Just as getting the kids ready for school requires a bit of planning, so does their post-school routine. Without a plan, kids are likely to toss their backpacks, lunch bags, all over the place and this can drive any parent crazy. So to avoid some of this after-school chaos and retain some rhythm in your day here are some suggestions for easier afternoon routines:
Bring on the snacks:
Every child, no matter what age will likely need a pick me up once they get home from school. Hitting them with an efficient energy boost of proteins and carbs can do wonders to keep them positive and motivated throughout the afternoon. Try to stay away from the conventional milk and cookies formula (think sugar rush!) and opt for crackers, yoghurt, fruit and granola instead.
Share some chores:
Getting some daily chores done can be incorporated into your afternoon routine easily. Simple tasks like taking out the trash, putting away snack dishes, cleaning the table are the smallest of jobs requiring minimal effort but set up a productive frame of mind. It also provides an opportunity to have a chat and understand how their day went.
Enjoy the outdoors:
Even a short stint outside is enough to reinvigorate your child. The point is to keep them actively engaged rather than let them set up camp in front of the TV. And who knows? At the end of the day all the physical exertion might even tire them out for bedtime!
Schedule homework hour:
Most children will have to deal with homework of some sort. Based on whether they like to tackle homework first and then play or vice versa, it’s best to have a homework station ready for them. For children who may need more assistance than others with homework, it’s best to set up their homework corner nearby so you can lend a helping hand and for the independent student, homework is best completed in a quieter space with fewer distractions.
Winding down with screen time:
Whilst screen time is often hard to avoid. It’s a good idea to set a time limit for this part of the day and be firm about it. Make the screen time a learning experience by having your child earn it; half an hour of reading can then be followed by a rewarding 30 minutes of screen time.
Remember that routine is an awesome and effective way to keep everyone on track. It keeps stress down and makes life easier when working to a plan.
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