What Great Teachers Know...

Things feel out of control. Heck, most of what we face right now IS out of our control.

Those 'out of control' feelings that are causing you anxiety...your kids are feeling, and they are reading it from you, too.

But do you know what every great teacher does to help their classrooms feel safe and secure? Even build excitement? They have a visual schedule.

I know, it sounds so simple (and it is), but it will do WONDERS for your little ones at home. Even though our kids don't want to admit it, they understand the world is big and compared to it, they are often an untethered buoy in a ravenous ocean. They gather their calm from you, and you can give them the security they need by showing them, "We may not be able to control what is going on outside, but I have control of what's going on in here. And I'm going to design our home to nourish your needs. I gotchu, Boo."

Teachers understand the brain and how it functions and learns. Great teachers know the brain is hard-wired for patterns and predictions. They harness this tendency and direct it towards productivity with a daily, visible schedule. They create routines and structures. These systems are one reason kids love going to school. They know what's coming. Even if they don't like one thing on the schedule, they can see another they love (or that the thing they don't like won't last forever). "Next is math (ouch!), but then we have recess!!!!"

We are in the middle of summer and many people are enjoying the luxury of allowing the day to float away as they wish. However, with such a "different" summer happening, and "different" school year ahead, I HIGHLY recommend you start now in creating your family's visual, daily schedule. You do not have to create specific time slots (you can, if that's what suits your family), but we don't at our house. Personally, we need flexibility. The photo shows the morning schedule for one day at our house. As the mom, I know the time I want to have the activities wrapped and lunch started, but I don't strain the family with that rigidity right now. We'll add specific times when the school year begins.

Over time, this visual scheduling will bring security and peace to your home. The more consistently you use it, the more your family will find comfort in this routine. Think about it, how often do your kids love "every Friday night we have pizza" or "on Saturday mornings we ride bikes together"? Those routines you already have in your home feel good because you are capitalizing on the brain's dependence of patterns and predictions. The more you build these 'patterns' that your children 'predict' and can rely on, the more comfort and productivity you will bring to their day.

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