Kids love schedules. They like knowing what’s expected of them at any given moment. Schedules give children structure and predictability. But sometimes parents get caught up in their own busy lives and forget to set aside time each day for their child. Here are 5 ways to create a structured daily schedule for kids without feeling overwhelmed by the task.
5 Tips for Creating a Daily Schedule for Kids
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How do I keep my kids on track when it comes to their daily schedule? They seem to forget what they were supposed to do every day and then there’s no consistency between days.
My children love routine so much that if we miss one thing out from their morning/afternoon/evenings routines, they will start getting upset. This means that even though I am doing everything possible to make sure they are well looked after, they still feel like something isn’t right.
The first step towards creating a consistent daily schedule is to create a calendar which shows them exactly what needs to happen each day. Then, as soon as they wake up, ask them what activities they want to include in their day.
If you have more than one kid, this can be tricky but try not to let yourself become too stressed about it. It may take some trial and error before you find an arrangement that works best for all involved.
Here are five tips for setting up a daily schedule:
- Start with a simple plan – If you don’t know where to begin, just pick a few things off the list that you think would work best for your family.
- Make it fun! – When planning your daily schedule, remember to add lots of playtime into the mix. Children need downtime throughout the day and having scheduled activities helps provide that balance.
- Include everyone – Don’t leave anyone out of the equation. Even toddlers should be included in the process because they also benefit from being part of a regular schedule.
- Be flexible – You might notice that your little ones aren’t always happy with how things go down during the week. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stick to your guns; instead, use these moments as opportunities to teach them new skills or reinforce old habits. For example, if your toddler has trouble remembering his homework assignments, he’ll probably enjoy helping you prepare dinner while learning important math concepts.
- Keep it short & sweet – The key here is to avoid making your plans overly complicated
School-age Children: Ideas for Daily Routines
Once children reach school age, there’s no reason why they can’t follow a similar routine every single day. Here are four ideas for developing routines at home:
- Wake Up Early – This will help kids get ready for the rest of the day without feeling rushed. They won’t even realize they’re getting extra time until later on when they look back over their schedules.
- Eat Breakfast Together – Eating breakfast together allows parents and children to spend quality time together. It gives families an opportunity to discuss what happened yesterday and set goals for today.
- Do Homework Together – Doing homework together provides another chance for parents and children to connect. Parents often find themselves doing more than one thing at once so this activity forces them to slow down and focus on each child individually.
- Have Family Time – Having family time means spending some uninterrupted time together.
Scheduling Your Child’s Day At A Glance
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many schools across America to close temporarily. While most students have been able to continue attending classes online, others may not feel comfortable going into crowded classrooms where social distancing measures haven’t yet taken effect. If your child attends public school, chances are she’ll miss several days of class due to closures.
If your child goes to private school, however, her daily schedule should be largely unaffected by the virus outbreak. In fact, since most private schools don’t require attendance in person, your child could still attend school virtually from anywhere. However, if your child does need to make up missed workdays, consider scheduling those lessons around other activities like sports practices or music recitals.
Start The Day With a Good Morning
A good morning routine begins with your child’s schedule. If Billy wakes up early every weekday, then his mornings should begin promptly at 6 am sharp. This means getting him dressed, fed, ready for school, and off to class. When he gets back home around noon or 1 pm, he needs to have lunch, take a nap if necessary, get changed into pajamas, brush teeth, read books, play games, etc., according to his own individualized timetable.
Be Ready For After School
When children have trouble getting their homework done, it often means they don’t know exactly what needs doing next. This lack of direction makes them more prone to procrastination. If this sounds like your situation, here are some tips to keep your child motivated while helping him stay organized:
- Set aside specific hours for each subject.
- Make sure assignments are due no later than the end of class period.
- Give yourself enough time to complete an assignment. Don’t rush through it.
Make Dinnertime More Than Eating
Dinner should be one of the few occasions where you have some control over what happens at home. It’s also a good opportunity to discuss any problems that might arise from day-to-day life. If there are issues, they need to be addressed now rather than waiting until bedtime. A dinner conversation like this helps set expectations for the next day.
End The Day With a Bedtime Routine
Bedtimes for kids (especially those with ADHD) tend to be erratic. They may go from bed early to late without rhyme or reason. A regular bedtime schedule helps keep everything running smoothly. Here are some tips to make sure your child gets enough sleep each night:
- Establish a set bedtime. If possible, try to stick to a specific hour every day.
- Keep lights out no earlier than 9 p.m., and don’t let anyone else use the room before then.
- Avoid naps during the afternoon unless absolutely needed.
- Don’t give your child too much sugar after dinner.
- Get Your Child To Sleep On Time
It can be hard to tell when your child is tired because he doesn’t always complain about being sleepy. But if you notice signs such as yawning frequently, rubbing eyes, having difficulty focusing on tasks, or falling asleep easily, it’s probably best to put him down for the night.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you set a kids daily schedule?
The first step in setting a kid’s daily schedule is determining how many days per week she will attend school. Then divide her total number of scheduled classes by seven to determine how many times per week she must attend school. Next, figure out which subjects she will study based upon her grade level. Finally, decide whether she will attend school full-time or part-time.
What kind of schedule works best for my child?
Children who struggle academically benefit most from a structured routine. However, parents shouldn’t force their children to follow a rigid schedule. Instead, encourage flexibility so that your child feels comfortable following whatever plan suits her best.
Can I change my child’s schedule?
Yes! As long as you work within the parameters established by the district, you can modify your child’s schedule whenever you feel it would help her succeed. You just need to talk to your teacher beforehand.
What’s a good schedule for kids?
Kids thrive under structure. That said, not all schedules are created equal. Some schools require students to arrive at 8:30 a.m. while others allow them to come in anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. So instead of trying to find the perfect schedule, focus more on finding a schedule that fits your family’s needs.
When should I schedule homework time?
Do homework right away. Homework isn’t something that should wait till dinnertime
How do you plan a daily schedule for kids?
First, establish what time they get up and eat breakfast. This way, you know exactly when they’ll start studying. Second, create an agenda for the rest of the day. For example, have your child write his assignments on paper and place them where he won’t forget them. Third, assign certain activities to particular hours throughout the day. Fourth, ensure that your child has plenty of breaks throughout the day. Fifth, avoid scheduling any activity that requires concentration until later in the morning.
Schedules give children structure and predictability. Moreover, they provide families with peace of mind knowing that everything is going according to plan. In addition, schedules also make life easier for teachers since they don’t have to worry about keeping track of each student individually.
In summary, there really aren’t any downsides to creating a schedule for your child. Just remember to keep things simple and flexible. If you’re struggling to develop a schedule, consider consulting with a professional near to you.