The first weeks of school are spent developing routines in the classroom to support student learning. This can range from something as simple as how to make a lunch choice to how agendas are completed to record homework assignments. By making these procedures routine, students and teachers are more readily able to focus on the goals of school. The classroom becomes consistent and predictable in a way that helps students to feel more at ease while maximizing time available for teaching and learning.
While our homes do not reflect the classroom environment, routines are just as important. Without a doubt, there are factors at home that can disrupt routines - inconsistent work schedules, student activities, and much more can affect what occurs. However, the more families pay attention to day to day routines, the greater the likelihood that their children will be successful.
In building routines into your child’s life, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
To make the household function well in the morning, everyone needs to know what has to be done to get ready for the day. Try the following:
- Put as many things in order as possible the night before.
- Keep wake-up routines cheerful and positive.
- Be sure your child eats breakfast, even if he or she is not hungry in the morning. Don’t forget that we offer breakfast here at VE.
- Finally, round out each morning by saying goodbye to your young child. A simple hug and a wave as he or she heads out the front door or slides out of the car are extremely important. They will give your child a positive feeling with which to begin the day's activities.
Dinner should be an important time for your family. As often as possible, all family members should eat together at the dinner table, without the distraction of electronic devices. During dinner the family can share the day's activities and participate in enjoyable conversation. Everyone should be encouraged to take part, and negative comments and criticism should be discouraged.
On school nights, children need a regular time to go to sleep. Lights can go out at different times for different children in the family, depending on how much sleep each child needs. Nighttime rituals can help ease a child to sleep. These rituals can include storytelling, reading aloud, conversation, and songs. Try to avoid exciting play and activities before bedtime. If your child has become accustomed to using electronics before bed, consider moving away from these activities. Electronics before bed can disrupt sleep patterns for a variety of reasons.
Paying attention to these details and striving to make them routine can have immense benefits for children and families. Have a great routine you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it - feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for all that you do to support the home-school partnership.
Benjamin B. Rudd, Principal