Heart of Dakota Blog

Have a Written Routine and Provide it to Your Child

Carrie's Teaching Tip
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Teaching Tip

A written routine promotes independence and efficiency.

This is the next installment in our series of posts about things to check if your school day seems to be running longer than you would like. I know this can happen to any of us, and hopefully these tips may help!

Tip #5:

A written routine can make all the difference.

Have you written your routine down and provided it for your child, so the child knows what to do in what order each day? I know this seems like such an easy tip, but I find the easiest tips are often the easiest to overlook. When I first began homeschooling more than one of my boys, I spent endless hours planning and writing the “perfect schedule.” I typed the schedule, printed it, and launched into our homeschool day. As we progressed through our day, my boys were constantly coming to me to see “what to do next.” As the official holder of the schedule, I was interrupted over and over throughout the day to delegate to each child what to do next.

Where do you place your schedule?

The next day I typed a schedule for all to see and placed it on the refrigerator. This was a better plan than the day before, as my boys could now check the schedule without bothering me. However, it also left them standing in front of the refrigerator all day and led to quite a bit of unnecessary chatter and even horseplay! So, the next day I typed a schedule for each child, placed it in a plastic page protector and gave it to each child. Success!! The boys could now check their own schedules without coming to me and without bothering each other. I added a dry erase marker for each child to check off the items on his schedule each day, and we were off and running. Of course, I had to remind the boys to check their schedules fairly often throughout the day, and I needed my own master copy of the schedule. But, for us, having a written routine provided for each child was a lifesaver.

How does a schedule become routine?

As the year progressed, I found that the boys had memorized their schedules, and so had I. We rarely had to refer to them, because the schedules had now become routine. For us, having a written schedule for each child is a necessary step in making a routine function effortlessly. As you look at how to make your school day run more smoothly, try writing down a schedule and giving it to your child. See if it makes a difference for you too!!



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