Drug testing

School Days - Top 10 Tips for Establishing a Good Routine

Teachers know that children thrive in an environment with routines, boundaries and rules. Unfortunately, parents often forget it! And yet by establishing good routines and encouraging children to help you maintain them, you have an opportunity to set a pattern and a discipline that will stay with your children for the rest of their lives. You will make school days easier and far less stressful, reduce the chances of starting your day late or dragging on forever with the homework, put an end to nagging and shouting, and have happier, more relaxed kids.

Here are 10 tips for establishing a solid, school day routine.

1. Lay the breakfast table the night before

Put everything out apart from perishables. If you keep all your breakfast things in one cupboard or one area of the kitchen this routine will be easier to establish, and older children can take it in turns to do it.

2. Put out your clothes the night before

Lay out a complete set of clothes for each child, checking them as you do it. Older children should do this themselves - you can double check when you say goodnight. Then if something is missing (or shoes need polishing) you have time to put it right. Lay your own clothes out too!

3. Brush teeth at the kitchen sink

Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste for each child in the kitchen and brush teeth at the kitchen sink immediately after breakfast. It may not be perfect for the house-proud, but if you send your child out of your sight to do a chore in the morning, you lose control. If you lose control, he may start dawdling.

4. Set up base camp

Establish a "base camp" where the children keep all their school things. You will need room for kit bags, satchels, swimming bags, sports equipment, ballet bags, library books and whatever else the kids need! Provide at least one hook per child for their coats (in our house kids must hang coats up as soon as they take them off) and a basket or box for school shoes (in our house kids must put shoes in the box as soon as they take them off too - sometimes they do!)

Another basket or box for each child can be used as a place to put anything that needs to go to school - gloves, letters to teachers, music, library books etc. Everything is in its place and ready to go out the door first thing in the morning without any fuss.

5. Make a list

Fill out a schedule of what is needed at school on each day and pin it up at "base camp". Check each morning before you walk out the door that you have the appropriate kit. You will find a school week planner to print here: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/school_week_planner.htm

6. Nail up a notice board

Keep a notice board at "base camp" so that you can pin up reminders, invitations, school menus or whatever else you need to keep tabs on.

7. Do it now!

If anything comes home from school that requires your attention, do it immediately. Fill out forms and put them straight back into the satchel. Write dates into your diary there and then, and reply the same day too. If you postpone it, you will forget it!

8. Give homework a home

Establish a place and time for doing homework and stick to it. Keep dictionaries and other necessary books nearby, as well as a spare set of pencils, rulers and other stationery you might need. Make sure that homework is put back into satchels as soon as it is completed and that satchels are returned to "base camp" straightaway. Get out a kitchen timer if kids are reluctant to start (or finish!)

9. Be prepared

If your car is running short of petrol (gas), fill it up on the way home from school in the afternoon rather than panicking the following morning! As you drive home, run a mental check on whether you have the necessary supplies for dinner, and breakfast. Nothing makes kids more miserable in the morning than an empty fridge.

10. Get ahead

Set your alarm to wake you up 10 minutes earlier than usual. You will be amazed at how much more in control that 10 minutes will make you feel. And finally, leave for school 5 minutes early. Arriving early takes away an enormous amount of stress and will put your children in the right mood for school.

Are you convinced? Start initiating some routines in your school days and you and your kids will feel the benefits very quickly. Making sure that your kids feel comfortable and in control before they get to school gives them the best possible start to a school day. And once they get used to afternoon and evening routines for homework and preparation for the day ahead, nighttimes become more peaceful too.

"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us."
--John Dryden

(c) Lindsay Small 2005

Please feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your newsletter or on your site, as long as you leave all links in place, do not modify the content, and include our resource box as above intact. If you do use the article, please send us an email so we can take a look. Thank you.

