The importance of a balanced routine for a student

How many of us don’t get slightly anxious, stressed or even at least annoyed by uncertain and unpredicted situations? How many of us as adults try our best to keep our schedule patterns, in order to stay balanced and decrease our stress levels? If routines are so important to us, what is their importance for children and teenagers?

A normal routine brings comfort, consistency and security to children. Things that are important for a routine include waking up time in the morning, or what time you leave your place to go to school, what time you have certain meals during the day, or what time someone goes to sleep. Apart from the daily routines, we have weekly routines which can include activities with friends/family, household work, outdoor time etc. Establishing and maintaining routines can help children with their behaviour as it relieves them from stress and makes them feel more secure. In addition to this, establishing routines can help to promote independence and confidence in the long term as the children will not need for example someone to tell them to prepare breakfast at 9 o clock on Saturday morning; they will go ahead and do it at some point on their own (or with a little prompt). Routines can also be used in order to establish healthy and constructive habits e.g. eating fruit at 17.00 every day or completing  homework by 18.00. All of the above help students to find calmness and stability through routines.

How to prepare a homework routine?

Many students struggle with homework. The biggest difficulty for them is that they struggle to find a certain time to do it and also they find it very challenging to concentrate. Routine can be very helpful with homework. Regardless of the age of the student, it is very important to have a time slot in which the homework is going to be completed. Obviously, the duration of this slot is different for every age group. It is important to understand that if the homework is challenging but the student has worked hard on it, during the homework time slot, the student should have the option to stop studying even if the homework is not completed. We need to remember that every child is different and works/learns at a different pace and there is nothing wrong with that. We need to be consistent there with the time that they work, and they need to be consistent with the effort; this is the only thing that we can ask from them. In addition to this, a good homework routine relies heavily on a quiet environment with minimum distractions so we can also have a rule that no TV should be switched on in the house during that time. If there is no homework scheduled, the student can choose something to revise during this time. With this strategy, the student takes more ownership of his/her learning and we are maintaining the routine. Of course, it is good from time to time to be a bit flexible e.g. when we have a guest. Finally, patience is very important when practising and establishing a routine.

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