In part 1, I’ve written about the benefits of daily routine schedule in dealing with young children. In part 2, I’ll show how actually it works which eventually gives benefits as mentioned in part 1.
Here is an example of a daily routine schedule of a family with a prekindergarten child (around 3 years old), a working dad and a housewife mom. The schedule shows more the child’s activities than the parents.
Note: This is only an example. It’s not something you can follow as it is. It’s because every families must have different situations such as both parents work, more than a child in the family, different children age, children may go to school already or stay at home and being taken care of by a caregiver, etc. Therefore, every families will have different schedule, habits, activities, rules, values, obligations and many more. Those will be reflected in each families daily routines which I’m sure it’s totally different from the example here. Yet, I’m giving the example to give you basic idea in creating your own schedule which is suitable with your family needs.
Now, I’ll explain about the table above:
The Time Column
The time column shows when the activities are done.There is thing needs to be noted about time in the schedule. It may be different everyday. So, we may want to make schedule for a whole week with different times each day. After the schedule has set, in order to make the time giving benefit, we have to inform it to our children. How to inform it is easy. Just announce every activities by saying,”It’s six thirty am. It’s wake up time!” Or,”It’s seven am. It’s breakfast time!”
They won’t understand the meaning of time yet, but this is the first step in introducing the concept to them. Two and three years old children will absorb the vocabularies. Later, when they turn into four and five years old and learn about time concept such as hour or half hour, what they have heard will give them advantage. They may spend less time in learning time concept. It’s because they can just start learning the concept without having to learn the time vocabularies first.
The Activities Column
The second column explains the activities. It shows all activities that are done for a whole day. To make the activities schedule giving benefit, those need to be:
1. Told as those are done everyday. For example, we say,”It’s wake up time! Come on! After this you can play with Daddy!” Keep informing children about what they are going to do after each activities are done. Or
2. Informed through kinds of media such as schedule board or gadgets. This will make children grasping more about the routines because they learn about the routines from 3 stimulus: auditory (being told the routines), kinesthetically (action of the activities), visually (schedule board). Below is an example of daily routine board
Note: In the example, there are only the time and the activities columns. It’s because both are the basic points needed to be given to the children. The other three columns in this posting example are more useful for parents/ responsible adults than the children. We can make the board by printing the times and the pictures. Then, paste them onto the board. It needs time to prepare, but it can be fun activities for children as they can paste the times and pictures by themselves.
Here are example of daily routine in a gadget application which are called chore apps and family schedule apps.
Note: Schedule table in the gadget as in left picture above (Chore apps) is basically the same as the board schedule. Yet, it may be more interesting for children as there are interesting alarm sound, more pictures options which are already available in the apps and they can add their own picture. It’s also more practical than the schedule board. On the right picture, it will be more practical for parents (responsible adults) to set the schedule of the whole family members. So, you can put and save all of the plans(as in the table above) in the gadget.
The child Activities Details Column
The third column shows the details of children activites. This column doesn’t have to be shown to children (if you decide to make schedule board which can be seen by children). It gives more benefit for us than for children. The details give us basic point to:
1. Prepare everything. So, the activities will run smoothly. For example, the activity shown in column 3 row 1 is playing ball. By knowing it, we can determine where are we going to play ball, type of ball play we’re going to play, thing we need to prepare other than ball, what kind of safety we need to provide, what are we going to do if accident happen during play, etc. Keep in mind or note down the details of all activities and set them up. So, when the activities are done, everything is ready.
2. Prepare the answer of questions that may arise. For example, during play ball, children may ask why the ball is rolling. By anticipating the questions, we will be able to answer properly. Here are the tips in answering questions:
* If the questions are factual, find answer based on facts. Look for the answers from the reliable sources such as books, websites, etc. Do not make them up. Yet, use words or language suited with our children’s language level. So, they will grasp the concept. Then, try to analogize them with children’s daily activities in order to make them grasping the concept more.
* If the question related with values, answer with the values we believe in. Use words or language based on children’s language level and give analogy related with children’s daily life to make them understanding the concept.
3. Set the rules we’re going to give for children. For example, we want our children to tidy up the toys after they play. So, we can tell the rules after play time. Show example how to do it and ask our children to participate. By doing it every play time, eventually our children will know that they have to tidy up after playing. Do this for all the rules we want to tell our children such as rules in the bathroom, eating time, in the car, etc. In this way, we won’t have to nag to make them understanding and following our rule.
4. Plan everything children need to learn and give it in chunks . It’s related with column 4 which shows the benefit of each activities. Knowing the type of activities children doing, make us able to plan each type of activities. For example is gross motor skill activity. In the table, the activities given are playing ball in the morning and playing at the park in the afternoon. Change the gross motor skill activity routinely. If today children kick the ball, the next day they may throw the ball. It’s basically play with the ball, but the benefit is different. One is strengthening legs muscles, the other is arms muscle. Find the example in the book, internet, or from our children school. The information from school will enable us to match the activity with what children have learned at school. Then, always develop the activities and match with our children developing abilities. Do the same with fine motor skill, cognitive skill, etc. Note them down in the schedule column 3. So, it’s like we are making lesson plan for our children at home.
The Benefit Column
As I said, column 4 shows the benefit of each activities. This needn’t be in your schedule. I wrote here because I just want to show that every activities children do at home has its own benefit. By knowing the benefit and the type, it will be easier for us to make the plan of the activities details which is written in column 3.
The Responsible Adults Column
The column shows the responsible adults arrangement. It doesn’t have to be shown in your column. I wrote here only to give example how is the responsibility shared amongst the responsible adults.
That is the explanation of the table above. I hope it can give you idea in creating your own family schedule. Yet, this isn’t over. Life is always changed. Events happen and these may distract the schedule we’re carefully planned. So, we will be likely not following the schedule. If this happens, will the schedule still be benefited? If it’s not, what’s the point in making schedule? How to deal with changes? Should we keep them structured or not? Those will be answered in Daily Routine Schedule (Part 3)
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