An average school day is high-sensory—full of bells, school buses, student chatter, smartboards, crowded hallways, single-file lines and laborious writing tasks. At the end of the day, children can feel overwhelmed and exhausted, then you all hit the road for the after-school activities. Make it back home in time to tackle the homework, feed the squad and settle them down for bedtime—whew.
Here are five tips to keep your school nights on track.
1. Create a family calendar. Between social commitments, extracurricular activities, school performances, school projects, field trips, work events, and doctor and dentist appointments, it helps to work off of ONE master calendar. There are plenty of apps to sync the calendars of every family member to ensure nothing falls between the cracks.
2. A good day starts the night before. When you take a few minutes before bed to prep backpacks, select outfits and pack lunches, you can take more time in the morning to prepare for the day with way less stress.
3. Feed the body feed the mind. While you may spend your afternoons running from one activity to another, don’t turn to the drive-thru. There are healthier alternatives out there that can fuel your fam with the sort of ingredients their bodies need to keep up. Pop into Roly Poly on Corporate and fill the tanks with a fresh, fast and super tasty meal. Check out the menu here. BONUS TIP: As part of your dinner routine, ask the kiddos to tell you the best and worst part of their day. They are usually way happier to talk at dinner.
4. Give them time to shift gears. Instead of immediately demanding that homework be pulled out and pencils sharpened, give everyone 20 minutes to decompress. Every child is a little bit different. Set a timer and let them unplug with a bike ride, a little television or go enjoy a walk with the dog—they will be better equipped to tackle their homework afterwards.
5. Homework doesn’t have to be a hassle. Don’t roll your eyes yet—homework time doesn’t have to be a fight. Have a designated work zone like the dining table or counter. Turn off the television and silence the notifications on their electronics. Depending on the age of the child, you may have different levels of expectations for what they must do on their own, but always have a clear understanding that work comes before play. Give them the opportunity to teach you what they learned in class—as you work through problems together, you may find that with more ownership, your child takes pride and gains a greater understanding of the material in trying to explain things to you.