To follow a schedule is usually an excellent thing to utilize in daily life. But given the current situation in the world with the Covid-19 Pandemic, most education is now occurring inside your home.
Now more than ever, schedules are vitally important…and extremely helpful.
And while you may be able to follow a schedule yourself, having your child do that independently (while you conquer the endless other daily tasks you have) can be quite the challenge.
But, worry not, we have four simple (and easy to implement) tips that can help you and your child follow a schedule!
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How to Help Your Kids Follow a Schedule
1. Make Creating the Schedule Fun –
A visual schedule will be necessary (for everyone), but it doesn’t mean you need to spend hours making it pretty, or even perfect!
Get your child involved from the beginning. This often leads to him getting excited about it and even wanting to take ownership of it!
This can be as easy as having your child decorate a schedule you make. Something as simple as using a fun marker can make all of the difference!
Some ideas to create the schedule can be:
- On a whiteboard
- Printed on paper
- Written on a poster board
- Printed on paper in a sheet protector (so your child can use dry erase markers to check things off)
2. Set Timers (with Labels) –
Do you feel you still have to remind your child what to do and when continually? Sometimes it is hard to stick to the schedule even with a visual.
A great way to solve this problem is setting timers. Yes, multiple! Set timers for various activities such as:
- Start of school work
- End of school work
- Outside time
- When it is time to change to a different subject
The timers will remind your child when it’s time to switch. It will also help them to know what to do next by referring to the schedule and labeled timers.
If you don’t have multiple children, just set them all on your phone (or your child’s) and change the title to match what the timer is for.
Timers are a great way to help your child stay on track of where they are within the schedule, especially if they haven’t mastered telling time.
3. “Practice” –
Practice is KEY to having your child gain independence with the schedule. Take some time to practice and go through the schedule.
Don’t just tell them how it will work – show them.
This may require you to get creative. You may need to use a Saturday or Sunday as a “weekday” so you can practice how this will work, but it will be so worth it!
Talk to your child about what to do. Don’t just do it for them. Talk about how to use the schedule and what the timers mean and go through different scenarios together.
The more your child experiences what it will feel like (while having the opportunity to ask questions), the quicker you’ll see that he will be able to start to gain independence with it.
Likewise, at the end of each day, take a few minutes to review how they did independently, celebrate the wins, and make a goal for the next day!
4. Reward Yourselves –
A schedule is likely an adjustment for everyone. There’s a good chance that you’re all still adjusting to this new (temporary) normal. With that said, build in rewards (for everyone!) for following the schedule.
Think about rewarding for different things like:
- Completion of tasks
- Accuracy of tasks
- Sticking to the schedule
You could provide rewards when something is all done or keep track of the days that your child follows the schedule and then earn the reward after a pre-determined amount of time.
Rewards can be as simple as:
- Family game time
- Extra break time
- Something from a “reward box” (check out this cute DIY reward box your kids will love to make)
Don’t forget to reward yourself, too! A little motivation can go a long way, especially in times like this!
Additional Resources to Help Your Child Follow a Schedule
- 4 Super Easy Tips To Creating A Summer Schedule
- How to Homeschool Multiple Children Effectively
- Free and Low-Cost Reward Ideas for Kids
- Create Social Stories to Successfully Teach Children
- Social Stories for Teens
While this time indeed isn’t easy, there will be challenges and hiccups. Hopefully, these tips will help your family find a way to manage all of the different moving parts right now: work, household responsibilities, and school work!
Let us know how these strategies helped you, and any other tips and tricks you’ve found helpful in getting your child to follow a schedule!
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Sticking to a schedule can be so tough when we are home all day. These are great tips for having a good routine in place.
I am glad I came across your blog. My grandson will be starting school again in August, and it will be an entirely different set up. They will be having virtual classes through an app and live interactions with classmates will be through zoom. Your tips will be a big help for my daughter so she would be able to help her son through learning in an entirely different way.