After school can be a time of chaos for busy families. Without an after school plan, things can go sideways pretty quickly. Calm the chaos, and keep everyone on track with this FREE after school routine chart.
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The time right after school until bed can be intense in many households.
This time slot is typically filled with next level hangry kids, shuttling to after school activities, trying to brace for the homework battle, and somehow managing to fit dinner in there too.
I know that our home was a whirlwind of Jasper and Willow cyclones. And, no matter what I just couldn’t seem to get it together.
We ended up having massive homework battles. Papers and folders would not be put where they were supposed to, which meant I would have to run them back to the school.
I was stressed out to the max. Which then meant I would be ordering take out again for dinner. And, everyone would get to bed too late. Which meant they were cranky the next morning.
Well, I had enough. I simply could not take the chaos any longer. And, I bet you can relate.
So I got to work, and created an easy after school routine chart.
And, I am pumped to share it with you. (You can get access to your free copy at the bottom of this post.)
Planning for after school
Before we get started on the checklist let’s discuss creating a plan.
You see, much like the morning routine for school checklist you will need a plan for this checklist to work.
Knowing exactly what needs to be done, ahead of time, is the secret sauce that pulls all of the magic together.
That is part of why I made the after school checklist editable. So you can either print it out as is. You can also write or type in exactly what tasks need to be done as well.
I encourage you to take your time when thinking of what needs to go on your list. And, to be as specific as possible.
For instance, our after school routine chart is broken down as to where to do homework, and then what to do with the homework when it is finished.
Busy moms need as much help as they can get. And, encouraging your child to take ownership and responsibility for their belongings gets you one step closer to Mom Boss status.
However, kids typically need pretty specific instructions. So, feel free to break everything down into baby steps for them.
A basic overview of things that will need to be done after school are:
- Unpack backpack
- Eat a snack
- Do homework
- Have parent review homework
- Place homework in backpack
- Hang backpack up
- Pack lunch
These are all included in the after school routine printable, but this gives you a general idea of things to think about when creating a routine for your family.
Creating an after school routine
Once you have a plan, it is time to put it into action.
I always suggest having a quick family meeting to go over any new routine. That way the kids are involved, and feel like they are contributing to the family.
Be sure to consider any after school activities as well. Since you know that those evenings might be particularly hectic be sure to emphasize the time constraints to the kids.
For example: We have 2 days a week that are a one way trip to crazy town with activities. The kids know this, and are prepared to come straight home, finish homework, eat, bathe, and head to bed.
Because they are prepared and aware of this, it makes things so much easier and more agreeable. I also try to make the other nights a little more leisurely.
It is all about working with the schedule you have, and not against it. That is what will save you a ton of overwhelm.
And remember to be flexible. For extra busy nights come armed with snacks. And, homework can always be done in the car if needed. Car rides are my jam for going over spelling words. 😉
Once you have printed off your checklist. Be sure to place it somewhere that everyone can see it. You can also have it laminated, or put into a sheet protector as well.
With that said let’s go over some of the items on the checklist.
After School Routine Chart Breakdown
In order to make your after school routine go as smoothly as possible you need to stick to the plan. However, I don’t want to just give you a checklist, and send you on your way.
So let’s go over exactly how to use this checklist. Shall we?
- Shoes in shoe basket
Okay mama. This is probably one of the best tips and tricks EVER.
Get yourself a shoe basket. It does not need to be anything fancy. Use a spare Amazon box if you need to.
You just need somewhere to put the kids shoes. And, the shoe basket must go next to the door that you use to enter and leave your home.
As soon as the kids get home they have to put their shoes in the basket. No exceptions!
This will save you a ton of time in the mornings. Trust me.
- Unpack backpack
After placing their shoes in the shoe basket, now is the time for your kids to unpack their backpack.
They can get their homework or projects laid out on a table, and hand you any papers or forms that need to be signed as well.
This is where a command center comes in really handy. Again, this does not have to be anything fancy. Some hooks for backpacks, and a shelf, tray, or basket for papers will work just fine.
- Eat a snack
If your kids are like mine then they will be starving.
Never mind the lunch they ate just a few short hours ago. They are hangry!
And, I have learned that my kids must eat before homework. Otherwise, it spells disaster.
Knowing this ahead of time allows me to plan. So, I always have easy make ahead snacks ready to go for immediately after school.
Here are a few make ahead snack ideas that you can whip together in no time:
- Homemade fruit cups
- Peanut butter and banana quesadillas
- Sandwich wraps
- Cheese and crackers
- Celery and peanut butter
- Go through paper work
While the kids are eating a snack it is a good time to look at any papers that need to be signed. You can also eliminate any papers that are unneeded. That way you won’t have a bunch of paper clutter.
By checking papers immediately after unpacking the backpacks, and then placing them where they need to go. This will save you from last minute school runs. Can you hear the angels singing?
This is the time that the kids sit down in a designated area and complete their homework. Once they are finished, they can bring it to you to review.
For any moms that are struggling with homework, I feel you. Be sure to check out this great article by No Guilt Mom on 3 things to do if your kid cries over homework.
And after everything is complete, they will put their homework in their backpack. And, put the backpack where it belongs.
I typically get started on dinner while the kids are working on homework. This is a major time saver, and you will LOVE these freezer meals for busy weeknight dinners.
- Pack lunch
If your kids are old enough, I highly encourage you to allow them to pack their own lunch. With adult supervision of course. They cannot survive on fruit snacks alone.
I also suggest that you make it as easy on them as possible. You can create a special bin full of healthy choices that is within arms reach.
You can fill your bin with fruit, pre cut veggies, hummus, and items to make wraps. That way they have pretty simple choices, and it makes packing their own lunch pretty fool proof.
If your children are still a bit too young to pack their lunch, then I still advise for you to do it the night before school. This is what will help you to maintain your sanity in the morning. Trust me on this.
Now, all you have left is for everyone to eat, bathe, and head to bed. Hopefully everyone will have time to unwind as well.
After School Routine Mom Boss
You now have everything you need to create an easy after school routine for your family. I hope that you are excited to get started.
By using this checklist, and keeping everyone on track. Our family is able to accomplish everything on the list in under 2 hours. And, I think you will be able to as well.
It is going to feel great to remove the dreaded after school stress from your life.
Now, grab your FREE copy of the After School Routine Chart below.