scheduling for success with katherine guzman, m. ed.

scheduling for success

katherine guzman

katherine guzman was born and raised in massachusetts. she attended fairfield university where she graduated with a b.a. in art history and english. immediately following graduation, katherine began teaching in dorchester, ma. while teaching in the city, katherine attended regis college and received her masters in elementary education with special needs. she continued to teach in the city for ten years in parochial, public, and independent schools and has taught all grades from pre-kindergarten through grade 4. aside from teaching, katherine loves reading, testing new recipes, organizing, and decorating. katherine lives outside of the city with her husband and step-daughters and is expecting her first child this fall.

the first weeks back to school are undoubtedly the most difficult for teachers, parents, and students alike. not only have the summertime activities come to a crashing halt, but children are being reintroduced to a rather rigid routine within their schools and classrooms. this is a challenging transition for everyone, but elementary students tend to need the most time adjusting to the change.

over the years, i have found that families who are able to maintain a simple structure to their summer days, allow for an easier transition for their children when the new school year comes around. this can be accomplished in a few different ways, and none of them involve waking sleepy children with the same crazed feelings of a school day!

the most important part of keeping a routine during the summer, is to involve your kids in the process. perhaps your child needs a bit more time in the morning to wake up before beginning his or her day. rather than having to race out the door with a toaster waffle in hand, this vacation time can allow for your son or daughter to begin their day in a way that best supports their needs. if your child is of reading age and has a book they need to read as a summer requirement, they could take some time to wake up, sit in bed and read before coming out to eat breakfast. or, maybe they just want to play in their room or play area for a bit before starting their day. no matter what the activity is, choose a timeframe that gives them enough space to start their morning, and they will feel as though they have control over their day.

as your day continues, the best way to help support your child is to keep each day as similar as possible. If your child is attending a camp this summer, they can pack their snack and lunch at the same time in the evenings or mornings. if you and your children are creating your own entertainment for the summer, ask your children what activities they would like to do and have them help contribute to the overall daily schedule. nearly all classroom teachers post the daily schedule for students to see, and this is just as easy to do at home. when kids know what is going to happen next, they are able to feel in control because the expectation of what is coming has already been set. taking this system and placing it in your home will drastically help you and your child get through each day this summer. having your summer schedule could be as simple as writing it out on a poster board in the kitchen, or having one of your children type it out on the computer and tape it in on a cabinet for everyone to see. the schedule doesn’t have to be re-written each day, but rather allow for your children to see an outline of what to expect for their day.

with all this in mind, there are plenty of days where schedules just don't work out, plans to go to the beach are foiled by rain, or a play date is canceled. a summertime routine is not meant to add stress to your day, but rather relieve you and your children of constantly wondering, “what are we doing now?” find what works for you and yours, and apply it as best you can to a regular schedule. i can assure you, when that first week of school rolls around, the structure of the day won’t seem as taxing to you or your kids!

 © noam armonn |

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