Back to school! Doors open in two weeks for our kids! It’s an exciting time for moms and children alike. I personally have mixed feelings; as challenging as it’s been to juggle work, home maintenance & chores, errands, summer entertaining, etc…this summer has been a splash!!
Forecasting for the school year is a job within itself, especially when schedules have not been well defined. However, somethings can be pre-planned to boost Sanity for the school year. I realize that supporting my children in their academic endeavors is more than buying school supplies, picking-out that ‘special’ back pack, and trending with clothes & shoes…I’m reminded of the daily systems that support a happy “family-flow” in our home. Lately, the thought of fine-tuning our After-School Routine has been on the fore-front of my mind. Here are FIVE thoughts to help avoid ‘After-School Crazies':
1 Time to Transition (20-30minutes) – We all appreciate having a moment to transition from one activity to another, such as changing out of uncomfortable ‘work’ clothes into comfy ‘home’ clothes. Giving children the opportunity to set their minds from one environment-to-another is beneficial and reduces their stress level. Take time to listen & connect over an after-school snack. Or, if time allows, make an editable snack together to get a non-talking child to open up in conversation. For simple & time efficient snack options, consider these: Ant’s on a Log, Trail mix, or rice crispy treats creatively cut-out in fun shapes. A friend of mine shared a snack that’s become a staple in their home…she calls it ‘Banana Burrito’. Here’s the recipe:
Nutella or Peanut Butter
Take a tortilla. Spread your choice of Nutella, Peanut Butter, or both. Roll the banana inside and slice. Healthy, quick & yummy!
2 Homework before Play - Homework, into evening hours, just seems like a really L-O-N-G day for everyone. In this day and time night-time homework, sometimes, simply can’t be avoided. No matter what time your day ends, consider establishing a homework, before play, rule! Time will be saved, stress reduced, and an entrance to a peaceful evening established.
3 Paper work during Homework! – Often times moms & dads have homework too! During the children’s homework time, consider focusing on reducing the paper-trail! Sort & file household mail, update the calendar from teachers’ notes, sort & file school papers, while being available to help with homework when needed. Take the opportunity, during this established daily time, to reduce paper clutter & organize/ update the master calendar.
4 Create a Homework-Friendly Space - Creating a homework-friendly space & environment is vital! Typically we do homework at the kitchen table, however, my children are getting old enough to do homework in their room(s) or in another location of the house. The goal is to have a space that’s well lite, comfortable, and is stocked with school supplies to get the job done! Also, create a homework stimulated environment with No TV; the goal is to keep overall distractions to a minimum.
5 Join a Car-Pool- Establish or join a car-pool to help with transportation to & from school, extra curricular activities, and for emergencies. This saves time, money & stress; the less your on the road, the more you have time to get things done!
What are some of your sanity booster After-School tips?