After school can be pure chaos if you don’t have a routine in place. Everyone can benefit from some structure. When I was teaching I got asked by parents why their child behaved so well at school and 9 out of 10 times it was simply because of routines and structure. All types of children benefit from knowing what is next and what is expected of them.
Below is the schedule we stick to most days. Of course you have to adjust your schedule if you have any extra-curriculum activities that afternoon. Hope this helps!
SIMPLE AFTER-SCHOOL ROUTINE
- 3:30-4:30 Unpack backpack/Snack/Free-Play
I always start with a snack followed by free-time which usually consists of going outside to play. It works well for the kids to unwind after a long day at school. This is also a good time to ask your child how their day went. But don’t just ask them general questions. Ask them specific questions like “What did you add in math today? Who was one of the characters in your reading story?”
- 4:30-5:00 Homework
After our outside playtime we do about 20-30 minutes of homework. Hopefully your child doesn’t have more than this! I am a firm believer in less homework.
- 5:00-6:00 Additional Free-Play
This time can also be allotted to practices/extra curricular activities.
- 6:00-6:30 Dinner
If you can try to sit down as a family. I know in this day this might only happen a couple times a week, but don’t stress over this. Do what you can!
- 6:30-7:30 Bath/Read/Bedtime
My favorite part of the evening is reading before bed. Reading with your child is a great bonding time. It is quality time with no distractions. These are the moments your children will start to look forward to the most! The moments where they will feel the biggest connection and the most love!