The school year is quickly approaching and Brent from The Children’s Workshop shares advice for parents and families to get back into the routine.
Children need to have schedules and routines predictable. Children in early learning facilities do not know how to tell time, so routines and schedules are their time this goes the same for at home. When schedules are not followed or interrupted it throws children off. When children know what is going to happen and what to expect during the day or evening they receive stability and security. This gives children time to focus on learning and not worrying and it helps eliminate the anxiety of what will happen next.
When routines in early learning facilities, schools and your home are done every day around the same time children grow to create their own routines that will help them learn independence. Some children have trouble with transitions, but when each day they know what will happen next it takes the pressure in anxiety out, so they can move with ease and feel comfortable in their environment of what is happening next. Getting back to the basics does not have to be hard after a long summer break. Here are some tips and tricks to help you navigate through this process and help to make it seamless.
Don’t just stop all the free time at once. Your child is enjoying and loving the freedom of summer vacation. They will resist being pushed back into the grind of everyday. Decide which routines you can be a little bit more flexible with, and the ones you cannot. Gradually cut back bed time to 3-5 minutes a night about two weeks before school starts. Time is everything.
Time- Think about your dynamic of your family routines and what that looks like in the fall or winter time when you are in full swing. What routines need to take place. Yes, time management is needed in the home to help with consistent routines.
Outside- Make this part of your child’s routine to wind down. They are outside most of the time in the summer continue this. Take 15 minutes to throw a ball outside, go for walk, run around the yard, water the garden, take the dog for a walk. Fresh air helps us to wind down and reset.
Relaxing time to wind down – Make bath/ shower time the same, have your child read a book or you read to them. Limit screen time and electronics one hour to half hour before bed. This helps children to pick quite activities to help them wind down.
Get your things ready- Have your child put their clothes out the night before. Pack back packs or bags and place them near the door along with their shoes. I know this may sound silly, but you can save a ton of time doing this.
Getting back to routines can be the hardest thing after 8-10 weeks of fun. Putting some routines in place will help you get back into the swing of things. Don’t forget to leave some spare time for flexibility and fun as a family to play, laugh, and just being a family. Don’t wait until the last minute.