For the first part to our back to school series, we are going to talk about after school routines.

I have seen my kids on a routine and I have seen them off of a routine and I can tell you, children thrive when they have a routine.

I, in the past, would make out our routine and my oldest would grumble about it for days, this year I decided that we needed to change it up a bit.

We have been working on giving our 9-year old more responsibility and I thought, what a better way than to have him help with his after school routine. I won't say that he was excited but I will say the whole process definitely went a lot smoother this year.

Which leads me to my first point!

Let Them Help Plan Their Routine.

This is their routine, their schedule of what they will be doing after school each day. When we sat down and Brayden wanted a little extra free time before bedtime that was a compromise that I felt like was okay to make.

Knock Homework Out Of The Way First!

Every day no matter what when Brayden comes in from school he washes up and gets a snack while I check and sign his agenda. This normally only takes a few minutes and then we start on homework. I NEVER leave homework for later, it generally doesn't take any more than a half-hour and you will be thankful that it's done.

Allow For Free Time.

This is where many peoples routines will differ. At this point, we do not have any after school commitments, if you do then your free time may be spent at soccer practice. However, this is Brayden's time to go outside and play or make a new Lego creation. If you allow tablets/ computers in your home this would be a good time to allow that screen time, we do not (more on that later!) so this is more of playtime for him.

Include Chores In Their Routine

It is totally okay to include chores into their schedules, I have found that it is easier to get him to do the chores if it's a part of his routine.

We generally eat dinner at 7pm after dinner Brayden will help me clean up the kitchen, he will scrape dishes, put things away and dry and put away dishes while I wash. We also include a quick bedroom clean up before he gets ready for bed, I mean super quick, normally 10 minutes or less.

Be Willing To Make Compromises.

You have to be willing to make some compromises in their schedule, Brayden requested to have more free time after dinner and I thought that was okay to give him so we allowed for a little more free time, with the understanding that it may be shorter some nights than others.

Next-Day Preparation Is KEY!

You may have noticed that I am not talking about a morning routine and that's because do all of our preparation the night before so we don't really need a huge morning routine, Brayden literally wakes up, brushes teeth, puts on deodorant gets dressed and leaves. Before he goes to bed he must get his clothes out the night before, have bookbag and lunch bag packed and ready by the door.

Be Flexible

Just know that your routine will not always work, as we get into our school year some things may differ, some nights I won't have him do chores, sometimes we would rather spend 15 more minutes together than clean his bedroom.  THAT IS OKAY! There are two routines that we will ALWAYS do no matter what and those are doing homework first and the next day prep. As long as we stick to those two things everything in between generally works its self out.

I challenge you to sit down with your kids and help them work out a new school routine this year and start implementing it a couple of weeks early, you won't regret it!

Check out my back to school series here! 

I want to hear from you: Do you have an after school routine? If so, what does your routine look like?


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