Simple Ideas for Creating an After School Routine
Long days at work, school, or even at home chasing little ones can leave both parents and kids exhausted and often there’s still a long path ahead before you get to relax. Having a routine can help tame the chaos and ease the crankiness from everyone.
Every child is different, some may need a moment to unwind when they get home, while others need to burn off energy, and some children may want to get their homework finished right away. Involving your child in creating their schedule empowers them to take ownership of their daily responsibilities and will help to create a routine that tunes into their own rhythm.
After school routines will look different in every home, but here are some ideas for creating a routine that works for your family.
- Arrival at home-have your children empty their backpack of important papers and then put it away in a designated place whether it be a mudroom or simply a hook near the door. Change out of school clothes and wash their hands, this helps to signify the end of the school day.
- Snack time - a shelf or basket in the refrigerator or pantry that is full of snack options so they can make their own choice. Sit down with your child while they snack and give them a few minutes of your full attention before you get too caught up in your own after school routine.
- Homework – schoolwork after school isn’t always fun but it has to be completed. Leave the timing of the homework up to your child, younger children often have less homework and may be fine completing it after having a snack while older children have longer days and may need some downtime before tackling their homework. One thing that will help all children is setting up a designated homework spot where they can work free of distractions.
- Downtime – this is extremely important for every member of the family after school. While your child may want to watch television try to save that for another time, they will be able to focus better later if they spend this time burning off energy, listening to music, or chatting with a friend or family member.
Don’t forget to take into account after school activities. These may have you deviating from your routine a couple nights a week. On those nights you may want to be sure to have a specific plan for homework, maybe take your snack on the go, and downtime could be moved to just before bedtime. Having an after school schedule may seem strict it will ensure that no time is wasted after school and everyone is more productive. Using the ideas above you can work together to create your perfect after school routine.
Meghan is a former flight attendant turned 5th grade teacher and newly divorced mom living that beach life with her daughter in the sunny state of Florida. She loves to travel and often takes her seven year old daughter along for the journey. Meghan is also a photographer who is working on a project to promote self love in preteen girls. Discovering life doesn't always have to be picture perfect has been one of her greatest challenges and she embraces every moment and opportunity that comes her way.