Establishing Daily Routines/Helping Your Child With Homework

Establishing Daily
Routines/Helping Your
Child With Homework
Vicki Hilliard, LSW
Child and Family Counselor
Debby Rockwood, LISW-S
Lancaster City Schools District Social Worker
A child wants some kind of undisrupted routine or
rhythm. He seems to want a predictable, orderly
world. For instance, injustice, unfairness or
inconsistency in the parents seems to make a child
feel anxious and unsafe.”
-Abraham Maslow
Why Routines Are Helpful
Daily routines and structure allow children to feel safe and
secure. Knowing what to expect throughout the day helps
minimize stress, anxiety, conflict and frustration for both
children and parents.
Good routines also help families stay organized, and
maintain a calm and peaceful household.
Routines help children learn time management skills.
They help to reduce behavior problems. Children will learn
how to comply with rules when they know if expected of
Routines and schedules help build a child’s confidence.
Be Flexible
Children need and want structure. They will thrive on
routines that are easy to understand and follow.
However, too much structure can be stressful for the child
and parent. Try not to be too rigid in following a schedule. Be
flexible to make changes as/if needed.
Schedules vs. Routines
O Schedules are the
main activities to be
completed daily.
O Routines are the
steps taken to
complete a schedule.
Basic Family Schedules
O A family’s day can be broken down into 4 sections:
After school
Dinner time
Daily schedules and charts can be used to help complete every
day tasks without stress or frustration. If using a calendar or
schedule, post where your child will see it. Daily routine charts
should also be posted where your child will see it everyday.
Allow them to check off completed items. Your child will be
more willing to adhere to them if they have a role in
developing and filling in the schedule/charts.
Morning Routine Tips
How you feel in the morning effects how you feel the rest of the
day. Having a morning routine starts your child’s day on the right
 Have an alarm set or gently wake your child up. Wake up at least
an hour before it’s time to leave.
 Have your child get dressed while you are getting breakfast
ready (clothes should be laid of the night before).
 Try to eat breakfast with at least 15 minutes to spare. Do not
force your child to eat if he/she is not hungry.
 Have book bags, lunch boxes ready they night before.
After School /Homework
Routine Tips
After school routines help a child learn how to manage their time. This time can
be used for getting a snack, doing chores, homework, or getting refreshed.
Establishing a homework routine at any early age will help children develop
good study habits that they can carry with them through college.
Have a list of chores and check off when completed each day.
Have a designated, quiet area to complete homework. Some children work
better when they get their homework done right after school, while others
need some down time. Do what works best for your child.
Dinnertime Routine
Dinner time is the time when families can come together and talk
about their day. This time allows for a child to understand and
appreciate the importance of manners and interacting with others
in a healthy way.
 This is a good time to discuss family values and
expectations of behavior.
 It also allows for your child to develop good chore habits.
Have your child help set and/or clear the table.
Bedtime Routine Tips
A bedtime routine helps your child understand the
importance of a good nights’ sleep.
An hour before bed let your child know that bedtime is approaching.
Have a routine of putting toys away; getting clothes out for the next
day; getting book bag and lunch packed and ready. Put items needed
for the school day in the same place every day.
After they have gone through the routine enough times, it will become
a habit.
Have a routine of reading a story, journaling, talking, or listening to
relaxing music before bed.