With one child in school and the other wishing she was old enough for Kindergarten (one more year), I am finding a need to have a consistent schedule to for both us to keep sane this year. Having a visual schedule helps my daughter know what she will be doing each day and helps me (or she helps me) stay on task.
Since my daughter is over 4 1/2 years old, she has this itch to learn and wants to catch up to her brother. It is great. Really. I love it, but she is wanting more than our “fun and easy” schedule we did last year. She wants a real schedule and to feel like she is in school. Sure, I could sign her up for preschool, but I am not ready to give her up, yet. Besides, she is the only one home right now and this is my last year with her before she is off at school. I may change my mind in December after her baby sister arrives, but until then we will enjoy the time. So, we will be adding some “school time” to our daily schedule.
Here is what we will be using for our schedule below:
Morning Routine: She wakes up with her brother and so she follows his morning routine of eat breakfast, get dressed, make bed, brush teeth and hair.
Preschool Time: We spend 45 minutes – 1 hour a day
Rusty & Rosy Computer Time: 15 minutes every morning. She really enjoys her time on the Rusty & Rosy computer software. She loves to sing along with the songs and always has some paper and a pencil handy so she can practice writing letters. She often asks me to “go away” while she is “playing”.
Reading Time: 15 minutes reading books from the library every morning.
Activity Time: 15-30 minutes of an activity. Every week we are focusing on a letter of the alphabet. The first day we color or decorate the letter with items that start with the same letter. Other days we may do a craft, bake, play a game, learn a song or do a science project based off something starting with the chosen letter of the week. (i.e. “A” Week = homemade apple sauce, apple stamps, etc.)
Fun: Our daily non-preschool activity. It could be an outing like a library trip, a play group, painting with water colors, dance class, Mom & Sister sewing project, etc.
Jobs: She has 2 jobs a day that she needs to do outside of her own Morning Routine. One job is set in stone, feeding the dog. The other job is “Mom’s Choice”. Typically, it is something that needs to be done that day (i.e. vacuuming a room, help cleaning a bathroom, empting the dishwasher, etc.). This is a great opportunity for her to learn some more responsibility. As she improves we may add another job, but until then two is perfect.
To create the schedule, I kept it simple and used card stock and marker. I cut 2 sheets of card stock into thinner strips and on each slip wrote an activity we will be doing. Once finished I taped the schedule at my daughter’s eye level on the wall. If we stay on task, we can have everything done before lunch leaving our afternoons open for more Mom & Sister projects or a nap.
We are still working on completeting the whole schedule each day, but I love being able to tell her “Go look at your schedule and let’s see what is next.” She begs for her “school time” and so it a great motivator to get us going in the morning!
Top image courtesy of: FreeDigitalPhotos.net