What to do after your child comes home from preschool? Here are some ideas on creating a good after school schedule at home for your preschooler.
This school year, my five year-old daughter is in pre-kindergarten. She has been attending preschool for a few years now, but this is the first time she has gone five days a week.
After school schedule at home
We’ve worked to transition her to a full schedule so she’ll be ready for elementary school. I knew from the beginning we needed an after school schedule at home.
1. Snack time
I’m not sure what my daughter does during lunchtime at school, but she doesn’t eat. She often comes home with a nearly full lunch box. And, no surprise, she’s grumpy. The first thing I do when we get home is sit her down to eat and refuel.
Kids need to decompress after the school day. It’s not easy to remain focused and on their best behavior all school day. Especially when they’re young and adjusting to structure and expectations. I make sure my daughter gets some time to relax and unwind once she is home.
3. Play time
Play is vital to kids. Not only does it enable them to unwind and release energy, it’s also the best way for them to learn. My daughter still has the opportunity to play at school, but I make sure she has time at home every day, too.
4. Learning time
My daughter doesn’t have homework yet, but she will soon. We set aside time for activities that reinforce the things she is learning in Pre-K.
At this stage she’s eager to practice her emerging skills. Down the road, having established this time as part of our daily routine will help with homework.
5. Dinner time
My husband’s office move means we don’t get to eat dinner as a family during the week. But it’s still a time for my daughter and I to connect. It’s often my favorite time of the day as well as an important opportunity to gauge how she is doing in school.
My daughter’s bedtime routine is simple and has changed little since she was a baby. I dubbed it “The Three Bs” in the beginning, for Bath, Books and Bed. When she was old enough we added Brushing, as in teeth and hair. Our goal is for her to be in bed with the lights out by 7:30 each night so she can get enough sleep.
As a mom working from home, it’s been easy for me to establish this routine and it has worked well for us. Were I to work outside the home, I’d seek an after school program that understood and met my child’s needs.
My daughter’s childhood is going by. School will become a larger presence as she continues to grow. Establishing these routines now will set her up for success moving forward.
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Get more tips about your after school schedule at home:
- How to Rock a Morning Routine for Toddlers
- The Importance of Establishing Toddler Routines
- 6 Tips to Make Your Morning Routine for School Run Smoothly
- Homework Tips for Parents: Crucial Mistakes You Should Definitely Avoid
- 31 Totally Awesome Conversation Starters for Kids
Elizabeth Flora Ross is a freelance writer for WhatToExpect.com, living in Florida with her husband and daughter. You can find her on her personal blog, The Writer Revived. She is also the creator of The Mom Pledge, an anti-cyberbullying campaign aimed at moms.