Life skills: The importance of routine
Doing the dishes after morning tea is part and parcel of our routine. Jodie is making us a cup of coffee in the grown-up people’s kitchen, ready to give verbal directions when necessary.
The children learn in a natural setting for our culture what ‘standing in line’ means. We give them the vocabulary, we demonstrate how one does it and we point out that this way everyone ‘gets a turn’.
The children in the preschool classes do it as a matter of course. They learned it in the Playgroup sessions when they were still so small that having their hands in the water was an experience in itself!
We have the same routine every week for this gives them a chance to discover the pattern of social behaviour and expectations before they have any notion of what these words mean; they just do it because we do it and they make it their own.
In doing so they acquire life skills, independence and self- reliance, for they now carry out such activities without giving it a second thought and without getting tired, because they don’t have to consciously think about how to do this, they just know they can.