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Creating a New School Routine

With September well underway, Canadian students have started the new school year!

Heading back to school amidst a pandemic, however, invites drastic change when compared to past years.

Image is courtesy of Wix

With the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 prevalent, many precautions are taking place in provinces across Canada. With a new hybrid learning approach, and a revised learning environment, entering the new school year can be daunting. With remote-learning being the “new normal” as of March, getting back into any school routine can seem like a challenge. This article aims to ease the transition from summer break to the new school year by providing a guide to help you create a new school routine that is perfect for you!

Why Is It Important?

Following a routine is important and can provide extraordinary benefits. Although you may not realize it, our routines are a part of our daily lives—from the time we wake up and get ready to our school day where we attend classes, eat lunch, and head to our lockers at designated times, all the way to the end of the day when we complete our nighttime routines and aim to maintain a consistent bedtime each night. A routine provides structure in our lives, which allows us to work more efficiently and productively throughout the day, eliminate, or mitigate feelings of stress and anxiety, and builds good habits. With the hybrid and online learning approach in particular, where there is considerably less structure than a regular in-class school day, completing daily tasks without a routine can become overwhelming. Your learning-at-home routine does not have to be as strict as a school day or as flexible as the summer break, but rather whatever suits you best and allows you to work productively throughout the day. Creating and following a routine will allow you to reach your true potential each day of school, regardless of the method in which you are learning!

How To Build One

Creating any sort of routine can be done in a multitude of ways. Here are some tips and ideas to explore when deciding how you wish to plan out your routine!

  • Decide on a medium to plan and create your routine. Establishing a routine in an agenda or planner is a great way to plan out each day. You can write down daily to-do lists, create a schedule, and jot down important notes, events, or goals for yourself. If you are looking for an artistic approach, you may even consider investing in a bullet journal!

Image is courtesy of @studylaurr on Instagram.

Perhaps you would prefer a digital planner. Creating a spreadsheet can help you plan out a detailed and organized schedule. It also allows you to easily adjust and add new events and tasks. You can explore hundreds of digital planner templates on the web!

  • Use a calendar to keep track of daily, weekly, and monthly events. A calendar allows you to have a visual plan of your day, week, or month and can help in planning, prioritizing, and ensuring your schedule is balanced and not too overwhelming. You may choose to use a physical calendar that can hang above your desk or is found in a planner, or a digital one such as Google Calendar or a Calendar app on your phone.

  • Aside from in-person classes, online meetings, and other school work, additional activities that are important to include in your routine are daily physical activity, time to eat a proper breakfast, lunch, and dinner, time for daily chores including making your bed and tidying your room, and free-time for relaxing activities to wind down from a long day of work, such as meditation or journaling.

Hybrid/Online Learning

This school year, countless schools across the country have implemented hybrid learning—an approach that consists of a mix of both in-person classes and online learning. Other schools, including many college and university campuses, have decided to provide full-time distance learning, with all classes online. Here are some additional tips to consider when creating a school routine for hybrid or online learning.

  • Even though you may not be attending in-person classes every day, it is still necessary to maintain a consistent, healthy sleep schedule. Set a consistent wake-up time and bedtime in your routine. This aids in developing a good sleep schedule, maximizing energy for the following day, and enabling you to fall asleep and wake up easier.

  • Whether you're in Zoom classes, completing online assessments, or reading eTextbooks, the online learning method requires you to be focused on a screen for hours at a time. Thus, it is extremely important to include breaks in your routine, where you can give your eyes a rest from the bright screens. Consider scheduling a 10-20 minute outdoor walk or other outdoor activities in your routine each day!

  • Make note of major assignments or tests in a calendar. Learning from home may mean that you do not get as many reminders as you would in class. By making note of these important due dates and delegating time in your routine to work on them, you will be able to stay on top of class assessments.

  • Another important time to make note of is your teachers’ office hours. This may be the only time your teacher is available to converse or reply to emails. Make note of this time in your schedule, so that you can align your availability with this period. Come prepared with questions or concerns you wish to ask, or topics you are hoping to seek clarification on.

For more helpful tips for students, check out Race to a Cure’s Student Success Advice Column! The first Student Success Question Box featured questions regarding time management and productivity. Members of Race to a Cure’s social department shared advice on topics including how to manage time well, the best apps for productivity, and ways to stop procrastination. You can find the full article here!

Creating and following a routine is an important and extremely beneficial part of everyday life. From our morning routine to our timetables at school, from our nighttime skincare routine to the countless other routines we follow throughout each day, these systems allow us to work productively and efficiently with ease. They provide structure in our lives and continuously aid us in the development of good habits. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools across the world to implement new and unfamiliar learning methods that can seem intimidating.

By establishing a new adapted routine, however, you may just find yourself conquering the new school year with ease!


18 Reasons Why a Daily Routine Is So Important. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from,


Becker, S. (2020, April 02). 8 Tips for Middle and High Schoolers to Get Started in

Online School Retrieved September 14, 2020, from,



Article Author: Victoria Huang

Article Editors: Sherilyn Yen, Stephanie Sahadeo