When a child starts school, they are introduced to structure and routine. No matter the grade, schools instill organization and ritual to educate students through academics and everyday movements.
As a parent, it’s crucial for your child to maintain this sense of structure outside of school. From forming healthy nighttime rituals to designating outdoor playtime, there are many ways you can help your child create a structured, at-home routine. At St. Timothy’s School, we encourage parents to aid their child’s intellectual and social-emotional growth through developing healthy habits. Below, we’ve compiled a list of ways to help your child establish a routine at home.
Set a School Day Schedule
When it comes to forming a routine, things tend to change once the weekend hits. While the weekend offers flexibility, your child’s weekdays should be more structured. After your child completes their school day, try to carry on their routine into after-school hours. During the school week, establish a daily schedule for your child, allotting time for homework, after-school activities, and relaxation. For example, if your child doesn’t have obligations directly after school, consider creating an after-school regimen where they can relax and enjoy a healthy snack before beginning their homework. Doing so can ensure your child is on track with assignments and extracurriculars while also giving the relaxation time they need after a long day at school.
Put the Routine in Writing
Before getting the ball rolling with your at-home routine, consider writing down your child’s schedule. As a parent, you’ve probably made yourself a to-do list or two to avoid forgetting important tasks. The same applies to children, especially when adapting to a new routine. Write down your child’s routine step-by-step and put it in an easily accessible place. For example, if you’re trying to establish nighttime rituals for your child, paste their nightly routine on their bathroom mirror. This way, if they forget a step, they’ll have the answers right on hand. However, instructions with too many words or items could overwhelm your child. Instead, try to be concise and throw in some pictures where you see fit!
Make Time for Physical Activity
Physical activity is vital to any child’s daily routine. While children need to complete their academic obligations outside of school, it’s just as important for them to get outside and get moving! Encourage your child to take homework breaks outside, which will help improve their focus once they get back to work. Whether visiting your neighborhood playground or going on a long family walk, there are plenty of ways to incorporate physical outdoor activities into your child’s daily rituals. A good rule of thumb is to go outside after school hours. For example, on top of their daily school recess time, your child could also benefit from outdoor time at home, like an evening stroll after dinner.
Get Your Child’s Input
If you want your child to form healthy habits at home, it’s important to give them a say. Children like to be a part of the decision-making process and are more likely to follow a routine they helped create. Giving your child some input in their daily rituals will help them develop stronger self-regulation and time management skills that will lay a lifelong foundation for a strong work ethic. For example, if your child’s favorite school subject is science, make that a priority in your daily homework routine. Rather than starting with math or English, let your child study their favorite subject first to make them happier and more motivated.
The most important thing to remember when establishing a routine for your child is to be flexible! For children especially, it can take a while to form daily habits. Consider the first few weeks of routine a trial run for you and your child. If you fall out of schedule one day, don’t stress! Instead, remind your child to try again tomorrow. And if your established routine isn’t working as expected, be flexible and make some adjustments! Remember, routines are all about trial and error and figuring out what works best for your child.
Private Education at St. Timothy’s School
At St. Timothy’s School, we recognize that routines play a vital role in a young child’s intellectual, social, and emotional development. Children can develop a lifelong foundation of self-discipline and time management by implementing healthy habits at school and home. Visit our site today to learn more about how we instill academic excellence through everyday moments.