Hallway: Weekly Schedule
How to Use a Weekly Schedule in the Hallway
The brain is a pattern-seeking device. The more consistent and clearly represented your days are, the more safely, smoothly and cooperatively they will run. Children feel safer when they know what to expect. (And feeling safe means fewer meltdowns!)
Create developmentally appropriate daily and/or weekly routines. Refer to these routines often so children learn to use them independently in order to determine what comes next. When Sophie asks, “Do I have soccer today,” Mom responds, “Let’s look on the schedule to see!” Ultimately, children will learn to look at the schedule rather than constantly asking an adult. This supports the child’s emerging independence and Executive Skills like planning, organization and time management.
Younger children require a daily routine that shows them what to expect for today only. Until they’re school age, children aren’t developmentally ready to understand a full week’s worth of activities. A toddler’s daily routine might consist of breakfast, visit Great Grandma, lunch, rest time, play time, dinner, and bedtime. Take photos for each step in your toddler’s day and use Velcro dots to attach them to a backboard so you can change the schedule daily.
Older children will benefit from a weekly schedule like Shubert’s to scaffold their emerging organizational and planning skills. Use Velcro-backed photos and words to map out your child’s week. It’s helpful to include school specials like art, music and PE on your “go to school” photos to help children plan for wearing the proper attire and bringing the necessary supplies with minimal assistance from you. The more scaffolding and information you supply in your Visual Routines, the less reminding and assistance you will need to provide on a daily basis.