Lindsay Small is the creator and editor of Activity Village - providing the ultimate one-stop resource for parents and teachers looking to educate and entertain their kids. Visit the website at http://www.ActivityVillage.co.uk and subscribe to the free newsletter at http://www.ActivityVillage.co.uk/free_ne wsletter.htm

In The News:

A lagoon in western Greece is starting to look more like an abandoned home's basement than a picturesque shoreline.
An angler in Georgia recently reeled in a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle off a pier in Tybee Island.
An alligator was spotted in a New Jersey township this week, authorities say -- and are asking people to report if they see the creature.
Residents affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Florence may have noticed something unusual floating in the storm’s floodwaters: “islands” of fire ants.
Two tiny explorers are pushing the bounds of their kind, but if scientists have their way, the two adventurers will soon have plenty of company.
A new study shows that dozens of ice volcanoes used to litter the surface of the dwarf planet, Ceres billions of years ago.
This is the moment a snorkeler swimming in Scotland spotted a huge dorsal fin behind his pal - and realized a massive shark was directly behind them.
Archaeologists believe they have found the final resting place of Captain James Cook's ship HMS Endeavour off the East Coast of America.
An actual astronaut has suggested he — or any qualified person — may be useful to tech billionaire Elon Musk’s planned round trip to the Moon in 2023.
An ancient, 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery has been found in Lincolnshire, England. Included in the find were pieces of pottery, skeletons and "grave goods" for the deceased.

Stop Lying NOW

Do you have a consistent problem with your child lying... Read More

Building Teen Character: Part-Time Employment

The teenage years are a crucial time in a child's... Read More

How To Teach Your Children Self-Reliance and Potential

Self-reliance and potential are two very important values that I'd... Read More

Your Job as a Role Model

A certain educator was once asked at what point should... Read More

A Little Love, Please?

Article based on a friend's experienceI just wanted to share... Read More

Anti Scooter Media Frenzy

An estimated five million scooters will be sold this year... Read More

How to Prepare for Labor

Although nothing anybody says can ever completely prepare a woman... Read More

The Importance of Mothers

Moms, did you ever question your value as a role... Read More

Whos Your Daddy? How to be a Great Dad in 5 to 7 Minutes

I am a dad. I have been now for over... Read More

Potty Training Battle of the Wills

Some children practically potty train themselves, while others struggle and... Read More

Labeling is Disabling: Achieving Congruent Communication

A small town, somewhere in the world, was managed by... Read More

Raising Kids on a Budget

There are only two ways to get more money:1) Increase... Read More

Children Who Talk to Angels

What do you do when your child begins talking to... Read More

Back to School Feng Shui

Every school year parents and students dutifully trudge through the... Read More

Really Good News About Your Children?s Video Games

Research published by University of Rochester neuroscientists C. Shawn Green... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: How to Build Trust

``Mom, can I go to the mall with my friend... Read More

Whine Oh Whine Am I The Only One?

I thought I was the only one in the world... Read More

Positive Parenting of Teenagers: Helping Your Teen Understand What I Cant Afford It Means

Because most teens have not had the experience of getting... Read More

A Minute Can Turn into Hours for the Child of a Work-at-Home Mom

In theory, working at home is an ideal situation. But... Read More

Parenting - Give Your Child The Tools To Build Strong Character And Values

There are many parenting styles. Yours may be very different... Read More

Top Three Ways To Communicate With Your Child

Although many parents become frustrated as they try to maintain... Read More

The Reticular Activating System, and its Role in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

In our last article about the neurology of ADHD we... Read More

Of Kings and Youth Leadership

(Isaiah 11:6 KJV) The wolf also shall dwell with the... Read More

Are Your Kids Driving You Crazy? How Character Building Charts Keep You Sane

Who lives in your house? Are they driving you "crazy?"... Read More

Diaper Bags for Dads - Papas Got a Brand New Bag

Today's dads are more hands-on than ever before and their... Read More

outdoor walkway lighting led area floodlight Pete's produce ..