Home education is not always cheap. Assuming full-responsibility for the supplying your little human with the resources they need for Self-Directed Learning can bit into your budget.
But it does not have to break the bank. Some things you can borrow. Some you can buy second hand. And some you can make yourself.
Today’s blog focuses on one of those. One that we still use today. A visual schedule…
While we have had to make new pieces to go on the board many times in the past seven or eight years, the board itself remains solid.
It was relatively simple to make. The base is an old white board, but thick cardboard, an old piece of wood, or a large canvas would also do. Then, it is just a matter of partitioning out the days. If you notice there are four time slots under each day – morning, afternoon, evening, and night. Those work for us, though if you human is older or tells time you can use hourly blocks instead.
In each slot is a Velcro tab. You then make pieces that you laminate and attach to the board. Pieces are peoples, places, and activities that you regularly encounter. Once those are made, you put corresponding Velcro on the back of those.
I suggest that you keep your pieces in a bag or box near where you mount your board. The board itself should be mounted somewhere that your human frequents often. These days that is the computer room for @PanKwake.
So, how do you use a visual schedule?
Once a week, usually Sunday evening for us, I go through our week and slot in the activities that we have planned. Of course, those can change. That was one of the hard-learned lessons of her board for @PanKwake. But people flake. It even got to the point that if I placed one of her friends up, she would comment that we could not count on them because her Mommy’s was not reliable. Then, of course, the weather does not always do what you expect. For outdoor activities that can be a real issue. #
It took years for those lessons to sink in. But eventually, she gets it. And I believe the board helped. Likewise, things come up. A friend can call and ask about coming over. Or you can decide to do something exciting.
One word of caution for those with PDAers (Pathological Demand Avoidant persons). This schedule was originally suggested to me by Occupational Therapists to address @PanKwake’s meltdowns around ‘traumatic’ events such as doctors appointments and parental switch-overs. Knowing that such things were scheduled was supposed to help her prepare for them. But this advice, which may be valid for certain autistic people, does NOT work with PDA. Seeing such things on our schedule only increased her anxiety, led to more meltdowns, and ruined otherwise enjoyable activities.
In the end, I used the schedule more for positive social activities. @PanKwake is always asking when she will see certain friends or go places. This allows her to see that for herself.
Of course, these days with Covid, there hasn’t been much to put on that board. But hopefully, the day is coming when it can once again be filled with social activities.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the myth that #homeeducated children lack socialization. Because unlike school, self-directed learning is a 7-day-a-week, 365 activity. In our @HomeCrazzyHour, it is often even 24/7. So, yes, #100DaysOfHomeEd includes Saturdays, and even Sundays. See you then…