Procedures lead to Routines which lead to Successful Days!

Anytime you visit the airport 
you are going to be put through a series of procedures.  These procedures help security and airlines
 keep everyone safe.  I've now been to the airport so many times that it's become a routine.  
I know what shoes to wear. 
I know what I need to do with my electronic devices.  
I even know how to use my seat as a flotation device!

We've been helping families school at home 
for over 8 years now. 
In our experience,
 the number one problem schooling at home,
is not discipline;  
it is the lack of procedures and routines.

Just like the airlines have their set of procedures, 
so should your school room.
I believe in starting the day out strong!
Let's take a look at a couple of places to start:
  • Waking up
What does that look like at your house?  Do you wake them up?  Do they have alarm clocks?  Are beds made?  Do they dress before breakfast? 
Once you know what your expectations are, 
then you make it a procedure, 
then  you practice it.   

So for example:  
 Tonight, at 8pm, call the kids into their bedrooms, have them get under the covers and tell them we’re going to practice waking up in the morning.  Then show them what you want it to look like.  For example:  “When mom wakes you up, make your bed, get dressed, visit the bathroom, and meet us in the dining room.”  Have fun with it and do it 3 or 4 times.  That’s a ‘getting up procedure’.  Practice it for however many mornings it takes until it becomes a routine.
  • Breakfast
What does that look like at your house?  Does everyone eat together?  Are they on their own for cold cereal? What time is breakfast served?   

Breakfast time is very casual at our house and you’re pretty much on your own.  So I’ve just set the procedure:  Breakfast time is from 7- 7:30.  Get what you need to hold yourself till lunch.  If you miss the breakfast hour at our house, You might be hungry until lunch.

  • School Work to be Corrected
 Dad corrects the math work at our house.  So we walked through how he wanted to see her assignments done.  
He wanted to see the Unit number and lesson number (1.2) along with page number.  That way he could quickly see where she was at and not even have to bother her later in the evening unless he needed to clarify or reteach a concept.
This made everyone happier in the evening.

 Nothing replaces practice and repetition when we want things to become automatic.  If you help your kids practice the routines you need to run school smoothly they actually become more confident and willing to do the things you ask.
If we don’t have procedures in place to practice and establish the way we need things done then everything becomes a discipline issue because it can feel like they are deliberately undermining their own learning.  We find ourselves out of our job description, because we begin to
 nag, plead, and beg our kids to do their work.
If you’re spending most of your time nagging, pleading, begging, you’re just a zookeeper….not a learning coach.

Procedures are not rules to broken.
Procedures are steps to be learned.  

There will still be days when it seems like you're just trying to keep your head above water.....On those days remember: you can use your seat as a flotation device.

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