Keep to a regular routine for school, kids
By Sue Leopold
The first semester of school is nearing conclusion, and that includes a busy and sometimes hectic school routine. By now, everyone has adjusted to the schedule and the everyday agenda. However, if you are like most families with children in school, you may still be trying to set up positive habits and routines that matter. What you do now does matter. What you do truly makes a difference. It is not too late to establish a routine that works for your family. Parents want to raise strong, happy kids who are successful students. Do you know that making a difference and doing your part, as a parent, will equal kids’ long term success in school?
How can you make a difference in the lives of your kids’ schooling? Begin with a solid foundation and follow the same schedule every day. Creating a daily routine is so important. Kids thrive on knowing what is expected with established routines and schedules.
Set up a schedule that works for you and your family. Establish expectations and jobs for both adults and children that will ease the everyday hustle bustle. Even 2- and 3-year-olds can help with family chores, with adult supervision, such as picking up their toys with assistance. Assign chores that your children are capable of doing that instill a sense of accomplishment. Chores encourage independence and responsibility and contribute to the family unit. Everyone wants to know that they can make a difference, even kids.
Here’s what needs to happen: kids do their jobs and parents do their jobs.
Kids do their jobs
Begin each school morning at the same time with age-appropriate expectations of preparing for the day and getting out the door on time. For example, preschool and kindergarten students can dress with minimal parental help. Kids in second and third grade can make their bed, choose a school outfit and get dressed on their own. This age group can also brush their teeth and comb their hair every day. Beginning at age eight, a child can wake up using an alarm clock, take care of personal hygiene, and be responsible for belongings while preparing for the school day. Many kids can serve their own nutritious breakfast with some parental supervision.
At the end of the day, keep a consistent bedtime routine. A nighttime ritual makes it easier for children to relax, fall asleep, and sleep well through the night.
As a child celebrates birthdays, more chores, responsibilities and expectations that can be added to the routine. Consider daily chores and jobs completed once a week. Decide what works best for you and your children and when these chores should be done.
All children can be expected to keep their belongings such as backpacks, jackets and shoes in the same place everyday for easy access. Designate a spot for school folders and papers that need a parent’s signature.
Organization is the key so that everyone can depart in the morning on a positive note that encourages learning in the classroom. It is so important for your children to arrive at school happy and ready to learn.
In order to raise strong students, establish study habits every day that will equal smart kids. Students need to be responsible for homework. If no school work is assigned, kids should be expected to review concepts or read for at least 20 to 30 minutes without interruptions.
Parents do their jobs
Parents who communicate with their child’s teacher and are actively involved with their child’s school will equal student success. What parents do really does count.
As a parent, your job is to look through your child’s folders and to read through the enclosed papers. Check for important school papers that need to be filled out along with your required signature. Support your child in completing homework. Make sure the homework is done in a satisfactory manner in a quiet, distraction-free location.
It is important for parents to take an active role in establishing a daily routine, before and after school, that encourages children to be responsible, successful students. Talk to your children about the importance and value of education. Explain that a student who puts forth effort will gain more knowledge.
To raise strong students, do not delay; begin now. Keep consistent with the routine before school and after school. Remind your kids that, right now, school is their job. Parents need to take an active role in the education of their child.
In summary, kids need to do their jobs and parents need to do their jobs. What each of you does as a family unit will make a difference. Setting habits and routines really does matter at the elementary age. It makes a big difference in our kids’ long-term success in school. Building a strong foundation with established routines and study habits will carry through to junior high, into high school and even into a student’s college days. Keep in mind, there may be days that your family needs to stray from the routine. This is okay. Keep it real. Just return to the routine ASAP. It’s all a learning process. Consider a family plan that teaches responsibility and you’ll teach kids a great life lesson. Remember to offer encouragement, praise and many hugs.