Children respond well to routines, and there's nothing wrong with disguising them as fun traditions. For instance, reading to kids before bedtime not only establishes the routine of going to bed at a certain time, but it also offers the reward and anticipation of doing an interactive activity before bed.
Research also shows that children who are exposed to letters, words and their meanings tend to pick up on reading and writing skills easier in the classroom, an advantage especially important for kids learning to read in early elementary school [source: National Educational Association ]. There's even evidence showing that reading to a child as early as six months of age has advantages, too [source: U.S. Department of Education].
Another benefit of routines -- such as eating breakfast with your child every day -- is providing him or her with the social time he or she needs to feel confident and focus on school that day. Over time, family traditions such as eating together give children the opportunity to regularly talk about their studies and potential problems with their schooling.
Moving family traditions outside of the home can be both exciting and educational. Head over to the next page to learn more.