A written routine can make all the difference.
Have you written down your routine 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 a routine and writing the “perfect schedule.” I typed my 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 sole 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. I could see how this would begin to help establish a routine. Speaking of establishing a routine, how does a schedule become routine?
How does a schedule become routine?
As the year progressed, I found that the boys had memorized their schedules, and so had I. The schedules had become routine. 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 and establishes a routine for you too!!
P.S. Would you like to see other homeschool families who have made schedules that have become routine? Click here for our “Let’s Share Our Schedules” thread, which has had over 200,000 views!