Establishing a Successful After-School Routine for Your Child – COOL MOMS
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Establishing a Successful After-School Routine for Your Child

It’s vital to develop and implement an after-school schedule now that kids are returning to school to keep the family in harmony and to maintain our sanity.

I’ve always enjoyed having a schedule. As a mother of five, I have learned how important this is. Otherwise, I would not be able keep track and assist my children with all their activities after school. We all want our children to be able to attend their after-school activities, enjoy them and do well in school.

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Structure and order are important for children as well as parents. They will flourish as adults and grow.

You might feel that there’s a lot to do before the end the day. But you can design a routine for your family that will work. It’s possible that you will need to adjust your routine as things happen.

Set the Tone

When you pick up your children from school or the bus, greet them with a big smile. This can set the mood for the rest of your time after school. When your kids come home, they will be delighted to see a smile on your face.

Offer a Snack

Kids are usually hungry after school, since they haven’t eaten for a few hours. Snacks that are light and healthy can be offered to the children. You can talk to them about what they learned and how their day went at school. They will often want to share their experiences and tell you about what they did.

Homework Time

It’s time to start the homework after a nice break and a healthy snack. Your child might need to take a longer break depending on the intensity of their school day.

I’ve always believed that homework should be given priority whenever possible. This is especially true when the information is still fresh in the students’ minds. You can ensure that homework is a success in your after-school schedule by doing several things:

  • Set up a homework station for the children. It should be appealing to encourage them to choose a comfortable and customized spot to do their homework.
  • Consider their style of learning. Do they do better in a quieter environment such as the bedroom, with the door shut? Does your child do well in noisy areas such as the family room and kitchen?
  • Ask your kids for ideas on how to make their school station attractive and functional. Encourage them to decorate their school station with their favorite items. You can hang up posters or pictures and decorate it in their favorite colours. You can also encourage them to organize their space with school supplies.
  • Disconnect the electronic devices when your child is doing their schoolwork. They can distract. Included in this are the television and phone. Only use electronic devices if they are needed to do their homework.

Activities

Meet with your family and plan any activities after school. You’ll want to include activities that you value, like dinners with your family or extracurricular activities.

List the activities that your children would like to take part in. You can include sports, church events, or hobbies that they enjoy. A family calendar is the best way to stay organized. Each family member can be given a color. You may also need to include events that are associated with your activities. For example, you might be attending games, practices, or recitals.

Holding a family meeting every week to discuss upcoming events is a good idea to keep everyone in the loop. You can make adjustments to your routine as you go along.

Playtime is Important

Playing with your children can help them to burn off energy and take a mental break. Sometimes, the kids need it to help them concentrate before doing their homework.

Schedule down Time

You can help your children prepare for sleep by allowing them to relax before going to bed. Reading can be included in bedtime routines to help your child become a stronger reader. It even helps induce sleep. Turn off all electronics so that your child can relax. You might want to give your child a shower or bath before bedtime.

Prioritizing sleep is important

Everyone in the family needs to sleep. Sleeping enough the night before improves everyone’s mood. This is important for both the health and development as well as adults and children!

Talk to the School

If you see your child struggling, contact their school or teacher. The school can provide great resources for your child or reduce the amount of homework they are expected to do.

It is important to remember that creating a routine for after school involves finding out what you and your family like. What may work for one family, might not be the best for yours. Finding a routine that is effective for all will take a lot of trial and error.

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