what's good about scheduling

In these busy times, most parents’ lives are highly scheduled. While we may lament being over-scheduled, for children, schedules are an important way to gain autonomy and self-regulation.

Schedules help build trust between
adults and children.

If the schedule is consistent, children learn the pattern. And once children have learned a pattern, they can begin to infer what will happen next, and gain a sense of control. When there is a regular schedule, young children begin to understand that adults will take care of their needs on a regular basis.

With a consistent schedule, children and adults always know what comes next. Teachers can manage their time more efficiently, and prepare materials and activities for the day. There is a balance of experiences and activities that children can enjoy and accomplish when the day is relaxed, yet productive. Without a schedule, children are likely to feel frustrated and tired by the end of the day. While each day has different activities and experiences than the day before, knowing what will happen next in their daily schedules offers a sense of security to children, which helps develop self-confidence.

Schedules also help children develop a sense of time and organization. Since young children have a very limited sense of time, offering a familiar structure helps them develop understanding of the passage of time in their day. A consistent schedule helps children understand the terms now and later, before and after, this morning and this afternoon, today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

At first circle, schedules are predictable yet flexible and responsive to individual needs of the children. We prepare and provide time and support for transitions, and always include both indoor and outdoor experiences, as well as large, small, and individual activities. Each of our classrooms has a consistent daily schedule and each daily schedule – no matter the age – includes the same elements for each child. These elements happen differently for each group, and care is taken to respond to and make accommodations for individual needs. In the infant classrooms, each child’s schedule is individualized; by the time they get to Toddlers, children are ready for a group schedule.

How do I schedule at home?

Daily schedules can be beneficial to you and your child at home. Regardless of how you implement it, the schedule itself should fit the needs of your family in order to be successful.