Visual Schedules are not just for classrooms. They are valuable tools anywhere - at home, in the car, at Grandma's house, etc.
To the right is an example of a general, weekly picture schedule that can be used for as long as picture support is needed, and beyond. Even after a child learns to read, pictures are just easier and faster. This example accommodates 1.5" icons. There is a box in the upper left to attach the child's picture and a box on the upper right for the day of the week. Each day has five squares to attach an icon representing a major activity for that day. The idea of a weekly schedule is to give a general layout of the main activities for the week and not to identify every single activity. A daily line schedule is good for that. See examples below.
What does a weekly schedule do for my child?
A weekly schedule has many benefits. It familiarizes the child with the concept of "week", and the days of the week.
It reduces anxiety by visually representing future activities.
It helps the child feel that life is predictable.
It gives a constant, authoritative reminder of the message.
Everyone needs to mentally prepare for what's coming next. Imagine that you don't know what that will be. You would feel bombarded with surprises all day long, which would keep you in a constant state of anxiety. Since you don't know what's coming next, imagine what it would be like to be yanked away from doing something you like to do, to go who knows where, to do who knows what?
I further recommend maintaining 3 separate schedules as follows:
A daily line schedule to break down the activities of the day. (Add a timer as needed for transitioning.)
A weekly schedule to give a general overview of the week.
A typical monthly schedule - by month or entire year isn't important. A typical monthly schedule upon which you can point out holidays, cross off days as they happen, days off from school, (will also) support activities that show up on the weekly, or daily line schedule.
Each schedule supports and reinforces the others. Consider also adding a season calendar to the mix. My kids loved the idea of the seasons changing and were curious about the first day of the next season.
Visual schedules will soon become an indispensable part
of communication between you and your child.
Printing and assembly instructions:
Print on 8.5"x11" paper. 32Lb works well, or print on separate sheets and glue backs together (so that you can't see through).
Note: Card stock doesn't laminate well.
Laminate. 10 mil. or double laminate until stiff. Ensure laminator is hot to avoid cloudiness and bubbles when laminating multiple times.
Attach Velcro dots.
Add a strip of adhesive to the bottom of side 2 in the space provided to store icons, such as days of the week.
Optional: Punch holes at the top to attach elastic chord to hang. See example at the top of the page.