“Routine gives children great security. I know that as a child, I felt this in my life because my mother created these rhythms in our home.” Barbara J. Patterson
Greetings EEC Families,
This month, we wanted to focus on something that we know everyone will benefit from: Rhythm and Routine. Why is this such an important topic? Here is what we have experienced:
“In my opinion, routine and rhythm create balance, assurance, and predictability. As a child, this rhythm or routine was set for me, from the time I woke to the time I went to bed. I also remember both my daughter and son needing and wanting a routine, especially on the weekends. It is so important for children and adults to expect something rhythmical, as it provides grounding and intention. In my experience as an early educator, I found that keeping time and schedule for the children helped to regulate their emotions and their bodies.” ~ Natalee
“Growing up, my parents were always consistent with the times my brother and I woke up and went to bed. From a young age, we had alarm clocks in our rooms that were set for the same time every day. My parents had a set routine of what needed to happen in the mornings before school and what needed to happen after school all the way to bedtime. For me, it gave me a sense of calm and independence because I knew what was expected. Bedtime had the same routine every night: Bath time, pj’s, brush hair, brush teeth, turn on music box and get tucked into bed. Because it was the same, it helped me ease into bed and fall asleep easy. I highly recommend keeping strong routines at home, and even if the time varies a little, at least keeping the same order of the routine. Here at the EEC, we have our daily schedule posted with pictures and it really helps the children visualize what comes next. After a month, they have the routine down and they can independently complete the routine and tasks.” ~ Kristen
Here at the EEC, both of our preschool rooms have visual schedules posted on the walls. (Pictured above). Having the visual allows children to reference the order of the day and helps them understand when transitions will happen and what comes next. For the first few months of school, we teach the children the rhythm of the day at circle time, and we let them know our expectations. One of the toughest transitions children have at school is from play to clean up time. For this, we use the magic of music! Each room plays a clean-up song, and as soon as the children hear it, it’s their cue to begin cleaning up. This can be done at home too, and we would be happy to share the transition songs we use here.
Visuals are also very helpful for children, so you could try taking pictures of the children doing their routines and posting them in their room, kitchen, bathroom, etc. It might also be helpful to have a family routine posted as well, so they know what is coming for the week, month, etc. You can also set up a schedule for intentional activities such as folding the laundry, loading the dishwasher, taking out the recycling, or any task that you would like your child to help with. All of these things will help your children learn the expectations and values, and help them work towards autonomy.
We have added a great book to our recommended reading page regarding rhythm and routines as well as a website in our resources page. We have also added pictures of routines that you can use at home.