How to Set a Successful New School Routine

Utilize a Calendar

It can be helpful to give your child a visual aid to help them adjust to a school routine again. Start by highlighting a calendar to show your child when school starts. You can revisit the calendar daily to cross off the last day and show how many days are left until the beginning of the new term.

It’s also a good idea to gradually adjust bedtime and wake-up times to mimic the school schedule.  Even if your child wakes up, gets dressed and falls asleep again, the rehearsal of the morning routine is a step in the right direction.

You can also try to plan lunch at the same time your child will be eating at school. This will prevent them from feeling hungry if lunch occurs later, or from struggling to eat when they’re not hungry during the school day. As your child’s body physically adjusts, his or her emotional adjustment should be easier.  He or she will need at least a week to readjust, so plan accordingly.

Communicate Changes to Phoenix Center Staff

It’s important that we know what your child needs to have a successful day at school once they start. For example, if your child was unable to eat a full breakfast at home, you can send in breakfast and it can be eaten in school.  It is always helpful to let The Phoenix Center Communicator know when your child has not eaten, slept poorly, or had a particularly rough morning. Our Home-School Communicator is the perfect place to share this information with your child’s teacher. This helps our teachers be better equipped to anticipate and understand your child’s needs that day, and it can prevent unnecessary stress or difficulty.

Establish a Routine and Stick to It!

Establish a daily routine for the morning and the afternoon and create a visual schedule for each routine.  Feel free to ask your child’s teacher for help putting a visual schedule together for home use. For example, a good routine might be to:

  1. Use the toilet
  2. Wash hands and face
  3. Brush teeth
  4. Get dressed
  5. Put on shoes
  6. Brush or comb hair
  7. Eat breakfast
  8. Pack lunch
  9. Put on backpack and jacket
  10. Kisses and hugs goodbye

Use a checklist that you and your child can check off as you go through the morning routine.  Similarly, an after school schedule is recommended to allow for smoother transitions at home.  For example,

  1. Hang up jacket
  2. Empty backpack
  3. Eat snack
  4. Playtime
  5. Run errands with mom/dad
  6. Chores
  7. Take a bath or shower
  8. Put on pajamas
  9. Brush teeth
  10. Read a bedtime story

Furthermore, choosing an outfit the night before is an excellent routine to adopt.  It may help avoid potential problems in the morning, but it’s still always a good idea to build in extra time in the morning to allow for the unexpected.