The right way, every day

Think About It

January 12, 2000

Children love routines. When events occur in a predictable and orderly way, children feel safe, secure and in control of their world.

Authors Rosemarie Clark, Donna Hawkins and Beth Vachon, in their book "The School-Savvy Parent: 365 Insider Tips to Help You Help Your Child," list some routines that will make your child's school day start right and end right.

* Aim for a consistent morning routine. Follow a regular schedule for getting up, eating and taking care of chores. This will set the stage for a productive day.

* Send your child off to school with a kiss, a hug and the words, "Have a great day -- I love you."

* It's important for your child to be on time for school and to stay for the entire day. When kids arrive late or leave early, they may miss announcements and disrupt other students. Whenever possible, schedule doctor and dentists appointments during nonschool hours.

* Valuable information may be waiting for you inside your child's backpack. Look through it every night, checking for assignments or notes from the teacher.

* Always ask, "How did your day go?" Also ask what your child did at school. If the answer is "Nothing," ask more specific questions. What are you learning about in social studies?" "How did your science experiment turn out?"

* Set a consistent homework time. Provide a quiet, orderly place where your child can study. Make it a rule not to let the phone, TV, or computer games interfere with study time.

* Set a bedtime for your child. Stick to it during the school year, even in the spring when the days grow longer.

* Don't give up if you slip from your routine. Get back on track as quickly as you can.

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