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Get Ready... Do... DONE! How to Help Your Child Plan Their Work

We're all familiar with "Ready, Set, GO!" but what about Get Ready, Do, Done? For our children, and maybe even ourselves, who struggle with project and time management, completing an assignment can seem like such a daunting task. Where do we start? What do I need? When will I be done?

That's where using the Get Ready, Do, Done model, designed by Kristen Jacobsen and Sarah Ward for children with autism, comes in to play. It looks like a 3 step plan, but it's in fact more like a 5 step plan.

With this model, you work backwards...

First, you imagine what the finished product will look like. When you're baking a cake, you decide on the recipe first, or you know the occasion and that helps you figure out what you want the cake to look and taste like. What Sammy wants for his birthday cake is different than a tradition Mardi Gras King Cake, which is probably different than what you might want as just a random fun dessert...

Next, you visualize yourself working through the steps. Again, when you're baking a cake, you read the recipe through first to make sure you have the time and ingredients. It might be helpful to give a time estimate for each step.

Now you're ready to Get Ready! Gather the ingredients, materials, etc. Make your blueprint and organize your workspace. If you're baking a cake, gather all the bowls, cups, spoons, pans and ingredients needed.

Start doing. This is where the real work starts. Work through your plan. Use visual chart and graphic organizers, if they help you. Follow those steps on the recipe. Keep an time on how much time each step is taking you and make sure it's lining up with your time estimates to keep you on track.

Done! After you've worked through all your steps, and fixed any problems that came up, your project should be done. The cake is baked and ready to eat.

It may be good to add a sixth step of cleaning up, or "get done" as I've heard it called. This helps to teach our children to truly finish out the activity entirely. After you bake a cake, the dishes won't clean themselves, right?

A great resource for more information on this process can be found here. What projects are you going to Get Ready, Do, Done?

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