I am sure many parents can relate. The hours between 2:30 -5:30 pm, after school, are total chaos for my family. One is famished, the other is ready for her after school nap and growing crankier with each traffic light we pass on the 5 minute drive home. Followed by lunch bags being left in my car, despite my “nagging requests to please bring them in”, groans, moans, and then a L O N G walk back to the car (all of 10 feet) like it was my fault they didn’t listen the first 5 times I said it.
Luckily, I instill routines from day one, therefore this transitional period only lasts the first week of the new school year. Consistency following our afternoon routine keeps our chaos at bay moving past the first week and straight through the end of the school year.
Creating routines provides normalcy and sets expectations for our children as well as for us as parents. Routines also give my children a sense of security as well as helps them develop self-discipline. Something we can all use a little bit more of, but lets not wander off topic.
Initially my after school routine list was much longer, but I had to be realistic. It is too much for my kids to remember, especially before my daughters 20 minute after school nap. Too much will lead to chaos. You know me using my motivational voice, nagging to get it all done. Yep, not happening. I kept our after school routine short and sweet, with the ability to later add to it.
Something about a checklists that is fairy dust, mermaids, unicorns, all rolled into one and magical in every way. Once the routine is explained and posted the expectations are clear for everyone, including grandparents, or babysitters if we need them.
I am sharing a simple after school routine for you to print. Then you can frame or laminate and use dry erase markers to check off each task once they have been completed.
Have you created a After School Routine?
What does your after school routine look like?
What would you add to this list?