For many children, learning at home may feel very different from the structured environment of a classroom. We offer these daily schedules as a resource for families who are looking for a way to provide structure for the weekdays.
We know every family is different, so we’ve created a variety of printable resources. Choose what best fits your needs! Ready-to-use schedules are the quickest and simplest to use, and will be a great support for your child. We also offer make-your-own schedules, where you can collaborate with your child to create a custom schedule. Adjust these schedules as needed, and remember that schedules are meant to be used as a guide only! It’s important to set realistic expectations each day and allow for plenty of flexibility.
- Ready-to-use schedule - pictures
- Ready-to-use schedule - words
- Make-your-own schedule - pictures
- Make-your-own schedule - words
Decorate your schedule with our fun characters here!
I need to work during the day. How can I communicate this to my child?
- It can be difficult for children to understand when you are available, and when they need to do things independently. Knowing what to expect can make it easier for them to be independent when needed.
- Walk through your child’s schedule, and discuss which times they will be with you or another grown-up, and which times they will be playing independently. Mark these in some way for your child’s reference. You can put a green dot next to activities that will be completed with a grown-up’s help, and a purple dot next to activities that they will do independently.
- Throughout the day, you can model using the schedule. “During play time, there is a purple dot, so I’m going to do work at that time. After your play time, we’re going to do learning time together!” If children know the next time they will get to be with you, it can be easier for them to complete an activity independently.
What is a picture schedule?
- We recommend using a picture schedule for children ages 2-4. At this developmental stage, children have not yet developed a strong sense of time, but they do understand general sequencing. They understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and what has already happened.
- Print out our ready-to-use picture schedule. Arrange each page horizontally and line them up, so that the schedule looks like this:
- The activities are arranged in a horizontal line so that it’s easier for children to track the activities in order. Along the top, there are numbers that represent the order that the activities happen. The pictures represent the activities, and the words underneath are for parent reference. Throughout the day, you can point to each activity before they happen to reinforce the sequence of the schedule.
It’s my first time using a schedule with my child. Where do I start?
- Your child likely uses a schedule in their classroom. You can try connecting to their school schedule while implementing one at home: “Just like you have times for different activities at school, we’re going to do the same thing at home.”
- Schools often use 2-minute warnings to help make transitions easier. This can also be used to prompt children to tidy their area before moving on: “2 more minutes and we’re cleaning up”; “Just like at school you have to clean up before the next activity, we’re going to do the same thing at home.”
- If your child has not used a schedule at school, you can show your child how to use a schedule through modeling. After breakfast, you can say, “Let’s check the schedule to see what’s next.” Model pointing to the schedule and reading what it says. “Next, we are going to play outside!”
What if the schedule is not working for my child?
- Adjust based on you and your child’s needs. If you are noticing that 30 minutes is too long to spend on a math activity, shorten it! Children tell us what’s developmentally appropriate for them by demonstrating engagement. If they are losing engagement, that may indicate that the activity is too long, or too easy/difficult.
- Provide choices for each activity to give children an opportunity to express their preferences. For example, learning time may have the same two options each day: practice math on Khan Kids, or practice drawing letters. Change out the choices periodically to keep things engaging!
- Ask children for their input. After using a schedule for a week or two, sit down with your child and ask, “What parts of the day do you like?” “What parts of the day can we change?” If there is an activity that a child needs to do, such as teeth brushing, incorporate choice by asking which time of day they’d like to do it: “Would you like to brush your teeth before you get dressed, or after?”
- Children may do better without a schedule! Schedules are not necessary, and they should not be used if they are not helpful. You are the expert on your child!
Do I have to make a schedule with my child? Can I use a ready-to-use schedule?
- Please use whichever resource is best for you and your family! Using no schedule at all is okay too! For many children, creating a schedule alongside an adult can help develop a healthy sense of self-control and choice.
- If you are using the “make your own” schedules, attach the words or images with something you can move, like a paper clip or a rolled piece of tape. There will likely come a time where changes need to be made to the schedule. At this time, you can sit with your child and partner together to make changes.