Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Handmade Daily Visual Schedule

My 4.5 year old isn't going into school this year. He could qualify for kindergarten - some of his peers started today - but we're just not there. To be honest, I haven't completely decided if I am going to homeschool. If I did, I wouldn't receive much, if any, funding for this year anyway. 

Regardless, it was becoming apparent that we needed more order in our day. I created a weekly rhythm but our daily rhythm was off and I knew my preschooler / kindergartener / kid could use help with transitions. Hell, I could use help with transitions. I also wanted to reduce screen time without restrictions. Generally I believe my children can self-regulate pretty well when it comes to screen time, but I wanted to make space for other types of play. And I wanted to play more music in the background, instead of Mighty Machines in the background. Now my preschooler knows that screen time is represented by a big green ? - meaning free choice. And it usually coincides with quiet time for my toddler. Goodbye All-Day-Zoboomafoo marathons. See you next time we are sick. 

When I was in the classroom as a teacher I did make use of PECS visuals to help children through activities and transitions. I wanted something similar for our home - something that could change daily, something easily manipulated by little fingers. 

This could easily be a daily visual schedule for any age. I used pencil crayon and drew the various activities in our rhythm. I used the occasional marker for outlines, laminated professionally and then hot glued magnets to the back. I colour coded them - yellow for good morning and goodnight, dark green is caring for our home, light blue is caring for our bodies, and teal is activities - like play, gymnastics, or family time (lovingly drawn by the 4 year old). You can see I snuck in coffee and books time each morning. We do Calendar afterward - we rearrange our schedule during that time and then we all know what is in store for the day. If something comes up and the day changes, Desmond is eager to rearrange the schedule to fit our needs. I'm probably going to spring for an IKEA magnetic board which will be a little bigger and have no edges.   

So for today the daily rhythm symbols are Wake up, breakfast, play (Lego!), coffee and tea with books, Calendar, Laundry and get dressed, lunch, toileting, gymnastics, snack, quiet time, free choice, dinner prep & set the table, dinner, tidy toys, bath, brushing teeth (I should have made two of these), feed the cat, goodnight. Extras at the bottom are Cleaning tasks, family time, rhythm wheel activity, dancing and yoga, and finally, arts, crafts, and project time. 

Do you follow a daily rhythm? Do you use a visual schedule? Please share a picture, I'd love to see.