As a teacher I knew that having structure and routine was very important in a classroom. Children need to know what is coming next and what to expect. When you walked into my classroom it was the first thing you saw. I had the schedule on my chalkboard and had the words and a picture to show each activity. We reviewed the schedule each day to see what changes were made such as what special we had each day. There were somethings on my schedule that I fought to not switch at all and others I switched around from time to time just to switch things up.
As a mother I tend to have routines to our day. We have a very set bedtime routine. There are some other routines in the day so the boys know what is expected of them. I go through phases where I feel they need a more structured schedule to their day. I do not have exact items that they would do, but more of blocks of time to play, structured activities and time alone. I feel that this helps with the day.
Over the summer I tried to be a bit more lax about our schedule. Well it seems to be biting me in the backside lately. I decided that I would try putting a new schedule in place for the next few weeks before school starts up for Blake. (Starting in August he will be going to pre-K 5 days a week for 3 hours a day).
When I created a schedule I always mixed up structured and less structured time, stationary and times of high movement, whole group and small group, teacher directed and student directed activities. The more you mix things up the more likely children are going to be to attend to the next task. If they are expected to do many teacher directed activities in a row they are less likely to listen and attend at the latter activities, where as if you put a less structured small group activity next you will be able to bring them all back together again.
As a mother I try to do the same thing. I try to mix up times they play and work, interact with me and times they play together or alone, structured activities with unstructured ones.
When I put these in place the behavior of my sons greatly improves (after a day or two of adjustment). This is the goal... right?
I'm still working on a new schedule for the boys, and I'll post it when I get it set and posted for them to see.
Step back and look at your day. Do you have a schedule for your children? Would they benefit from one? What kinds of items would you include?
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