New year + new term + new teacher = difference expectations and lots of firsts for your kiddos! Back to school time can take its toll on everybody in the family. Waking up early, having breakfast, getting dressed, brushing hair and teeth, making the bed and packing lunches, homework, library books and news. Phew! And that’s all before the school day even starts!

 So, let’s talk routine! Recently, a parent approached me. Her daughter was beginning Kindy and asked, “children work better with routine, right?” I was thrilled that this topic was brought up, ideal for our first blog post of the year!

Effective routines are predictable and help children to know what to expect. It helps to decrease tantrums and meltdowns - who has time in the morning for that? For all children but specifically those with expressive language delays, routines provide the opportunity to model functional vocabulary - words that children will hear and are expected to understand and use during everyday tasks.

What does the research say? Routines help to limit distractions and manage behaviour therefore impacting on children’s emotional, cognitive and social development. Ultimately, routines provide security and more effective use of time.


At school you will notice that routines are used when entering the classroom and when transitioning between activities, and in speech therapy session, visual schedules are commonly used to provide children with clear goals and guide them through the session. We spend more time working on speech and language goals, less time discussing what are we doing next and most importantly, reduce anxiety of the unknown.

Why not start by setting a morning routine to help you and your family start off the school day calmer, happier and more productive!


Dodge Chan, C. (2008). Retrieved from http://superpowerspeech.come/2015/07/effective-routines-in-the-speech-room.html

Leinhardt, G., Weidman, C., & Hammond, K. (1987). Introduction and Integration of Classroom Routines by Expert Teachers. Curriculum Inquiry, 17(2), 135-176.

Ostrosky, M. M., Jung, E. Y., Hemmeter, M. L., & Thomas, D. (2003). Retrieved from