Family Routine

Routines are a great way to get everyone on the same page and working together. When everyone involved knows what is expected, and when it is expected, there are fewer arguments and more accomplishments.

Over time my family created routines based on our natural flow. It was easy when my kids were little to capture their attention while they were eating or with paper and colored pencils in front of them. These were the times I would read to them. We would read books on animals, ancient civilizations or any other topic that grabbed our interest. After tummies were full we would pull out our Math books. Mornings were always best to cover the more strenuous topics. Natural breaks were inserted as when they finished one topic, they would run downstairs or outside to add movement to their day. Movement cements learning and is so good for our brains. After lunch was always a great time to dig out an art project, play a musical instrument or gather around a game. Evenings always found us snuggled together reading. When they were little it was a huge pile of picture books. As they got older we devoured novels. As my children became more independent it was fun to watch them still rely on routines to accomplish their schoolwork. They still do most of their schoolwork in the mornings followed by chores and free time. The expectations and simplicity of routine keeps our household running calmly and smoothly.

Some children work well with lists that can be checked off or charts with stickers. These provide clarity so that our children know how much they have to do and can clearly see when it is done. Other children respond better to a system that clearly defines expectations with rewards and consequences. An example of this would When you complete your math you can play one online game. The expectation is completing the math, the reward is an online game, the consequence is no online game until the math is complete. My son was especially great at pushing the limits and wanting the reward before the expectation was met. It is sometimes hard as a mom to hold them accountable but it pays off in the long run. They will stop pushing when they know you won’t budge with the system that they helped create.

Work together as a family to create your family routine and expectations. When kids are involved in the creation they will be more willing to follow through on the plan. Meet weekly to make adjustments until you have something that works for everyone.

Kim Goates
Executive Director
Canyon Grove Academy

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