Why implement before and after school routines?
Before and after school routines ensure children know what to expect and what’s expected of them when they wake up in the morning and when they come home from school.
In addition, before and after school routines for kids are imperative when it comes to creating consistency and setting them up for a successful school year.
Routines in general allow for better discipline, less stress, and more efficiency.
Before and after school routines are no different.
In fact, they are one of the most important because they have a direct impact on school performance.
Both young and older kids respond really to routines.
Next, are the top 7 school routines for kids of all ages which will make life easier on everyone. In addition, I’ve included a sample schedule you can use for yourself and additional kid routines resources.
What do I need in order to put these routines in practice?
A whistle! Ok, just kidding.
All you need is a written schedule, a meeting with your kiddos, and sticking to the plan.
As simple as that.
When you set expectations and you follow through your kids will listen, trust me.
As you read the following before and after school routines tips remember to take into consideration the following:
- The age of your children
- Your work schedule
- Their school hours
- Sports and other after school activities
- Other personal factors unique to your family’s dynamic
Then as you read through, pick and choose what works best for your family and formulate a schedule that meets your needs.
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Here are a few great routine charts you can use:
This Magnetic Pocket Chart comes with 10 dry erase cards which make it a breeze to write and erase routine schedules.
Or, you can opt for a weekly routine chart which allows you to plug in specific daily activities, such as sports and chores. This Magnetic Dry Erase Weekly Calendar goes on the fridge and it is made with new premium stain resistant technology.
So, grab a pencil or bookmark this page, because after today, you my friend, will have a glorious before and after school routine schedule to help keep your sanity.
That way, you can sail into the sunset. Okay, fine… maybe just fold some laundry and if you are lucky have a little bit of downtime with your hubby once they are off to bed, but you get the point.
Let’s get started….
Before and After School Routines
1. School morning routine
The school morning routine is one of the most important ones.
How your child starts his/her day, will set the tone for the rest of their day.
Ensuring our kids get a great start to their day starts with us.
Waking up before them with ample time to get ready is a perfect example of a stress-free morning routine.
Here are some other tips to help your early morning routine go smoothly:
- Prepare everything the day before (if you have older kids teach them to do it themselves)
- Get up at least 30 minutes before the kids
- Time-stagger (especially if you have more than one child)
2. Arrival from school routine
School day is over, the bus just pulled up, and in comes a stampede of germs running through your front door!
Not a good time!
The arrival from school routine allows you to set clear expectations of what they must do the minute they walk in through the front door.
Designate a space in your home where they can put their backpacks, shoes, and dirty clothes.
You can find a corner close to the door or in your kid’s room where you can create assigned spaces for their school related items.
Or, simply opt for a great all-in-one piece of furniture like this one:
Just add a small hamper next to it for dirty clothes and you are set.
Don’t forget to remind them to wash their hands once they have changed their school clothes.
3. Snack-time/Free time
After they have taken off their clothes and washed their hands is time for a snack.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine come home starving.
Take the next few minutes to prepare them a healthy and fuel-packed snack to get them ready for homework.
Giving them a few minutes to unwind is also a good idea.
The average child is in school about 8 hours a day. Therefore, allowing them to have a little free time before they dive into homework can help them relax and unwind.
4. Homework Routine
Another important after school routine is the homework routine.
Helping your children establish good homework habits has a direct impact on their lifelong school success.
This routine’s time frame may vary depending on your kid’s age and homework load.
If they happen not to have any homework, they can have a little more free time or for older kids you can have them read for 20 minutes.
Homework routine tips:
- Have them eat a healthy and brain fueling after school snack
- Designate a homework space
- Make sure they have all homework supplies at hand
- Eliminate distractions
- Set a timer
You can read each of these good homework habits, here.
5. Chores and Shower Routine
After homework is done, a nice warm shower follows.
But before they are off to bathe, they can also complete any chores you have assigned for them that day.
Because some days homework tends to take longer than other days, I suggest you schedule chores on alternating days so that their after school schedule doesn’t feel as crowded. For example, 2-3 times a week.
Use the same color dry erase marker to schedule in chores so that is easier for your kids to spot them.
That’s where a great routine weekly schedule comes in really handy.
The shower routine is the perfect time to for them to wind down before dinner and bedtime.
Shower routine tips… SET BATHROOM RULES!
- Teach them to take a change of clean clothes into the bathroom and to make sure they have a towel
- Dirty clothes must go into the dirty hamper after they shower
- Also teach them to pull the shower curtain/door all the way and make sure no water splashes outside of the tub/showers.
If you have teenagers, you know exactly what I mean. Even if your kids aren’t as old yet, teach them how to look after themselves. That will save you and them a lot of headaches in the future.
6. Dinner Routine
Dinner routine is a great time for the entire family to come together.
Here are a few ideas for your kid’s dinner routine that can also be beneficial for the entire family:
- Have kids help set the table
- No electronic devises while eating (phones, tablets, etc.)
- Everyone sits together to eat
- Give thanks and teach your kids to be grateful for their meal
- Ask each other about thier day
- Have kids take their plates and utensils to the sink
The dinner routine is a great time to implement present parenting techniques.
Related Article: 7 Stress-Free School Morning Routine Hacks for Busy Parents
7. Bedtime Routine
Now that everyone is nice and full is time for bed.
Letting the kids have a bit of free time in between dinner and bedtime is also a good idea.
This is also a great time for older kids to get their clothes ready for the next day.
Ideally, the bedtime routine wouldn’t include any electronic devices.
Electronics such as cellphones, tablets, computers, or TV all emit blue light which interfere with the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, increase alertness, and reset the body’s internal clock to a later schedule. (Source)
Instead, have them opt for reading a book, play with a toy, or listen to music.
Then, they can brush their teeth and off to bed.
Bedtime routine tips:
- No electronic devices for at least 1 hour before bed
- A night light or white noise machine might help induce sleep
- Night prayers help them relax and think positive thoughts
- Aim for bed routine to be at the same time every day to create a sense of consistency
Sample After School Routine Schedule
3:00pm-4:00pm School Arrival Routine
4:00pm-5:00pm Snack Time/Free Time Routine
5:00pm-6:00pm Homework Routine
6:00pm-6:45pm Chores and Shower Routine
6:45pm-7:30pm Dinner Routine
7:30pm-8:00pm Bedtime Routine
Motherhood is a constant roller coaster ride. It has its up and its downs. But having routines and schedules in place can make all the difference in the world.
If you need help creating all kinds of children routines I recommend you take a look at this course.
Family Routines: How to Automate Your Housewife Life will teach you:
- Lunch Routines
- Kids helping with meals
- Morning routines
- After school routines
- Cleaning and house chores routines
- Homework routines
- and…clothing routines
You can check out the full curriculum here.
Sometimes all we need is a fresh set of ideas we can easily implement to what we already do daily, but in a more efficient manner.
Make a plan and stick to it!
Not all days are the same, and sometimes things won’t always go as planned. But mapping out a before and after school routine makes it easier on the entire family.
When kids know what to expect and what is expected of them school days go way smoother.
What before and after school routines have you implemented lately?