Developing healthy and consistent routines can make a significant difference to your family. Routines help to keep your life organised and provide your children with a structure to develop independence, learn how to set priorities and meet deadlines, and develop healthy habits of self-care. We’ve put together five helpful tips on how to establish a good school routine.
1. Get enough sleep
Sufficient sleep plays a key part in establishing a good school routine. Although it’s normal for parents to allow children to stay up later during the school holidays, having a consistent sleep schedule during the school year is important. Sufficient sleep helps your son to wake better and prepares them for the day ahead. It promotes good health, improves attention and helps him to learn more effectively during the day.
Is your son getting enough sleep? Studies recommend that in a 24-hour cycle, boys aged six to 12 need nine to 12 hours of sleep, whereas boys aged 13 to 18 years need eight to ten hours of sleep.
A couple of weeks before the first day of school, encourage your son to go to bed a little earlier each night (in half-hour increments) until they become accustomed to an earlier bedtime. The sooner you start this process, the easier it will be for your son to get comfortable with going to bed early again.
Have a read of our blog on why sleep and wellbeing are vital for teens.
2. Prepare the night before
To help develop a good school routine, minimise the amount of responsibilities in the morning by preparing everything the night before. Team up with your son to pack his bags, prepare breakfast, organise lunch and lay out his uniform so that there are fewer things to worry about the following morning.
Have a conversation with your son about what is required for the next day. What activities are planned? Is there a dentist appointment or an after-school activity? What are the plans for when they return home from school? Anything you can do to prepare your child for the next day will make it easier for the entire family.
3. Wake up on time
Waking up in good time can set the tone for the entire day. Getting up at the right time ensures that the family is not flustered or rushed, and gives you plenty of time to get ready, eat breakfast and prepare for the day ahead.
Consider how much time your son needs in the morning to get ready for school and set his alarm accordingly. You may even want to add in a buffer time just in case something comes up.
4. Have an after-school plan
Having a plan for after the school day helps to establish a good school routine. For some boys, completing their homework straight after they get home works for them. By getting it out of the way, it helps to reduce stress for the rest of the day and gives them more opportunity to read, relax or spend time with the family.
However, younger boys might need to have a snack before they can go back to schoolwork. Or some may even need a nap! What’s important is that you develop a schedule that your son follows after each school day. This helps him to stay focused and motivated.
5. Help your son take responsibility for his own tasks
When it comes to a good school routine, it helps if your son can take responsibility for his schedule on his own. For example, all boys regardless of age can be accountable for taking out their lunch box and homework, getting ready for a bath or shower, and packing their bag for the next day. The more your son can do without your direction or encouragement, the more independence he will gain and the more established a routine will become.
Here are some tips on encouraging your son to be independent.
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