Daily Routine Schedule (Part 2): The Example

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.

Daily Routine Schedule The Example CDR

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

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.

Chore Apps              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)

Related Postings :

Daily Routine Schedule (Part 1): It’s Benefit in Dealing with Young Children

Daily Routine Schedule (Part 3): It’s Application in Life

Introducing Schedule to 2 & 3 Years Old Children by Sequencing Daily Routine Activities

The Opportunity to Arrange Schedule: A Basic to Achieve Schedule Making Ability


Daily Routine Schedule (Part 1): It’s Benefits in Dealing with Young Children

Dealing with children under 5 years old can be overwhelming. They are in the stage of fast pace development. Changing in their body and needs happen rapidly. These may cause them showing unexpected behavior, asking many questions and sometimes showing some tantrums. Those can happen at one time or spread in many times, over and over. If we can not deal them well, we may be panic, act, say words which may not be suitable and may harm our children development.

Of course we want to prevent that from happening. In order to do that, there’s a way we can do to deal with them well and lessen – if it’s not zero the possibility – the negative effects we may cause. It’s setting up daily routine schedule for our children and us. It’s a simple way, but the benefits are many, which are:
1. Giving sense of security for children
Daily routine makes children knowing the steps they have to do each day. This will give sense of security and reduce or lose their sense of panic of not knowing what will happen next. The sense of security will likely make tantrums be avoided. Less tantrums will make children happier. When they are happy, everything they learn in their life will be absorbed easily. Therefore, they will develop well.
2. Giving guidance/basic structure about what we’re going to do a whole day.
Daily routine shows all children and our activities. It may only show the times and the main activities, but those can be our basic to make sub activities in details. When we deal with children under 5 years old, details are important. Those will make us able to plan  of:
a.  How to deal with situations that may arise.
Children are curious being. They always want to figure out everything around them by exploring with their senses. Especially when they’ve been able to move independently. This may make them in dangerous situations. Therefore, we have to create an environment which is relatively save for them. This is when daily routine schedule comes in to make us easy in planning what are needed in creating safety environment and the steps we need to do, in case something happened.
b.  What answer we’ll give of all children’s questions.
Not only exploring thing,  children also ask many questions.  They are mostly simple. Yet, they are so simple that we may be confused how to answer the questions. So, we need to anticipate the questions before they are asked. To predict the questions, we can check the activities they will do and find sources (books, internet or other media) which are able to give us information what questions that children are usually asked related with the activities and what are the answers. It is very important to do because everything we say for the first time to young children will give the most impression, absorbed and last long . So, if we give wrong answer, later we have to correct it. It will be difficult to correct something which has been absorbed than giving the right one in the first place. It doesn’t mean that it can be done, but it will be more difficult to do.
c. How to be not panic or upset when children get tantrums.
Combination of children actions, questions they asked, things we have to do and the necessity to think quickly to deal with situations may make us panic. When we are panic, we are likely making mistakes such as make wrong decision in dealing with children and say harsh words which eventually may harm children development. Once again, daily routine schedule may come as handy tool to anticipate those events and make plans of how to deal with them. Preparation will make us ready and it may reduce our panicness  when we deal with the real situations. When this happens, we won’t likely act or say things that may harm our children.
d. What rules we’ll tell children.
To make everything smoother, there are rules we need to tell to children. Without rules, the daily schedule routine won’t work and will be useless. Set simple rules for young children such as how many times they have to brush their teeth, where they have to put their toothbrush, tidy up the toys after they’ve played it, what consequences applied when rules are broken, etc. Again daily routine schedule can be handy for us in setting the rules in each daily activities easily. One thing should be noted is that the rules are applied to all family members. We (adults) can’t  only make and tell the rules, but we have to follow and set example for children. This will make children  following the rules easier, because they learn more and quicker from example. If we teach and exercise them to follow the rules since young children, they will follow the rules easier as they grow up. As long as, once again, we set the example as well. If we do not do it, it will give children chance to challenge the rules by giving argumentation about how we don’t follow the rules. Yet, why they should be. This argumentation can be given by children as early as 3 years old.
3. Allowing us to spread the lesson/values we’ll teach in chunks through daily activities.
When the structure is ready, there are others thing we need to give to children, such as lesson and values. There are lots that children have to learn. The lessons here are not only related with academic, but basic lessons as well such as how to do daily activities, self independency, gross and fine motor skill, disciplines, values, manner,etc. Those need to be given step by step and exercised daily. It’s because children under 5 years old learn more through repetition. It’s also because  they still can not learn many things at one time, though they are the fastest human learner. It’s due to their brain structure which is still developing. Therefore, the lessons we teach must be given in chunks and matched with their development(physically, mentally, and socially). Daily routine schedule can make it easy.
4. Allowing us to determine adult who’s  in charge in each daily activities.
Raising children is not easy. The responsibility (in terms of teaching) may be divided between spouses, amongst nuclear or extended family, or with other institution such as day care or school. Daily routine schedule can be handy in planning who is in charge in each daily activities, what lesson and values taught by each of the responsible adults, and  what rules are given. This is an important step to do. Each individuals(responsible adults) has their own thought, ways and values to teach. In dealing with children, it is necessary for each individuals to be on the same page about what lessons are given to the children. Because  if there are differences, children (even as young as 2 years old) may be able to the choose ways which they think giving more benefit for them. Again, this is when daily routine comes in handy. After planning who’s in charge in each daily activities, parents can discuss about what lessons need to be taught to children, values, rules and all things mentioned in point two. Through this way parents will have the same perception in dealing with children. It’s not only that, parents can consider the lesson and values children learn at school. If there are differences, discuss how to bridge or compromise with it and how to deliver it to children. So, the point is the same perception amongst responsible adults in dealing with children are very important. Yet, all adults must do their obligation. That’s why the responsibility must be shared. It can’t lay on one person only because children will look up all adults in their surrounding. Therefore, daily routine can become a handy tools in dividing adults involvement and making same perception in dealing with children.

There’s another advantage in putting same persons in charge in each daily activities. It will give more sense of security and stability for the children. This is even more important than the structure itself. It’s because good structure will be useless without the responsible and trustworthy adults. What it’s meant to children is like this. For example,  a child (due to daily routine) knows that in the morning his mother always prepares food for him. So, he knows that in the morning he will get meal and he won’t be starving as long as his mother around. Every time, he sees his mother he’ll feel secure because unconsciously he knows he won’t be starving. The sense of security will make the child calm and happy. This feeling will make the child absorbs everything his mother taught or deliver smoothly, because he doesn’t have to deal with negative emotions such as panic or unhappy which can become obstacle in learning process.

In conclusion,  basically daily routines  schedule can be a handy tools in planning daily activities in details. These are very important in dealing with young children.  Their fast pace development requires us to be ready in every situations and able to make quick and proper decisions in order not to harm their development. Therefore we need a structured plan. Daily routine schedule offers that.

Related Postings:

Daily Routine Schedule (Part 2): The Example 

Daily Routine Schedule (Part 3): It’s Application in Life

Introducing Schedule to 2 & 3 Years Old Children by Sequencing Daily Routine Activities

The Opportunity to Arrange Schedule: A Basic to Achieve Schedule Making Ability