Help Your Child Organize a School Routine

Establish a routine for your child's school year.
A routine will help your child management time and make the most of the school year. Photo: Lhys,

One of the secrets to school success is an organized school routine. An organized schedule keeps everyone on the same page, and makes getting ready for school, finishing homework, completing projects, and everything else that goes on during the school year, a lot easier.

Is your family's school routine what you need it to be? Consider the following tips to help you manage your time, your commitments, your tween's commitments, and other demands of the school year.

The Importance of Sleep

Your child may be growing older, but he or she still needs between 9 and 10 hours of sleep a night. That's hard to get when you consider all your tween has to do in the course of the day. But it's important to see to it that your child rests adequately. It helps make the morning routine run a bit smoother, and it helps your child focus while in class.

Establish a Curfew

Curfews can sometimes be thrown to the wind during the summer months. But parents should try to reestablish curfew rules and enforce them a few weeks prior to the beginning of a new school year. By the time the new school year rolls around, your tween should already be transitioned to the new schedule. What's a reasonable curfew for a tween? Keep in mind your tween's sleeping needs when determining a curfew, but be sure to make exceptions for special events or activities.

Go Shopping

Be sure your tween starts a new school year with all the school supplies he's likely to need. It's also a good idea to buy extra supplies that he's likely to run out of quickly, such as loose leaf paper, pencils, and other items you think he'll need to restock within a month or two. Keep a closet or a drawer stocked with items your tween will likely need at some point during the year for homework or projects. Items to keep on hand include crayons, markers, glue, poster board, index cards, and tape.

Write Down the Schedule

Keeping tweens organized means putting their schedules in writing. Keep the family calendar someplace visible to all, such as the refrigerator, family workroom, or some other spot where your child will see it every day. Run through the school routine with your child a few times before the start of the school year, explaining when he should get up, have breakfast, have his teeth brushed, have his lunched packed, meet the bus, etc.

Review the calendar daily, making note of any last minute changes or daily appointments or commitments. It's also a good idea to go over the after school schedule with your tween. For example, specify when your tween should have certain chores or responsibilities finished, such as when homework is to be completed, or when your tween should begin setting the table for dinner.

Stock the Pantry

Tweens can be thrown off schedule easily, and a common obstacle for them is finding snacks after school or items to pack in their lunch. Make it easy for your tween to locate healthy and nutritious items for snack or lunch by providing items that taste good and provide a nutritious component. Junk foods only provide empty calories, and that won't be enough to help your tween get through the day. Healthy eating is a must if you want your tween to stay on track, and help his body and brain to develop the way they're supposed to.

Set Clothes Out the Night Before

Your child is old enough to choose his own clothes for school, but you can help him stay organized by encouraging him to lay his clothes out the night before. That will prevent him from running around the next morning looking for a certain shirt or for jeans that are clean.

Help with Transitions Before They Begin

If your tween is headed to a new school or to middle school for the first time, be sure you take the time to help him transition to his new life. Tweens who are prepared are more likely to stick to their schedules and complete their homework and other responsibilities.

Provide Homework Guidance

Homework can be a grisly obstacle during the tween years, and many parents of tweens complain that their children just have too much homework to complete. Conquer homework challenges by helping your tween keep track of his homework assignments and by providing an environment that helps your child finish his school work responsibilities.

Buy a Day Planner

Purchase a day planner for your child and show him how to use it. The planner should help him track his homework assignments and projects, keep up-to-date on extra-curricular activities, and remember family commitments and other responsibilities.

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