January is nearly synonymous with fresh starts. It seems to be the perfect time to evaluate, plan, and improve. As parents, many of us like to take a close look at our school day during this time of year and do just that before starting into the second semester. Sometimes, very simple changes can go a long way to making the school day smoother and more productive.
One great place to start is to consider the morning routine, because that really sets the tone for the whole school day. If you don’t already have a morning routine that seems to be working well for your family, consider the following ideas to get your school mornings started off on the right foot:
Have the same wake-up time each day. Most kids (and adults) thrive on routine.
Get dressed upon wake up. Although people often joke about getting to do school in their pajamas at home, it doesn’t always communicate the appropriate message to our students! Getting up and getting dressed can be a signal to our students that it is time to work. Making the beds at this time is another good indicator that the work day has started, but that chore can be eliminated when we are pushed for time!
Eat breakfast and clean up the kitchen before classes start. Carrying breakfast over into the school day or morning classes is cozy, but it can set a very casual atmosphere in the home education environment, causing us to quickly lose the attention of our students. Finishing the meal and cleaning up is a great way to indicate that we are moving on to the next part of the day.
Eliminate distractions during class. It is also helpful to make sure our learning spaces are relatively quiet. Students can often focus and concentrate better if we do our best to eliminate noises or objects that grab their attention. For example, turn off the ringer on the phone, let calls go to voicemail, leave the radio and television off, and no cell phones on the desk!
Having a good morning routine can really go a long way. We hope these tips will help your family start the second semester on a positive note.
Happy New Year, parents! Here’s to fresh starts and a super successful second semester!