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Monday, October 23, 2017

After School Routine for Kindergartners

Kindergarten is a time of big transitions. They're taking on more responsibility and independence, but they're still, you know, 5 years old, which means they're not quite ready to totally handle the responsibilities they're taking on by themselves yet. I've found myself adjusting a lot of our routines at home to better align with their growing responsibilities (at school and at home), so today I want to share our after school routine that helps my daughters take care of their responsibilities while also giving them time to decompress from a long day at school.

1. Empty backpacks

The first thing they do when the girls come inside the house is take out their lunchboxes, snack bags, and school folders. They put the lunchboxes and snack bags on the kitchen counter for me to wash and give the folders to me for me to go through any notes that have come home. Getting this done first works well so we don't forget about anything!

2. Grab a snack

It's amazing how hungry they are when the girls get home! I've found the rest of the day goes a lot more smoothly, even with an early dinner, if they get a snack before doing anything else. I pretty much let them choose what they want: usually it's something like a handful of crackers/ chips/ popcorn, a cheese stick, a bagel with peanut butter, or a piece of fruit. Sometimes we go crazy and bake some cookies or stop by the grocery store on the way home to get a donut ;)

Snack time is also the perfect time for us to chat about their day while it's still fresh in their minds, and for all of us to take a breather and sit down for a few minutes!

3. Homework

Thankfully the girls don't have a huge amount of homework yet, being in kindergarten, but they do have a small assignment to complete each day. Once they eat their snack I tell them they have to do their homework before they start playing. Usually I'm able to wash out the lunchboxes and tidy up a little while I help them with their homework.

4. Play time!

After being told what to do all day the girls are anxious to have a chance to choose what to do themselves and relax for a while! Although admittedly they almost always want to play school and pretend to be teachers these days.... :) I try to spend some time relaxing with them myself, although sometimes if dinner is a little more involved I am prepping dinner during this time.

5. Dinner and chores

I share chores with the girls, so sometimes the girls are making dinner, setting the table, or putting away the dishes, or some days they have other chores like vacuuming or sweeping. Since a lot of the chores are related to dinner, we all do our chores before and/or after dinner.

6. Unwind

Ever since the girls were infants I've been conscious of gradually unwinding before bedtime. I'm less rigid about this now that the girls are older, but it's still something I do most of the time and the whole evening is much more pleasant when we do! I try to gradually turn off or dim lights after dinner, turn off or down any music we have playing, and decrease the activity level. Maybe we play a card game, read a book, draw, or go for a leisurely walk around the block- something to ease us into bedtime ;)

And that gets us to the end of the day! What is your after school routine with your elementary school- aged children? I'm still trying to get us settled into our new routines, and I'd love to hear what you do! Leave a comment below :)

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  1. Elizabeth,
    It was so much fun to read about your after school routine with the girls. It felt like if I am watching a short movie. Thank you so much! I know you girls are so blessed to have a sweet Mom like you!!
    I do remember you being pregnant when you had the Recorder Workshop...time flies...
    Abundance of blessings!

    1. Hi Nona,
      Thank you for your kind message- it's wonderful to hear from you! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading. Time really does fly!