Family Matters | Leana Matodes
Visual Week Chart
"The secret to victory, lies in the organisation"
Please Note: Should you and your child use a lot of "NO's" during these discussions, please read our blog How to say NO without saying NO.
Charts are useful teaching tools because a kid enjoys seeing a visual representation of her responsibility and praise for an accomplished task. It's not just the kids who can have fun with a chart.
If your family needs a little encouragement to help with preparation, time schedules and understanding routine, a Visual Week Chart may be the answer.
Benefits provided by using a Visual Week Chart:
- The Visual Week Chart may help your child’s day and week to be more visually predictable = security, less anxiety, visual easier to remember than verbal instructions.
- It assists you and your child to prepare for the day (For example: What to take to swimming, or what can we do at school).
- It also develops a sense of "first" and "then".
- The week chart develops a sense of "time"; of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
- It develops the understanding of questions with visual support. For example: What did we do yesterday? What will happen tomorrow? = Past Tense; Understanding Questions
- Great preparation around fears or anxiety, for example: What if the games at KinderGym are different today? (An event that might worry your child). Let’s make a plan together? (This plan can then be discussed and drawn out to refer to, as you get to Kindergym).
- "What if?" Questions. A great tool to deal with "worries" in a calm and safe environment before the event actually happens.
- A week chart with visuals is a great way of preparing your children for "changes" for example: "Look, a star sign above Monday" … That means a little change… "Let’s see what we are going to do as your karate is not on tomorrow" … "Would you like to go to the park or to the beach?" (offer the child visual choices so you can focus on what you CAN do and not so much on what he/she CAN’T do anymore).
Get started on your own Visual Week Chart:
- A2 poster card board
- Textas to draw lines for each day of the week
- Velcro dots—to attach photos of each activity your child participates in, for example: child swimming/child at speech therapy/child at school
- Small photo of child to move along each day of the week
- Photos of the places your child goes to, or photos of your child participating in those events
How to use:
- Each day you and your child can talk about the events of the day by looking at the photos on your Visual Week Chart. For example: first we are going to swimming (show pic in the morning). Then we are going to have lunch (pic in the middle of the day) and then we are going to Karate.
- You can talk about what you did yesterday and where you will go tomorrow by looking at the photos on your Visual Week Chart.
- The Visual Week Chart creates an overview of your week and the progression of time.
- The Visual Week Chart can be used in addition to a calendar chart—for those who would like to know when big or important events will occur—or in addition to the morning chart and afternoon chart (these are more detailed and offer a step by step support for your day).
How it's time to have fun making your own Visual Week Chart and enjoy the benefits of having one.
An example of a Visual Week Chart: