Learning Through Routines
There are components of learning that we know to be true. As we work with children and help them learn new skills, behaviors, and activities we should keep these in mind.
- All children can be successful learners.
- The best place to learn is in the natural environment.
- Parents are the first and most active teacher a child has.
- Play is a child’s way of learning.
Because the above items are part of learning we then understand why routines are a great process for embedding learning in.
- Families are involved and the learning can be tailored to meet family needs.
- Routines occur in the natural setting and provide many opportunities for learning.
- Routines provide a logical sequence of events with children and adults or peers that have set roles that each person contributes to in order to have completion of a task or skill.
- Learning through routines makes the world more predictable and comfortable for the child. It eliminates the unknown and helps the child focus on the task or language required for the skill.
- There are numerous opportunities to practice, practice, and practice.
Common Routines to use as learning opportunities
- Morning routine
- Bed time routine
- Meal time routine
- Play time (inside/outside) routine
- Bath time routine
- Quiet time or book routines
- Shopping or errand routines
- Community events or outings
As you work to develop the skills necessary to complete the routines and build learning tasks into routines take into account the teaching that is occurring. Consider the following items:
- Do I have their attention?
- Am I presenting clear simple instruction?
- Can I use imitation skills?
- Can I include shared social play and conversation?
- How are language skills being addressed?
- Is there a mixture of already learned skills with new skills?
- Am I reinforcing the task and celebrating the completion together?
Amazing skills can be accomplished if put into the natural setting of family routines that can be practiced daily. Routines help us improve our abilities!