Sponsored by: Kellogg’s
We’ve survived our very first few days back to school (and the polar vortex!) – Hoooray! I’m happy to also report that not only did we survive but we did so with very minimal chaos too!
Aside from the morning, the next most crucial time of day for a great start is the second half of the day…. also known as, after school.
Routines reduce stress and frustration for both parents and children because they manage expectations. When everyone knows exactly what is expected and what comes next, the afternoon juggling of homework, after school activities and getting dinner ready, tends to run a lot smoother.
For us, routines are especially necessary because I am managing a newborn’s feeding and sleeping schedule. Ok well, I’m working to get him on a sleeping schedule that coincides with the after school routine I have with my two older kids. Some days work out better than others. We’ll get it though. I’m determined.
Below are a few steps I take in my routine to keep my mind at ease and my afternoon organized.
Step 1: Prepare a snack and drink before the kids get home
Kids always come home starving. Having a snack ready for them when they get home saves the time the would spend staring in the snack closet, asking “Mom, what do we have for snack?” …my kids will do that for 15 minutes straight if I let them.
Step 2: Allow your kids to determine when homework is started (to a point!)
There’s nothing worse than arguing over homework. And while I think it’s important to have a quite place designated for where homework will be done (for us its the kitchen table), I don’t believe there’s a one-size fits all routine as to when it should be started. I believe you have to kind of know your kids and figure out what works best. Smaller kids may need some time to unwind from the long school day before starting homework.
In our house, Ry (3rd grade) and Laina (Kindergarten) are two very different kids.
When they come home from school, Ry is a “Lets get this homework over with type”. Where Laina on the other hand, needs some down time to recharge. For us this works out actually because while she is recharging, I’m able to focus on helping Ry with whatever he needs (and he usually has the harder homework).
Step 3: Go through all folders
There’s always papers that come home. Go threw them all while the kids are starting their homework. Fill out any forms you need to, sign test papers… get it out of the way.
Step 4: Clean out lunch boxes & prep lunch for the next day
Having lunch taken care of helps tremendously with the morning routine, and if you are like me -I’m exhausted by the end of the day. So prepping it after school, is actually a great time to cross that off the next day’s list.
Step 5: Starting dinner
This step can totally be skipped if you are a crock-pot cooker. Crock pot dinners are heaven sent on days with after school activities- do it!!
During this step you can also get the kids involved by clearing the table of homework items and setting the table ready for dinner (even if its not for a few hours, at least it’s done!)
As a fun motivational tool for the kids, Team Kellogg’s has created a great printable that kids can fill out and earn a rewards.
I love this idea because kids LOVE working towards goals.
You can download and print this chart out for your kids, here.
Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s.
For more information about Team Kellogg's visit: http://tend.com/team-usa/
Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.