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Katelyn May is writer for Parent Cabin and loves the beach, golden retrievers and all shades of blue. Parent Cabin is a cozy little parenting blog covering everything from pregnancy, tots, teens, and family lifestyle. You can find them on FacebookPinterestTwitter, and Instagram.

eathing a healthy snack

Developing a specific after-school routine for your child is an essential method to gearing them toward success. Designing a routine that ensures completion on everything your child must do before bedtime can be difficult, but follow these simple steps to create an ideal routine.

Step 1: Fuel your child

By the time your kid gets home they haven’t usually eaten since lunchtime at school. Fuel them up for a successful evening by nourishing their body with nutrients. Make them (or if they are old enough allow for them to make it him/herself) a healthy snack to fuel the remainder of the evening. Carrots and hummus, apple and peanut butter, frozen grapes and smoothies are just a few options.

Step 2: Start homework as soon as possible

When it comes to children the longer something is delayed, the less likely it is to get done. Prevent this issue and have your child start homework as soon as they are finished with their snack. Remind them that work is to be done first, before playtime.

 Step 3: Free time

Once all the work is finished for the evening, don’t forget to allow your child some time for fun. If the weather is nice let your child spend some time outside and enjoy the fresh air. If not, give them some time to do something of their choice. This is the perfect moment to give them a bit of hard earned screen time”, but still monitor how much time they are spending with technology.

Step 4: Set a dinner time

Having a family dinner is very important for a child’s development. Because everyone has different schedules throughout the week this is the one portion of the day that everyone can spend together and remain updated on each other’s lives. Remind your child about proper table manners and the importance of spending time together as a family.

Step 5: Chores

This can be built in before dinner/free time or after. If you choose to have your child complete chores make sure these are built into their after school routine. A great way to remind your child is to have a chore chart with rewards when chores are completed in a timely manner and punishment when they are not. Remember to adjust chores according to age. Young kids can help out with clearing the table and doing small things while bigger kids can take on more responsibility.

Step 6: End the night with a book

Reading before bed helps your child’s own reading progress and also phonics skills development. Check out this age by age guide to reading to your child for recommendations on what you should be reading to your child at different age points. Winding down the night with a good book is a great way to relax your child before bed and also avoid extra screen time on delicate night eyes.

Now that we have shared our tips on creating a night routine, let us know in the comments below what you are sure to include in your child’s nightly routine.

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51 Time Management Tips for Working Moms

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4 comments on “6 Simple Steps to Create an After School Routine Guest Post by Katelyn May

  1. Love this routine outline! Growing up it was a rule that homework was done as soon as we got home from school, and because education was prioritized and my parents were involved, I was always finished and outside playing before dinner! I remember having a parent comment to me once that he doesn’t understand how I am always outside playing before his kids yet still got higher grades than they did. I think that it was because of the routine we established — knowing what to expect and what I had to do made it easier and quicker!

    • I completely agree Rachael. Education is a big priority in my house as well, something that my parents also taught me. I like my kids to get their homework done and out of the way first before they get into anything things else.

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