Setting a New, Smooth Routine

When school is back in session, students must begin following a new routine. No more late nights and lazy days! Everyone involved—parents, students, and teachers—has a new schedule to keep and transitioning from the summer routine to the school routine can be tough on many. Luckily, adding a few key components to the routine will help smooth out the rough spots.

At Home

Table Talk

A nutritious breakfast is an essential part to leading a healthy lifestyle. This is especially important for growing bodies. Nutrition can even play a role in affecting learning. Breakfast time is also a good time for parents to remind their children of events, special occasions or appointments that are out of the ordinary. This is also a good time to notify children of any changes that have been made to the schedule for the day to accommodate the conflicts. Dinnertime at the student's household also allows for parents to discuss similar conflicts as well as upcoming class assignments and units of study. Parents can encourage children to discuss the new things they have been learning at school. Making their education part of the conversation around the dinner table helps students understand its value and improve their study habits.

Study Time

Setting aside time to study is another part of transitioning into the school routine. Kids need a designated area for completing class assignments and enrichment activities. This workspace should include the essential school supplies and possibly a charging station for those students using computers and tablets. Adding a calendar in this area can also help parents teach their children about planning for upcoming due dates and events. This helps teach kids important life skills about using a schedule and remaining goal-oriented. With younger children, parents should check through students' belongings for any notes from school, as well as complete and incomplete assignments. Similarly, these parents should also help their children organize any papers that need to be returned to school.

Down Time

The final part of the home routine is quiet time. This time includes a period of relaxation—a time to rest and wind down. Begin quiet time by powering down any gadgets. Giving the eyes a long break from the screens of electronic devices helps many individuals sleep better. Quiet time can also be used to prepare for sleep. Simple things, like selecting the next day's attire at night can help keep kids on track for the next day. When morning comes, the daily routine shouldn't be disrupted by indecisiveness or the rummaging through belongings for a misplaced item. Knowing that everything is ready to go for the next day will help everyone begin the daily routine right.

At School

Getting into a smooth routine at school requires teachers to set forth a clear set of expectations and procedures. These all need to be taught to students. Just like learning an academic lesson, learning the class routine requires lots of practice. Teachers can begin by having procedures in place for how students enter the classroom when they first arrive. When the class officially begins, teachers want students to be prepared to start immediately. From having students' belongings in the appropriate places to turning in the previous day's homework, clear and easy procedures should be in place so that the time for learning can be maximized. The time allotted for learning cannot be wasted on little tasks like sharpening pencils or finding out what was missed during an absence. If students have been trained right from the get-go, these tasks will be accomplished before it is time to begin. Leaving the classroom will probably require a bit of practice, too. Students will need to be shown when they are free to put away their materials and help tidy up the classroom.

Using a planner is another important factor that helps create a solid routine and keep kids on track. Teachers can model how to write a to-do list and record assignment due dates and test dates. In the beginning of the year, teachers may check students' planners for accuracy and organization. Teachers should also inform parents about any planner system they use. This can be beneficial because the parents can easily verify what is being done for class and what still needs to be done. Planners are useful tools that can be checked quickly. Once students have the hang of using a planner, teachers and parents can sporadically check to see that the students are following through with using the planner. Knowing what is due and when is important at school and in the real world. Learning to keep an organized agenda is part of establishing a smooth routine throughout the years that kids are in school and after they have graduated.

Setting a new routine does not have to be stressful. Simple solutions exist to alleviate the challenges that come with the beginning of the school year. With support from teachers and parents, students are better prepared to make the adjustment.