Getting ready for school and getting there on time with everything they need, may feel like a real challenge to a parent, never mind to a child! When our children are babies, we hear so much about the importance of routine ? for eating, sleeping, bathing? the same principles make complete sense when applied to the school day. So if your child is in nursery school or secondary school or anywhere in between, routine can make life so much easier.
Establishing a school routine can go a long way to making the day run smoothly, stopping any frustrations that can lead to arguments and setting your child up for a good day’s learning.
Bags should be packed and by the door at night. Make sure that everything they need is included so that there are no last minute scrambles to find that special pencil or sports kit.
Establish a set bedtime, and turn televisions, games consoles, computers and stimulating games off at least half an hour before bedtime. Use this time for reading, relaxing or chatting? whatever it takes to wind down and signal to your child that bedtime is approaching.
While your child settles in bed, lay out the uniform or clothes they need for the next day. This saves that half hour in the morning with the whole household trying to find a runaway sock!
With all the organising taken care of the night before, your child has time to play, have a good breakfast and enjoy the morning before heading off to school ? this sets them up for the day much better than a rushed morning and toast in the car! Set an alarm for the same time each day and your child will quickly get used to the wake-up call and find it easier to get up.
The first port of call when your child gets home from school should be a change of clothes! Never underestimate the mess that 5 minutes in the house with a snack or a pot of paint can create when your child is wearing a school uniform!
An afterschool snack can be crucial in stopping that late-afternoon slump that makes many kids grumpy and lethargic. A quick snack before homework can focus the mind and prevent sloppy work and the resulting rows!
Keep a box file with everything your child needs for homework inside; paper, pencils, pens, colouring things, erasers, sharpeners, glue? all those things that your child will have left behind when he or she really needs them. When the box comes out, it is homework time. Sit with your child until they know what they need to do and check back regularly to make sure they stay focused.
The key to a good school routine is creating a set way of doing things that your child can anticipate. This will mean fewer objections when you say its bath-time, bedtime or homework time. It will also mean that unexpected interruptions wont pose a problem ? a late night now and then or having visitors won?t throw the routine out because you are more organised and better placed to deal with it.