Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Homeschool rituals and routines

When I was doing my master's program, we had an entire class dedicated to classroom management.  Of that, an entire section was devoted to "rituals and routines" generally and specific to the language arts classroom.


Because predictability is key to success or failure in the classroom.  Kids need to know 1) what the expectations are, 2) how to recognize whether they're meeting them and 3) where and how they belong so that they are behaviorally, intellectually and emotionally engaged.  

Rituals and Routines for the homeschool classroom.  

In some ways, your rituals and routines have to be even more defined because your child's school day doesn't begin and end with a location change.  There is no definitive shift from "regular life" to "school," so you must embed the structure as a natural part of your child's day.  

In that effort, I offer our school day schedule as an example.  Feel free to use all or part of this as it works for you, your child and your teaching style.

5:45 - Rise and shine for Mom.  Get dressed and ready for the day.
6:30 - Rise and shine for the school girl.  Get dressed, brush teeth, tidy room and make bed.
7:00 - Breakfast (a very slow affair in our house.  If there is extra time, she gets to play or watch Super Why on PBS - a show I completely love, by the way).
8:00 - School starts! For us, Dancing in September by Earth, Wind and Fire signals the start of school.  She gets her backpack from its hook on the wall and we dance for a few minutes.  My plan is to change our "starting school" song every month; I'm thinking Monster Mash for next month (October).  

We always begin with our calendar activity first thing.  Then it's on to singing and our Bible story.  From there, the activities vary depending on our day, how engaged she is in the activities and what she wants to do.  Yes, I absolutely try to give her choices about what she wants to do (a strategy that helps with engagement, empowerment and building her own self confidence).  

Her writing/painting/coloring etc activities are always completed to the tune of the Veggie Tales channel on Pandora.  We love it.

I shoot to end between 9:30 and 10:00, and she knows it's time to end whens he hears the clean up song (yes, the one from Barney. It's lovely every day in case you were wondering).  We clean up, she gets a sticker for her hard work, then has a snack, and it's on to the rest of our day!

No one knows your children as well as you do, so whatever rituals and routines you put in place are exactly the right ones.

What are your fave activities to help your little ones during their school day (however long that may be)?

Happy learning, friends!

1 comment:

  1. I love how you incorporate music on your transitions - such a great way to cue kiddos on what is happening. I agree that a routine is great when you are doing school - when kids know what to expect they are confident.


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