What are Visual Schedules, and How Do You Use Them?

14 Oct 2016 | Class Management, Learning

A visual schedule can help parents and teachers prepare their children or students to learn how to adapt a routine and study better. It can be created using pictures, photographs, or written words, depending upon the ability of the child.

What are the benefits of using visual schedules?

1. To remind children of their schedules.

As with normal schedules, the main reason of creating a visual schedule is to remind daily tasks or to-do lists to help children get used to a routine. You can create visual schedules for in the classroom, such as dividing classroom chores, day’s subjects & breaks, etc. For at home, you can create schedules for morning routines before going to school, evening routines before going to bed, and chores.

2. Children will want to interact with it than with normal schedules.

The main feature of a visual schedule is that it is visual-oriented. By using images, drawings, and bright colours (depending on the child’s interests), you can make it look fun and interactive. Be creative!

3. Visual schedules help children with attention difficulties.

As mentioned in the previous point, visual schedules are meant to be attractive visually. This can make a huge difference for children with attention difficulties who learns visually, or any children who learns visually. There is also many evidences of its value for children in the autism spectrum (1, 2).

4. Use them as a part of the room’s decoration!

Make the visual schedule as a part of classroom or house decoration! It is fun to make, so spare some time to make it together with your child.

An example of a visual schedule worksheet to divide tasks in a classroom.

1. Use the visual schedule in difficult times.

For example: when a child starts to show boredom with activity (maybe past experiences have taught you that the child doesn’t cope well with boredom), you can prevent any further escalation by bringing the child to this schedule and let them know when break is going to start. Another use is when a child keeps forgetting morning routine at home; this can serve as a reminder.

2. Put this visual schedule in a good location where everyone can see it easily.

3. Put words as well under the pictures.

Don’t forget to put words as well under the pictures, so this “visual” schedule can also appeal to other children who don’t particularly learn with pictures. For auditory children, read out/speak to them as you explain the schedule.

4. Use removable material.

This can save you a lot of trouble when the routine has to be changed, or the schedule is revised.

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