After School Routine

Our afternoon routine does not start until about an hour after school has let out because of the long drive home. Last year we would try to cram in study time in the van on the way home. That did not work out too well. For one thing, some of the children get sick reading in the car. Also, we found that they would like to talk about their day and the noise of conversation in such close quarters bothered the child trying to study or read. I also found the vehicles to be messier and the chances of leaving things in the car greater when they had all their books out on the ride home.

Towards the end of last year, and now this year, we have decided to have the ride home be a relaxing time. There are many times when we will look back and see one of the kids taking a snooze on the way home. Making this time a bit more relaxing has seemed to help the overall spirit of the kids when they get home. Their arrival home is around 4:15; but because that can vary from day to day the afternoon schedule does not start until 4:30.

4:30 – Exercise/Play time
5:00 – Dinner as a Family
5:40 – Older Kids – cleanup jobs / Younger kids – mat time / Mom and Dad – take a walk 6:00 – Kids – Music Practice ( Anna sits by Abbey while she practices cello, Zak by Rachel during violin practice) Mom makes lunches for the next day
6:30 – Older Kids – Homework time / Younger Kids – Bath time with Mom
7:00 – Younger Kids – Bed time / Older kids – Mandatory Desk Time *
8:15- Family Devotions
8:30 – Kids – Reading time ( can not come back downstairs) Mom and Dad – Pray together & prep for the next day
9:00 – Kids – Lights out!

*During mandatory desk time the older kids have to be sitting at their desks doing homework. They are not allowed to talk or to get up from their desk. During the hour, however, we do have each of them with a scheduled time in the bathroom for their shower and bedtime prep. When it is their time to get around for the night they come down quietly without talking and do their bedtime routine in the bathroom. This way the house is completely quiet for the little ones to get to sleep. Also, this is when Dad does most of his study time and he is busy in his office writing lessons or studying. I am able then to read a book and have some quiet time for myself. I find I need this time in order to be able to get settled down for the night.

We are pretty big sticklers on the kids getting to bed on time. We do tell the kids that they are allowed about 2 or 3 nights out of the school year when we will allow them to pull a later night. They are able to choose those nights based on their homework load. We find that with the early morning – they only take those when they absolutely have to have the extra time for work.

We have established the rule that dinner time is fun time. If there have been problems at school that we need to deal with, we do not deal with them at the table. (This is sometimes really hard for Rob and I!) We try to make sure that we have the conversation at the table be fun and relaxing. We also very rarely need the entire 40 minutes; but the extra time allows us to be able to sit and talk if we need to; and lends itself to a more relaxed atmosphere around the table.

Next time, I will be posting about routine jobs and chores we have for the kids around the house. I am curious as to other’s after school routine. The thing that most interests me is the bedtime others have for their children. What time do your kids get to bed on a school night?

Thanks for stopping by – I am so glad you did.

No comments: