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The Right Routine

Ease School day Afternoons 

Getting back into the swing of the school year can be hectic for kids and parents alike. As everyone adjusts to their new fall schedules, it’s important to make sure that there is some type of consistency in the daily routine that your family follows. It’s been shown that keeping to a standard routine improves cooperation, and can help to eliminate anxiety in children. Not to mention that it also allows parents to make sure that everything that needs to be done gets done.

Of course, different situations are going to call for different routines. You have to tailor your plan to work best with your family. Keep in mind that the first things you try may not work well for you. Here are some helpful suggestions that will help you to create a solid routine for your family:

  • Create a Welcome-Home area: This is a place where your kids can come in, leave their backpacks, jackets, and shoes, and arrive into their home.
  • Engage your kids: Talk about the day they had. There’s probably a lot that went on that they can’t wait to tell you. This is a good thing to do at snack time.
  • Dedicate a place to do homework: While you don’t have to create a full office for your children, they still need a good place to do their homework where they can focus and keep on task.
  • Limit the usage of TV or other distracting devices while homework is happening. The purpose of homework is to reinforce what students learn in class. They will not absorb any of this reinforcement if they are constantly distracted by cartoons or other shows. While some children can still be productive with music, others cannot.
  • Keep in mind other obligations that you or your family may have. There may be sports practices, club meetings and other appointments, and it is important to make sure that this all meshes into your daily schedule.
  • Create checklists: Checklists are a great way to make sure that kids get everything done that they need to. They can track homework, chores, and other activities. It also provides a great sense of accomplishment for kids as they get to check something off.
  • Make sure that there is ample free time: While schedules and routines go far in making sure that everything gets done in a timely fashion, too many restrictions are not a good thing. A recent study published by Frontiers in Psychology showed that kids who are allowed to participate in unstructured activity, that is to say, they’re allowed to pick their own activities, are more able to make decisions and be self directed.

Setting up the routine may be difficult at first, but the advantages will show themselves quickly. With time, the process of coming home, doing homework, completing chores and finally relaxing will become so automatic that it will just happen without having to think ahead. Routines are good tools to keep people and tasks organized, and learning these skills at an early age will certainly be helpful later in life.

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