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Routine is Essential For Children...Start The School Year off Right!

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Back to School means back to routine!! Fun Fun, right?! (yea...not so much) For some, routine, schedule and planning ahead comes pretty natural, for others, it can be pretty tricky. Lucky for you, I have put together a "Back to Routine" checklist that may make the transition to organization and a successful school year an easier one. Easing your kids back into a routine will help both parents and children avoid the anxiety that comes along with a new school year. 


NIGHT TIME ROUTINE

The key to a stress free transition is making sure you start early. Do not wait until the first day of school to start a routine. If you start early, this will give your family time to acclimate to the new schedule for both you and your child.

As school time starts to rear its ugly head, it is important to start the kids on a bedtime a week or so before the big day, with a "wind down" period about an hour or so before bed. This time is the perfect time to pack book bags, make lunches, turn off ALL, yes I mean all, electronics and start to settle in for the night. (This also helps to avoid a hectic morning, rushing trying to get it all together last minute.) Keeping your house quiet and calm during "wind down" time will also ease the transition into bedtime.

Making sure your kids get enough sleep is an essential part of their behavior, concentration and overall performance throughout the day. SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN NEED AT LEAST 9 HOURS OF SLEEP EVERY NIGHT. Any less than this will have a dramatic effect on their learning and retention, making it nearly impossible. Here is a bedtime chart that was put together by Parenting Magazine, it is a great guide to follow...

0 – 2 years of age: 7:00pm 

3 – 5 years of age: 8:00pm 

6 – 8 years of age: 8:30pm 

9 – 12 years of age: 9:00 pm 

12- 15 years of age: 9:30pm 

15+ years of age: (Your child, by this age, should be able to decide when they need to go to sleep and prioritize their after school responsibilities accordingly.) 

Obviously, you adjust the schedule for what works best for you and your family, but nevertheless, it is a good guideline to follow. 

MORNING TIME ROUTINE

Morning time should be used for only getting ready for the day. You should not use this time to pack lunches, finish homework etc. This will only get the day started off to a chaotic start and leave you and your child feeling "funky", for a lack of a better term, for the day. Once your kids are a little bit older and more responsible, try giving them their own alarm clock to set with you the night before. This will give them the opportunity to prove to you that they can wake up, get dressed and ready to start the day all by themselves without the help of mom or dad.

Eating a healthy, well balanced breakfast will help energize and focus your kids throughout the first half of their crazy day. Many parents resort to something quick and easy, such as cereal or a sugary waffle. With a little bit of planning you can get them to start the day off right. Click me for some healthy breakfast ideas 

AFTER SCHOOL ROUTINE

Most of your children will, unfortunately, have homework to do on a daily basis after school. Encouraging them to finish their homework right after a snack when they arrive home from school will benefit their focus and make it a little easier to complete the task at hand.  Plus it leaves late afternoon or early evening to focus on family time, or other activities that your child might enjoy better than homework before bedtime ;)

After school activities are also a fun way to get your child to expel some extra energy and meet some new friends outside of their classroom! First, discuss with your kids what they would enjoy doing, karate, tae kwon do, gymnastics, jiu jitsu, or whatever they are most interested in. Then you can find some classes that are 1 or 2 days a week to switch up the normal day to day montany. Martial Arts is a perfect way to teach your kids confidence, discipline and a goal to work towards that can help them in life many ways. There are many options out there for your child in the Martial Arts world. Why not give it a try and see how they like it? You never know, it can be life changing for some children. Click here to read how Martial Arts improves child behavior.

The new school year is a great way to help introduce your kids to new activities, new routines and a new way of life essentially! Creating a school schedule that everyone can follow and feel at ease with, will make this school year a more successful one than in years past, I promise!!

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