The start of a new school year is an exciting time, and to have the best start possible it is important to establish a good routine right away and stick to it! Children thrive on knowing what to expect, and being able to anticipate what is going to happen throughout the day. This helps young children to not only feel safe and secure, but it gives them a sense of control in their life.
Here are some practical tips on establishing a good routine:
- Set sleep goals – we all know how much better we feel and function after a good night’s sleep – and it is even more important for young developing children to get the right amount of sleep. Check with your paediatrician on the recommended number of sleep hours your child should be getting, and set a sleep schedule to accommodate that.
- Plan ahead – get a head start on the morning the night before. Establish routines such as having your child help pick out the clothes they will wear the next day, and packing their backpack before bedtime.
- Have a consistent morning schedule, for example, wake up, a little cuddle and chit chat, eat breakfast, shower, brush teeth and dress up for school.
- Make a visual chart of the bedtime and morning routine so your child can see step by step what they need to do.
- Have an “out the door time” – set the time that you need to be out the door in order to arrive at school on time.
- Give 5 – 3 and 1 minute reminders that it’s going to be time to go. Don’t wait until it is the last minute you can be on your way out – give your child a few reminders the time to go is approaching.
- Get to school with enough time allowed for play before the class lines up. Check with your class teacher or schedule on when line up time is, and plan to arrive at school with at least 15-20 minutes of play time. If your schedule allows, hang back and play with them for a little while before saying goodbye.
- Repeat! Follow these steps consistently and see how having a good routine and sticking to it supports your child to have the best experience possible!
So let’s get started and all give this a try! There will undoubtedly be some nights or mornings where everything does not go as planned, but don’t let setbacks stop you from keeping at it! If you ever feel like you need a little support, talk to your teacher!
By Teacher Cheryl