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Kindergarten Routines and Schedules...And Why They Matter (page 2)

Kindergarten Routines and Schedules...And Why They Matter

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Updated on Sep 18, 2008

Let the chart be the boss. Next time you find your kid jumping on the bed instead of climbing into it, or playing in the living room instead of getting dressed for school, ask her what’s next on the routine chart. All you need to do is point. “It’s just so fabulous,” says Nelsen, “when you help children believe that they are capable, that they can do things, and things can make sense.”

Of course, says Nelsen, you can expect some rough bumps now and then. In particular, you’ll want to make sure you’ve trained kids well for every task on the chart. Demonstrate each of the tasks first, doing them alongside a child several times, and then allow your child to do a task independently, while you watch. Kindergarten teachers use the same method at school for every routine, from sitting in a circle to washing hands.

You can use personal charts at home at any point in the day. With careful training, says Nelsen, kids can help prepare meals, clean the house, make their own lunches—and learn, along the way, that everything they do can be a valuable contribution.

It all comes down to this: power to the little people! The more they feel a part of things, the more you'll get their cooperation. Don't be surprised when bedtime and morning gets a whole lot easier, once your kid knows what to expect. With so much positive success, why bother misbehaving?

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