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  • The Signs That Say Your Child Can Follow Routines, An Essential Skill For Learning

    Understanding routines means your child is well on his way to become school ready.
    by Thumby Server-Veloso .
The Signs That Say Your Child Can Follow Routines, An Essential Skill For Learning
PHOTO BY (from left) Instagram/yce_tucker.tiburcio, and Instagram/alfieangelica
  • Editor’s note: Your kids are not likely to go to school physically anytime soon because of COVID-19. But it doesn’t mean a school is out of the question. You will find options on homeschool, blended learning, and distance education on Smart Parenting Classroom. But is your child ready for preschool?

    School readiness very much applies even in a remote setup. And with the global health crisis, parents need to take an even more active role in assessing their child and his learning skills. One of the signs of school readiness is the ability to follow a routine.

    A child is ready to learn and enter a formal school setting (online or not) when he can follow a routine schedule. They understand the concept of time broken up into different activities in a predictable pattern like “wake up use the toilet - wash hands - eat breakfast - brush teeth.”

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    Why are routines important? What does it signify? Children who aren’t able to follow a routine can have meltdowns during transitions or be uncooperative during specific parts of the day.

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    Signs your child can follow a routine

    Does your child...

    • Anticipate specific events of the day? For example, know when it’s time to eat, bathe, or go to sleep.
    • Get enough sleep and wake up early?
    • Seem alert and busy for the most part of the day?
    • take breaks for snacks and quiet or rest time?

    How you can establish routines at home

    According to Education.com, when you establish and stick to a routine, you teach your child how to arrange her time in a manner that is efficient, productive, and cuts down on stress. This sense of order is essential for making your child feel secure at this moment, but it will also allow your child to internalize an automatic sense of how to organize her own life as she grows up.

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    Education.com lists five things parents can do at home to establish routines with young ones. Here’s a shortened version.

    • Plan at least one meal per day that you have together as a family.
    • Establish a bedtime ritual.
    • Include preparations for transitions, like “Ten minutes left, then we get ready for bed.”
    • Be flexible when there is a good reason. But reassure the return to routine. 
    • Work together using photos to show the schedule. (Editor’s note: A visual schedule will be valuable when your child forgot something you told him. He may also tend to remember and comprehend your reminders better when he has a visual guide.)   
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    Remember, establishing a regular schedule at home means predictability for your child — it provides stability. Give a few minute warnings before the next part of the plan. For example, say, “Two more minutes, then we have to get ready for bedtime.”

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    Having a routine gives an order to the day and helps children feel comfortable and in control when the same happens every day. This also helps with organizational skills, so they can tell themselves how to break down tasks into steps, which is very important not just in school, but also at home.

    Barbara Server-Veloso is known as Teacher Thumby in her preschool, Toddlers Unlimited, and Ms. Thumby in her grade school, Thinkers Unlimited, Alabang. She is also a partner in Spark Discovery Center in Jupiter Street, Makati, where she teaches the Baby and Me Class. Teacher Thumby has a Master’s degree from the University of the Philippines in Family Life and Child Development. She has been teaching since 1993. She is also the mother of Lucas and Verena.

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