Now that you’ve got some ideas to create your impromptu learning space, it’s time to make a structure for your day. Kids THRIVE on structure, routine and predictability.
Neuroscientists have found that children's brains need a predictable schedule - because when children feel safe and comfortable, learning flourishes.
That said, your schedule should be flexible. Rhythms, routines...a general, predictable FLOW is what I'm talking about...
Meal time. Outdoor play time. Naps. Chores. Bedtime etc.
Create a schedule that works for your family. Carve out chunks of time for a morning meeting (15 minutes), some focussed learning time (20-30 minute chunks), baking or cooking, as well as free unstructured play time. You can include your children's input here also. Be intentional about screen time - come up with an agreement about what is a reasonable amount, and work together to schedule television and technology time.
While learning activities will shift from day to day, the general flow will remain the same. Posting the schedule on the wall (and a visual schedule for the kids) helps keep a sense of routine and structure to your day. You'll also know what's coming, so you can be prepared and gather up the supplies needed.
Here’s an example of a daily schedule. You do YOU and what works for your family.
You can use the following picture cards to get a visual schedule for your kids. Seeing their day mapped out like this makes their day predictable, and makes transitions MUCH easier, because they anticipate what’s coming.
Congrats! You’ve got a basic schedule to use each day. Remember - this is a flexible schedule - it ebbs and flows with the needs of your family and temperament of your kids.