A good morning routine to prepare for a successful day at school
People are generally creatures of habit. We tend to follow the same routine for certain aspects of our day. For example, our bed time routine will most likely follow a pattern every night. We might end our evening with a cup of tea, watch a TV show, have a shower and clean our teeth, get into the bed on the same side every night, read our Bible and even lie in the same position to fall asleep.
The same can be said for morning routines for children. For children, a routine for going to bed usually encourages a peaceful night’s sleep. Studies have shown that going to sleep and waking up at approximately the same time each night and day may support positive behaviour.
“School-age kids need 9–12 hours of sleep a night. Bedtime problems can start at this age for a variety of reasons. Homework, sports and after-school activities, screen time (on computers, TVs, smartphones, and other devices), and hectic family schedules all can contribute to kids not getting the sleep they need.
Sleep-deprived kids can become hyper or irritable, and may have a hard time paying attention in school. It's still important to have a consistent bedtime, especially on school nights. Leave enough technology-free time before bed to allow your child to unwind before lights-out. Consider switching off the electronics at least an hour before bed and keeping screens out of kids' bedrooms.” (https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sleep.html)
The morning routine is also very important for a successful day at school. On school days, the morning routine should start from the moment they wake up, so that their mind set is ready for learning.
An example of a morning routine could be to get up out of bed once they are awake and put their school clothes on, then to have breakfast and clean their teeth. The child can also check that they have everything they need for the day, with support from the parent – check the school bag for their hat, drink bottle, jacket, etc. It would be a good idea to refrain from having screen time in the mornings to avoid the child from getting into a ‘play’ zone rather than a ‘learning’ zone. The screen time could be saved for after school when the learning time has been completed, or as a reward time for homework completed.
The weekends could then be used for a more flexible routine of staying in pyjamas for a bit longer, playing games in the mornings, having brunch instead of breakfast, going for a walk or run, or whatever your family does for fun.
Jenni de Villiers
Education Support Teacher