing their teeth or after?
A visual schedule is a set of pictures that communicates a series of activities or the steps of a specific activity. Visual schedules are meant to help children understand and manage the daily events in their lives . Visual schedules may be created using photographs, pictures, written words, or physical objects. Ideally, they communicate clear expectations for the child and decrease the need for constant adult involvement in the activity. Most visual schedules are introduced with adult guidance that gradually decreases with time .
I used to use these schedules when I taught children with Autism. However, they are valuable for any child who can’t read, requires cues, or needs reminders.
My plan is to take pictures of the tasks he needs to accomplish before he leaves for school:
1) Picture of his bed made
2) Picture of a toothbrush
3) Picture of school clothes
4) Picture of the hamper (this will be a large photo)
5) Picture of breakfast
6) Picture of lunch bag
7) Picture of homework
8) Picture of backpack with all the needed items in it
9) Picture of shoes
10) Seasonal items: rain coat, winter coat, hat, mitten or special item
11) stars, stickers, stamps, pictures (will be used to show task completion)
12) Based on where your child is, select a way to show order: you can use the numbers 1- however many tasks you have defined (10 for me) soon I will replace my numbers with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, then I will do first, second, third, and finally I will transition to actual times like 6:00, 6:05, 6:10.
What do you need to make your own schedule
Several pictures these can be homemade or actual photographs or clipart
Card stock or poster board
Velcro dots (this is so you can change the order of your schedule)
Laminate the chart , reward pictures, and task pictures, measurement or order of events (can be done at staples or they make self laminating sheets they are $6.00 for 20 at Sam’s club ( with the leftover sheet use them to laminate special artwork, love notes, or your child’s favorite picture)
I would divide my board in thirds
1st order of the events
2nd picture of the task to be completed
3rd column is where your child or you places the completed marker ( This is the stickers, stamps, or pictures that you have laminated to some completion)