Turn that After school chaos into calm!

It’s reaching that time!! The after school rush, disorder, fighting, mess….well not in my house! (minus the fighting…that ALWAYS happens lol). I seriously began to dislike after school time when my eldest was in Grade Prep which is near on two years ago now but I conquered that one and have never looked back 😉

The absolute key here is routine, routine, ROUTINE! I crave it, my kids do and its actually a proven fact that it reduces stress significantly. My eldest two know exactly what is expected of them the moment they walk in the door and it makes life a hell of a lot easier for everyone 🙂

Here’s an overview of what works for us in our household (you may like to try it out for yourself or make one up that works for you as a family :))

* Shoes are taken off outside and smacked against the wall (seriously how much bark can be brought into the house in shoes!)

* Kids put their shoes away on our shoe rack & their bags go on top (in another post I’ll discuss the importance of having a designated area for these items!)

* Kids put their empty lunchboxes & drink bottles on kitchen bench ready for me to wash, as well as their homework folders and any notes from school

*Kids take off their uniform and change into their p.js. (we shower in the morning before school and taking uniform off means it wont get feral from dinner ;)).

* Kids get a snack and drink from mummy and they must tidy their rooms up from the day before (I think its really important to get kids to clean up their own messes from an appropriate age as it teaches them independence &  responsibility).

* I spend 30mins with one child doing their homework/readers/signing notes/reading notes from school while the other child gets 30mins of electronics time (its usually the Wii in our house) and then we swap over.

After that its free time till dinner! Honest to god, without this routine it would be chaos here every afternoon.

People assume that routines are hard to set in motion. They really need not to be. Persistence is the key and before you know it they do it all on their own without any prompting. We have a visual routine chart on the fridge which helps my middle child who is on the spectrum. Easily made to suit your routine and they look something like this:

RoutinesChart

There also are a multitude of afterschool routine templates, printables online. Here are a few free ones:

http://printables.familyeducation.com/parenting-tools-printables/study-habits/72774.html

http://www.mumsjugglingact.com/back-to-school-routine-free-downloadables/

Sarah (The OCD Mumma) x

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