The need for Routine and Structure while the schools are closed

With the Coronavirus starting to affect all our lives, we appreciate this will be a worrying time for Adopters, with the structure and routine of school gone for the foreseeable future. We spoke to an Adopter who’s 5year old little boy finished school on Friday. This is their story of the past few days:

We picked *Jason up from School on Friday afternoon, and he told us how sad he was that he couldn’t go to school anymore. This was heart-breaking, so we tried reassuring him and said that it was going to be fun being home with us. He’s a very social child who gets on well with friends. So, we could see this was potentially going to be a rollercoaster of a few weeks.

Saturday was a bit of a struggle for him, and we were having some sulking episodes and mini meltdowns, for a large part of the day. This triggered us into starting to think of implementing a structure to our days moving forward and bring a rigid routine into the house.

Sunday morning, we spoke to *Jason about plans to do a routine chart and his face lit up. We introduced routine charts from the day he moved in and they have been an integral part to survival in school holidays for some time now. Things started feel calmer straight away. He loves a good routine chart!

Sample Routine Chart.Sample Routine Chart.
Here’s an example of the routine we are following but this can be easily adjusted:

8:00 Breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed
9:00 Home School Session – trying to follow school instructions, but adapting to use chalk on patio, etc. to make it more fun
10:00 Snack and TV
11:00 Walk the dog
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Reading, then game on tablet, fun education app if calm
14:00 YouTube – Yoga or exercise (sometimes Trampoline instead)
15:00 Snack and TV
16:00 Free time – if regulated and manageable.
17:00 Tea and bedtime routine
18:00 Family time – Film or boardgame
19:00 Bedtime

Once an hourly activity has been completed (or we see that he is losing interest), there is a choice of 2 play activities, to choose from. This is working well so far, but we are ready to adjust it as time goes on to meet his needs to self-regulate. We have a den building kit ready for when he needs more regulation.

Adopted Children are seen as vulnerable children in the list of children that can access the school settings during this extraordinary time. Things to consider:

  • Will they be attending their usual school setting?
  • Will a familiar face be there from school?
  • What experience do staff have with trauma and attachment?
  • Can you manage to keep you child at home?

If you would like advice, support or further information about completing your own colourful routine chart please email and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

*Names changed to protect identity.