Developing a School Routine

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Developing a School Routine
Developing a School Routine

There is a way to make back to school easier so as to make it less stressful for the child and also for the parents. It's about establishing a new routine at home.


Back to school is often synonymous with anxiety, stress invades children as much as parents. It's the time when parents spend half their day chasing after time: morning routine, school daycare, homework and lessons, extracurricular, evening classes, evening routine, and I on the way…

Don't Panic! There are ways to make going back to school easier so as to make it less stressful for the child and also for the parents. You just have to put in place the framework structures, ie a routine at home. Thanks to my suggestions, the whole family will have a great day.

What is a routine?

If you go back to the first years of your child's birth, without even noticing it, a routine was already established for the well-being of the little one: times to drink, time for a nap or sleep, etc. It was reassuring for your baby, as for you. Toddlers need stability and continuity. Youdidn't need to picture it or write it, it was instinctive on your part.

A routine is first of all a clear and precise timetable in order to identify to the child what he has to do and in what order he should do it. The child loves to be supervised even if sometimes he grumbles against the rules. The routine is very reassuring for the child, it helps to reduce stress and anxiety in the latter. The routine is different from one family to another, because we must take into account our way of life and the specific and precise needs of each of our children, and thus adapt it according to age. It is with a routine that your child will develop a sequence of good habits.

When should it be implemented?

I would tend to tell you, as early as possible, but ideally integrate it already around the age of 3. At this age, the child likes to decide everything and feels able to do everything by himself, but he is still so dependent on the adult! Your child is sometimes obedient and very charming and at other times a little monster. So it becomes important to have a schedule, a routine and a planning of tasks in the routine, because at three years old he is able to carry out some of them (picking up his toys, putting his dirty laundry in the basket, watering the plants, wiping the table, etc.).

Ideally, children starting school in September should resume routine at least two weeks before school starts. During the holidays as well as the holiday season or inon other occasions, the routine is different, a little more flexible, but after two months of vacation you must regain control, structure and supervise your child.


The benefits of the routine at home

  • By helping the young child to situate himself in time, he can foresee the events that will follow.
  • The routine must always be simple to understand and above all constant.
  • I suggest that separated families discuss this routine, because if mom or dad or even the babysitter follows the routine and the others don't, there will be no consistency and the child will increase his anxiety instead of reducing it. Everyone around your child should follow the routine the same way.
  • It also allows him to promote his autonomy, because in the routine, you add the tasks that he will have to respect.
  • Adhering to the morning and evening routine helps to reinforce a child's feelings of stability and security.

Example Weekday Routine (School Days)

morning afternoon party
rise snack + free time free time
lunch homework + lessons bath
brushing teeth supper put dirty laundry in basket
dress wipe the table bedtime ritual
help prepare lunch play

When you decide to set up a routine, you will have better discipline management. Why not involve the child in planning the routine? It will be easier to respect it, because he will have established it with you.

It is certain that a routine can be imagined if the child does not yet know how to read and integrate domestic tasks, he will be proud of himself and will develop autonomy. Even if the child is small (from 3 years old), he will quickly learn the sequence of the painting by heart. Ex.: “After my bath, I have to put my dirty clothes in the basket”. Without even looking at its sequence in the routine table.

Have the routine schedule visible and accessible to the child so that he can refer to it at any time. Positive reinforcement greatly encourages the child to continue the routine and it also promotes good self-esteem.

If ever your child tends to take his time to perform a task in order to stretch the routine (e.g. Ludovic takes 15 to 20 minutes to get dressed.) Ask him to perform this task by 8 minutes and time it. If he succeeds, congratulate him.

Children who have had a routine at home since they were little children stand out well in the group at school, they are children who have much less difficulty complying with the rules of the school system or even at daycare. Homework and lessons are practicallyalways done, they are secure in any environment, often have a much easier time relating to peers, etc.

Weekend Routine

The weekend routine is very different. It is more flexible, but still frames the child. It also allows the child not to spend the weekend in front of the television or in front of his video game. It also allows him to explore different activities and set aside some time with the children to strengthen the bond that already exists, quality time!

Here is an example of a weekend routine

evening supper

play outside or craft

pick up toys bath free time and bedtime ritual

During vacation days, school holidays, weekends, etc., unforeseen events (guests for dinner, a family outing, a babysitter, etc.), it is essential to notify the changes to the schedule as early as possible in the day in order to preserve "the safe side".

Role of Parents


Set up and create the schedule for the routine with the child. Ensure the consistency of all those around the child. Check if the child is collaborating well in the routine. Timer time if your child seems to be stretching time. Encourage your child (positive reinforcement).

It's not always easy to establish a routine at home. In thefirst days, you will have, in addition to building it, to make sure that it is respected, so accompany your child in the first days. It is sometimes a challenge for the whole family. But keep in mind that maintaining a stable routine makes it much easier to coach your child at home and adapt more easily to school.

Inspiring Readings

  • Empowering your child, Éditions CHU, Germain Duclos - Martin Duclos, 2005, ISBN: 9782896190331, 14, 95 $
  • Tell me a story, Éditions CHU, Francine Ferland, for the bedtime ritual, 2008, ISBN: 9782896191161, 14, 95 $
  • For parents who are overwhelmed and lacking in energy, Éditions CHU, Francine Ferland, 2006, ISBN: 9782896190515, 14, 95 $

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