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After school routines look different for every family. When my son was in school, I worked outside of the home, so each evening was like a crash landing with much to do in a small amount of time. With Tati our after school routine looks a little different, since I work work from home now. Regardless of how much time you have between school and bedtime, establishing a healthy after school routine is very important.
Handling everything from snack to homework to chores to playtime requires some strategic planning.
Our after school routine flows something like this: healthy snack, rest, chores, homework, and playtime. I’ve found that letting your child turn on the TV or grabbing a tablet as soon as you walk in the door, isn’t the best idea. It’s difficult to get them to move on from that.
Healthy After School Snacks
Most kids come home from school incredibly hungry, so having healthy snacks on hand that they can grab is essential. I keep a snack basket on the kitchen counter that’s filled with better for you snacks that meet my approval. Most of these snacks come from CVS Pharmacy where I know I’m getting quality, healthy snacks at a price I can afford.
I’m such a fan of CVS’s Gold Emblem Abound line of healthy foods. Thanks to ExtraCare rewards I save time and money when buying healthy after school snacks. I love the convenience of picking up prescriptions and shopping for my family’s needs all in one place.
Rest and Relax
Depending on what time your child gets home from school, they may or may not have much time to rest and relax. Giving them a half hour or so to change clothes, have a snack and share the events of their day is usually sufficient.
Our after school routine includes a few daily chores that are done shortly after snack time. Tatis chores include tidying up her bedroom, putting laundry away, and playing outside with the dog. I find the earlier we get chores done, the less complaining there is or nagging on my part.
Many teachers recommend getting homework out of the way shortly after your child gets home. I tend to agree with this strategy, since my children have always become more tired and distracted as the evening progressed. You may find that doing homework after dinner works best for your family,
Depending on your child’s age, homework time can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more, so plan accordingly. I have Tati do her homework anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour after she gets home. Then I have her do her reading aloud while I prepare dinner. If your child has a lot of homework, it might be a good idea to give him or her a break between subjects to do something else like helping set the table for dinner.
Once everyone has eaten and dinner is cleaned up it’s important to have some fun family time, before children begin getting settled for the night. Before bath and bed, play a board game, watch television or do something else that is enjoyable and relaxing for everyone. Read a book together. This will help kids transition to bedtime.
Having a healthy back to school routine after school is just as important as your morning routine. Find a routine that works for your family. Make changes until you find what works and stick with it.
What does your after school routine look like?