Thursday, February 24, 2011

Visual Aids

This isn't -by far- a new solution. It's not even new to this house (we lost our routine charts when we moved) but I have to say the addition of pictures* has extrodinarily helped with both the enthusiasm and age level of the kids able to participate.

I added a sun to the morning and a moon to the bedtime routine charts. Emmy loves them and thinks she has to push the picture to activate the routine. These are very simplified lists but the vast amounts of help...well, I can't even really express it.

They get it. I don't have to yell. Is it perfect? No, but it helps and I think that's what matters here. At least every morning and evening the kids understand both in words and pictures what I expect of them. There is a tangible chart of things and not just a jarring list mommy rattles off 5 times in 15 minutes at varying levels of aggravated that is too numerous to remember. Is it everything that I need them to do? No, but it's enough for them to accomplish mostly unsupervised and constant. Kids need that. A constant routine in which to gauge their days.

I think routine is most one of the most important (and difficult to attain) things for homeschooled children - especially unschooled- that have no real time table to judge things by. Since we don't get up at the same times every day, school never takes the same set of hours, and our activites vary pretty dramatically from day to day, having the list of things that is unchanging helps them immeasureably. If you have ever read a teaching or parenting book I bet somewhere in there the topic of routines come up. I read about it when we were having behaivor problems with my oldest. The whole giving them a countdown to leaving a fun playdate to help with tantrums and aid transition I can remember reading in multiple books.

Somewhere in the uprooting of house and home I forgot that. Morning and Bedtime Routine charts have become the first on our road to burn-out recovery.

*the clip art I downloaded from and is created by Kate Hadfield.


Sarah Faith said...

perfect! yes i found the same magical enthusiasm for chores when I posted a chart. I think it's sort of like a separate authority from mom, even though you wrote it! Having it right there to point to cuts down on yelling/nagging. Great idea!

Jessica said...

Love it!

April said...

Great idea! When I was growing up my mom gave me stickers for staying on task. If I earned a certain number of stickers each month I could get something for it. I remember being around 7 and I redeemed my stickers for a pet goldfish - a most exciting day for me. Of course after that, caring for the goldfish was added to my chore list. lol