Thank you for joining us again for our third segment in the series. Today we review our schedules and routines.
Preschoolers believe that the world revolves around them. Their imagination and energy is going all the time. In our 2nd segment we discussed mentally preparing yourself for the change to or rather the addition of the role of educator and how setting aside time to do this for your little ones. We also included developing /instilling growth mindsets where problems and unideal situations are seen as ways to build new skills and talents instead of giving up. Of course we also have to ensure the environment and materials are also prepped and ready. But, there’s one more step before we begin…
WHAT ARE THEY
Schedules represent the activities to be completed daily . They are planned out and written down and Routines are the steps done to complete the activity, done without planning… things done on a regular basis. Research and experts agree that schedule and routines for children are important for structure, stability and dependability.
WHY ARE SCHEDULES IMPORTANT
- They are important because they help children learn specific activities.
- Children are able to predict what will happen next and this helps them feel secure and prepared
- It helps them learn the environment’s expectations and discipline
- When familiar with schedules they are more likely to be engaged, attentive and learn new knowledge
Pre-pandemic, people went to work, children went to school on the 8-4 timing but now, the schedule you design MUST work for you. And this really depends on you, your work and support system and in these pandemic times, each schedule is unique.
Many people may like to keep to a preschool schedule but the reality is .. if you are at home and flexible enough to do this.. great but most may not be, they may have to work at particular times, may or may not have support and may have other children at different ages who have to be online and need your support. So what to do?
First .. don’t panic or beat yourself up, with some fine tweaking.. I’m sure things will work.
So let’s check in.. what kind of schedule have you been using? Have you stayed with your regular work and school hours OR have you designed something that works just for you?
It’s important to note that kids feel stress and anxiety as well.
Providing routine and a sense of normalcy at home can relieve some of your child’s stress, anxiety and boredom.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING
- Balance of activities – differ in noise level, pace, person led, location
- Number of activities available – is there variety. Do STEM and Craft activities – helps express creativity, build motor skills
- Adults available – for supervision and facilitation of skill development
- Child’s attention span – high interest materials and activities
- Child’s level of alertness – some are more active and alert at certain times of the day
- Play periods
To do this –
- When starting a new routine, keep it simple, start with one thing the family can do to add structure like a set bedtime.
- Take time to plan then create a Daily Schedule Board. Decide the routine with your child and write down or have visual clues so your kids know what to do.
- Do activities in several short time blocks 30 mins.
- Tailor the schedule to your child – you know their likes and needs.
- Use digital devices as tools – only for a certain time and when really needed.
- Give yourself some time, – set as a priority and set clear boundaries.
- Involve children in housekeeping activities.
- Have a designated space for work.
- Online Educational games – some of these can be found at education.com and pbskids.org
- Virtual Tours.
- Outside Time – even if it’s a short walk.
- Be flexible – Give yourself grace but stay consistent in setting expectations and guiding your children.
- Help children master the skill of playing on their own. Help your child master a few important tasks rather than several new things.