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the benefits of a visual schedule

The Benefits of a Visual Schedule for Home and School Success

Do you feel like a broken record when you ask your child to complete a simple task or standard routine? Whether you’re asking your child to fulfill her typical morning routine or planning ahead for the upcoming weekend, try using a visual schedule to outline your expectations.

The benefits of a visual schedule include the following:

Visual schedules make chores or tasks objective instead of subjective. When there is a neutral source promoting expectations for the child, it fosters enhanced independence in the child as well as takes the emotionality out of having to remind, repeat, and get frustrated with the child’s progress. Even though it would seem like second nature to complete standard morning time practices, the visual schedule outlines for the child what comes first, second, last, etc. and provides a checklist to move through. Some parents take pictures of their child completing these tasks (i.e. making their bed, brushing their teeth, packing their bag, eating breakfast) to make this a visually pleasing tool and increase child investment in the process.

Visual schedules make transitions easier. For younger children who thrive with structure and benefit from knowing what is on the agenda for the day, a simple visual schedule can aid in transitions and reduce anxiety about upcoming events. These schedules can be less formal and just require a simple sketch of what is to come. During lazy days or even days with little going on, visual schedules can help to structure unstructured time and provide a variety of outlets in a time-sensitive fashion. For example, on a relaxing Saturday create a schedule with your child that incorporates meal times and provides options for morning “art time” and afternoon “outdoors time”. These schedules create structure with pictures. Instead of writing out art time, draw with crayons, paints, or chalk. Meal time would be indicated with a picture of a sandwich and plate. Drawing these expectations out can facilitate independence for even young kids to stick to the routine and understand the structure through the use of symbols.

These visual schedule help bring structure and independence to all home and school routines.

For more help this school year, watch this Pediatric TV Episode on how to set up a homework station at home.







4 Quick Tips To Getting Your Child Organized

Helping your child or student get organized can sometime feel like an uphill battle. For many children the problem isn’t that they won’t organize their bedroom, binder, desk, or backpack but truly that they can’t. For example, many children lack the ability to visualize what their desk is “supposed to” look like when it is clean and organized. Difficulty with organization may be hard to understand, especially if you consider yourself to be an organizational expert.

The following tips can help begin the process of teaching organization skills:

• Take a picture of their desk when it is organized and post the picture inside of the desk. Have your child refer to this visual example when it is time to clean the desk. This strategy can also be to help clean up a bedroom (be sure to take pictures of specific parts of the room – i.e. an organized dresser drawer etc.)

• Give your child very specific and concrete directions when asking them to organize. “First pick up all of the dirty clothes from your bedroom floor. Second, put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket.”

• Create a checklist to guide your child through the process of organizing. This can be helpful for children that tend to get distracted, or children that have difficulty initiating tasks.

• Don’t forget to be your child’s cheerleader as they learn how to become an organizational master – give them praise with every small accomplishment!

 Click Here To Download Our Free Executive Functioning Skills Checklist

Organizational Strategies For Grammar School Students

Are school mornings hectic and stressful? Do the evenings fly by in a blur? Whether they’re in kindergarten or fifth grade, helping your children stay organized will help to get you out the door in the morning and leave more time for family fun at home in the evening.Unorganized Books

Here are a few organizational strategies you can use to get them better structured:

  • Organization for any family starts with a solid daily routine. This will help things to run smoothly once kids come home from school. Scheduling TV time, homework, dinner and a consistent bedtime will help the evenings move along like clockwork rather than chaos.
  • Checklists may be helpful in keeping kids on track with the family routine. Allowing them to check off what they have accomplished gives them ownership and increases their independence.
  • As the daily routine of the school year sets in, your child may require reminders to look through their backpack for any important papers to give you, assignments for the day, or upcoming school events. Building this process into the after school routine will help everyone stay on the same page and up-to-date with what needs to be completed.
  • Establish a designated area for backpacks, lunch boxes, show-and-tell items and other school supplies. An area close to the door will help your grade school student remember all of their supplies for the day’s events.
  • Help your student establish an organizational system for school. Binders with folders for each class or a labeled accordion-style folder will help them complete homework and meet deadlines. This strategy will stick with them for years to come.
  • Create an area for your child to complete homework that is free from too many distractions and allows for concentration and focused completion of homework and school projects. Making pencils, paper, and other necessary supplies easily accessible will help them to complete their assignments in a timelier manner.
  • If your child resists sitting down to complete their homework or becomes fidgety after sitting for too long, it may help to set a timer (5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes) and when it goes off give them a movement break. This provides an end point and may help them focus; giving your child a break during homework time is also helpful in keeping them motivated and on task.
  • Talk with your child’s teacher to identify what organizational strategies they will be using in the classroom in order to promote consistency at home.
  • Help your student use a daily planner to keep track of assignments given each day in school. Making a bulleted list for each class may remind them to fill out their planner each day.
  • Help your student to break down long-term projects into more manageable steps. This skill will prevent them from waiting until the last minute to complete the project, and will be beneficial into middle and high school.
  • Reviewing your child’s homework and recognizing their effort and accomplishments will motivate them to continue working hard.

 What is your best practice for organizing your child?

Click Here To Download Your Free Executive Functioning Skills Checklist