When you’re homeschooling, every bit of organization helps. One of the most successful organizational strategies is to use schedules for just about everything that goes on during the day. Talk to any successful homeschooler and you’ll quickly find out why — it’s because having schedules helps keep the chaos down and the productivity up.
But, what about the littles? Can they be scheduled, too?
To some degree, yes. They may be young, but preschoolers are more than capable of performing little chores around the house and being in charge of small areas of their own. Plus, since preschoolers take pride in helping and having their own responsibilities, it’s fun for them, too — that is, as long as they can “read” the schedule.
For very young children and other non-readers, a graphic approach is best. Parents can certainly purchase scheduling systems – like THIS one or THIS one – to use at home. However, preschooler schedules are so much easier (and cheaper) to make at home. The additional benefit to making them is that the schedules will be completely customized to fit the child AND use the exact same language (the specific words and phrases) that is used at home.
Schedules for the very young don’t need to be fancy — they just need to convey a message. Parents can draw pictures, cut images from books or magazines, or use free on-line clip-art instead. Something as simple as this could work quite nicely:
Play with puppy
Help with baby
You can include words on graphic schedules, too, as shown on this one. As a bonus, preschoolers will eventually learn to read these phrases, too!
Schedules can be changed as often as necessary. If youngsters get bored or discover new things they like to do, the schedule can easily be modified for the next day, week, or whatever time period is being used. Learning to use a schedule and adapt to periodic changes will prepare youngsters for the schedules they’ll need to follow when they’re older, too.