Our family is entering into its sixth year of homeschooling and with five children now in the mix, we really need a good system to get organized and keep everyone on track. Here is where visual schedules come in. All of our children can benefit from the addition of a visual schedule, but it will be extremely useful for the oldest who has autism and the three year old twins.
Did I mention that it will also be helpful for mommy (me) who can easily get distracted and needs a visual reminder of what is coming next?
What Is A Visual Schedule?
A visual schedule is simply a visual reminder of things that need to be done in a specific order. A visual schedule can be created with pictures or words, or a combination of both. If you work better with pictures or you have children who cannot yet read then graphics or photos will be an important addition to your visual schedule.
Types Of Visual Schedules
There are two main types of visual schedules that I am aware of, the general schedule and the task schedule.
A general schedule can be used to create order to part of your day or all of your day. This could include things like a morning or evening routine. It could also include a schedule of your entire day.
A task schedule can be used to teach (and remember) the steps of a specific task in a particular order. This type of schedule would be good for teaching something like hand washing or sandwich making.
How Can A Visual Schedule Benefit Me?
Using a visual schedule can bring structure, predictability, and stress reduction to the homeschool mama’s day. Everyone knows what is expected from them at any given time.
Using a visual schedule can bring structure to your day by creating a framework to lean on. Even if something in your day goes wrong, you can always come back to your visual schedule.
Using a visual schedule can eliminate the constant question of what is coming next.
Using a visual schedule will help you to set your children up for success. They will know what they are expected to do, when they are expected to do it, and how they are expected to do things.
Creating Your Visual Schedule
There are many different ways to display the order of the day or task oriented schedules. You can personalize the visual schedules for your home and family in any way that works for you. Decisions on how to create them (or personalize them) will be determined by the variables in your home. Do you have a child with special needs? Do you have a child with autism? Do you have children who can’t read yet? Do you have many people working with your children who all need to know the schedule?
There are many free resources available on the Internet. You can Google a simple term like “visual schedule” and you should find some excellent examples and printables. Here are just a few to get you started.
1. My board on Pinterest – I have pinned several good links on to my Visual Schedule board on Pinterest . You will get a really good visual representation of visual schedules by having a look at the pictures pinned there.
2. Do 2 Learn – Do 2 Learn has many printable resources for visual schedules that you can use for free when you are creating a visual schedule for your child.
3. Set BC Printables – Set BC has several examples of visual schedules that you have the option of printing out in pdf.
If you are short on time, and you have some money to spend, these next two programs are excellent and come highly recommended. I have ordered both of these for this coming year and I can’t wait to implement them into our homeschool day.
Honey is homeschooling mama of 5 kids. When she is not creating visual schedules, she can be found blogging over at Sunflower Schoolhouse.