Reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic may be the 3 R’s but there is another R that is especially helpful for young children and kindergarten Readiness: Routines. Yes, routines is an important learning and thinking strategy. I will admit that I’m not greatly fond of having routines. ‘Whatever’ or ‘whenever’ are words I use often. But I’ve had to rethink the value of routines, especially in light of two recent events.
When watching 2 toddlers while their parents had an evening out, I discovered that I clearly did not have all the details of the night time routine “just right”. Just as clearly, these activities were definitely important to the little ones and I had to do them in the right order and in the right way. As a teacher, whenever I needed to be away, I made sure there were plenty of notes for any substitutes. Kids rely on these routines for a sense of security and comfort. They are more confident when they know what to expect and can predict what will happen.
Turns out routines are a factor in setting our biological clocks, supporting healthy relationships, learning language, lowering stress and anxiety, regulating emotions and physical development. Routines will influence us all our lives. Just today I read this blog by a friend who has lost her house in a devastating fire and the impact of routines. She was talking with someone who had had a similar experience. “Laurel warns about the duration of time it will take to develop new routines. All routines were smashed when her house burned to the ground. So many of our routines we take for granted. We may consider ourselves to be free yet it’s the little routines that keep us grounded.” Reestablishing routines is part of the healing process.
What are your thoughts and opinions about routines? Are there some routines that help your child grow and learn? Any way that you can use some rrr..routine for learning and readiness today?