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How To Stick To An Effective School Routine All Year Long

Mother helping her children do homework.

With the school year now in full swing and your child’s workload ramping up, it’s important to make sure he or she is sticking to a steady routine.

For many students, a new school year is an exciting time, full of new goals and good intentions. They’re eager to start the new school year on the right foot, prioritizing school work and making sure they are well prepared for class.

However, as the excitement of a new school year wears off, keeping to a routine of good habits can become difficult for students. Your child may begin waking up later, forgetting things at home, leaving assignments to the last minute, and caring less about schoolwork.

So, how can you help make sure your child maintains that great start he or she had this year (or improve upon a less-than-stellar one)? It starts with sticking to an effective before and after school routine.

Read on to learn how to identify when your child’s routine is starting to falter, and how you can help get him or her back on track.

Maintaining An Effective Before School Routine

The hours before your child leaves for the school day are important—they set the tone for the entire day. If your child starts the day feeling refreshed, organized, and level-headed, this attitude will carry on throughout the school day. If your child leaves the house feeling flustered and tired, it will be difficult for him or her to take on the day with confidence.

Problem: Your child is waking up later each day/week
Routine Remedy: Stick to a set bedtime and wake up time

Agree on a set bedtime that your son or daughter sticks to. This also means putting the phone and computer away so your child can properly wind down and relax before bed. This will help make sure that your child gets enough sleep to rise rested, refreshed, and on time the next morning.

Problem: Your child doesn’t have time for breakfast
Routine Remedy: Choose quick, on-the-go breakfast options

A nutritional breakfast is an important part of a good morning routine so your child has the energy and focus to take on the school day. When setting your child’s wake up time, make it early enough that he or she has time to sit down and enjoy breakfast.

If your child can’t make time to sit down and eat in the morning, offer quick, on-the-go options in place of a full meal. Shakes, granola bars, and fruit are all perfect on-the-go options for busy mornings, giving your child the energy he or she needs for the day.

Problem: Your child is starting to forget homework and books at home/school
Routine Remedy: Make a checklist for your child’s school supplies

Create a list of the books, materials, and assignments needed for each day that your child can keep with him or her. Have your child use this list to check his or her backpack before catching the bus in the morning to ensure he or she has everything for the day. He or she can also use this list at the end of the school day to make sure no homework or assignments are left behind at school.

Maintaining An Effective After School Routine

Time after school should be used to relax and have fun, but it’s also important that your child spends time studying and preparing for the school day ahead. Help your child strike a healthy balance between homework and fun by ensuring he or she has a productive after school routine.

Problem: Your child is spending more and more time watching a screen

Routine Remedy: Create an after school schedule

If too much screen time is interfering with your child’s homework, create a schedule that lays out when it’s time to sit down and start homework. You can also include time in the schedule for after-school activities like clubs, sports teams, art classes, or music lessons. Activities like these help kids learn to think creatively, problem solve, and express themselves—while providing a much-needed break from screen time.

Problem: Your child is starting homework later each night
Routine Remedy: Make evening plans your child will want to participate in

Help your child learn to stop procrastinating by giving him or her something to look forward to each evening. The catch is that he or she can only partake if homework is done first. Have a family games night, story time, movie with popcorn, or something fun that you spend the evening doing. If your child gets the work done beforehand, he or she can participate.

Problem: Your child is starting to forget about due dates
Routine Remedy: Help your child record deadlines onto a calendar

To help your child stay organized all year, help him or her record important due dates on a calendar or agenda. This will help your child see which assignments are due and will need to be worked on in advance. Make a routine where you do this together at the beginning of each week. Recording these due dates in advance will keep your child organized and relieve the anxiety that comes with last-minute surprise due dates.

Create a Routine That Works For Your Child

In addition to these tips for helping your child create an effective daily routine, speak with your child about what else can be done to keep a healthy routine going all year. Ask him or her what would help reduce stress and discuss how you can help. An effective routine looks a little different for everyone—so keep on working with your child to find what works best for him or her!

Related Resources

12 Tips to Avoid Cramming for Your Next Test
5 Ways to Kick Off a Successful School Year
How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Studying
10 Ways to Improve Time Management for Students

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