Okay, so I’m terrible with routines for the kids too. We do some things regularly, but essentially, it’s pretty haphazard. I want to start (for the second time, by the way) a picture schedule for the kids. It’s going to take some time to iron out the details. But ultimately I’m hoping it will help my kiddos become a little bit more self-sufficient and secure, especially for my highly sensitive 4 year old dd. Every place I read seems to say that a lot of comfort is derived from having routines.
I’m laminated cute, colorful pictures I got from this great and FREE clipart website:
And I am going to affix them to a poster board on the wall with velcro buttons so that I can move them around as needed. I have tried doing a permanent order once, but that drove me up a wall because I kept thinking of changes so I gave up on that. But it’s time again to try because I need to help my dds help themselves. Every where I hear about routines for kids being very helpful, particularly since they have no sense of time, so they use these routine events to mark the passage of time.
Now, I know my kids seem to take well to the visuals. My sensitive dd2 is especially appreciative of them. And later, I’m going to get some input from the kids to verify the order and see if we can start out with this one. I know there are lots of things that aren’t represented on there – like times for playing with specific things – like play doh or modeling clay, doing our montessori activities and such, but for now I wanted to keep it simple, and mostly focus on self-care issues (things we seem to have trouble with the most) and eating times (not including snack times) and getting the kids off to school. We will tweak it as we go, I’m sure.
Anyway, I thought I’d share the link because I know a lot of people on one of my message boards ask often about routines for the young kids.
Oh, and I also have pictures of various chores the kids already participate in (erratically), but I was going to do that too. Maybe it will encourage them to do a little more. We already pay them a small allowance each week ($1 for the 6 year old, 50 cents for the 4 year old, and 25 cents for the 2.5 year old). Speaking of which, I also want to get three jars a piece for them – to divide up their money into one jar to save, one jar to spend, and one jar to give to church). It’s never too early to start teaching them about saving and giving instead of immediately spending (though it isn’t a bad thing to save for a specific purchase either).
My 6 year old saves up her earnings for the elephant ride at the Shrine Circus that comes to town each November. She refuses to let us pay for it, saying she wants to use her own money. It’s only $5, and but it means a lot to her to be able to use her own money.
Hopefully when it comes time for the girls to leave the nest, they will have a respect for their money and how to wait for what they want.