Embracing Everyday Adventures at Learning Ladder Academy
If you’re anything like me, my Google Calendar is how I manage all my activities, obligations and even my to-do list for work. Without an effective way of recording all the things I need to do; I would forget so many things. It helps keep me on track and generally keeps everything running smoothly.
Four our little ones, a regular routine and schedule are so important. Having set times for meals, naps, bedtime, and other daily activities allows children to anticipate what is going to have next in their day. Being able to know what is coming next often helps children to better understand their feelings and better regulate their emotions.
Here, at Learning Ladder Academy, we build our classroom routines and schedules with our specific students in mind. Ensuring mealtimes are at regular intervals is vital! The children quickly learn when their next mealtime is each day, and they rely on our staff to see to their needs.
When creating a schedule for a young child, making a visual schedule can be a very important component to the success of the schedule. Since most of our students cannot read, having pictures indicating each activity can help young children understand what to expect each day.
As a teacher of toddlers, I create a “First & Then” schedule. With only two things on the schedule at one time, it makes it easier for the littlest friends to better understand what we are doing. For example, we might FIRST play outside and THEN come inside to listen to a story.
For our Preschool and PreK friends, a visual schedule may include the entire day’s activities: Breakfast, circle time, outside play, small group, lunch, nap, snack, free play are things that could be on the schedule. Using a clip or arrow to point out where on the schedule we are prepares them for what is going to happen next.
When a child understands what is going to happen, especially for those who are new or who have just transitioned to a new classroom, it allows any anxiety about the unknown dissipate. For those who are always asking, “What’s next?!” it is a resource to better understand their own day.
Many of these ideas can be used at home. Many families will use visual cards for morning routines: Get dressed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, and get your bag for school.
Regardless of where scheduling is used, having a regular schedule that the children’ can count on is so important to helping them regulate their feelings and activities each day.