Setting a Routine is important right from the start. You can skip a day or change the activities up, but keeping to a routine is important. I find setting a routine right before school starts is nice. This will change as you progress through the year but having it started so they are used to doing it is important. During the year you will find out when homework will be coming home and work around it. The school here does not send homework home the first month. Also keep in mind how much time you have in a day.
Keep it Simple
A simple 1 hour routine can look like this:
- Come home from school
- Snack & review school day
- Gross motor
- Arts & Crafts
This routine can be different but you need to keep in mind how much time you have. One tip is to change it up daily. But keep the start always the same. I’ll cover more about this the next day. But keeping things the same order can be information. If they get snack right when they get home from school always do that. It builds patterns the kids can plan on so there are not big surprises.
Whatever routine you pick stick to it so that they get set in a pattern. I encourage you to include your younger kids with the older kids in the routines.
Figure Out How Much Time Do You Have
There is only 24 hours in a day. Some of that time will be spent wit your kids in school. I like to ask the question when do you kids get up? Mine tend to get up really early. A few times we will do something fun before school starts if we have time. How much time do have after school ends?
For a lot of hands on activities they can be done at any time. After they have done an activity a few times they know what to do and don’t have to have 100% supervision. I have a bin with hands on activities I leave out for the girls. They will play and do them early in the morning. Yes my girls get up at 5:30 to 6:30am. We have at least 1 to 2 hours before the girls have to be at school. Getting Dressed and eating only takes up about 45 minutes in the morning.
After school there is 3 hours before dinner and bed time. Lots of time to do a simple learning activity and have a small snack. Each activity I don’t plan on it lasting more than 15 to 20 minutes. At times they don’t go any longer than that. Plan your schedule so that you have fun during that time. But don’t plan so much that you take up the whole afternoon.
After School Activities Out of the House
As kids get older after school activities out of the house will happen. Plan for these activities in your schedule. Last year we worked around gymnastics. By the time homework was done we did not have time for extra activities. We just had gymnastic be the activity of the day. This is acceptable to do. Learning comes in many different types of forms and those types of activities are as much learning as what you might do at home.
After School Does not have to be Monday through Friday. We do a lot of things on Saturdays first thing in the morning rather than watch TV. This should be a different learning that just repeating school.
Something else to keep in mind is the temperament of your child. If you child come home upset over something. That might not be the best time to do a worksheet or printable. This might be a better time for a gross motor or fine motor activity to center them. This is something only you can figure out for your child. When we have problems we do fine motor followed by gross motor. This is something I learned over a few years.
Leaving Time to Play
Always leave time for play! Kids need to do free play as well as organized play. They need this for development as well. Don’t be so worried about getting the activity done that you don’t let them play. Playing is tons of fun for them and is a good idea to unwind from the day.
Please keep in mind this post is my personal experience and might not work for your family. Keep in mind that you do what works best for you.
Cassie – 3Dinosaurs.com