How I manage our time after the school run!

I’ve always found managing the children’s schedule and getting things done stressful after the children get home from nursery/school. In fact, it’s the main reason I reduced my part time hours even further. Last year I relied so heavily on my mum to pick up my children from the childminder and school, take them home and give them dinner three days a week. I’d usually get in around 5:30pm and try to get them to do some reading and spellings after asking them about their day. Inevitably, this didn’t go down very well and instead, I ended up with two grumpy kids who I plopped in the bath before putting them to bed. I felt exhausted and I didn’t feel the children were benefiting in the slightest.

Move forward 10 months and I now do 4 out of the 5 school and nursery pick ups and have fallen into a routine that works well for us (most days!). Monday is our only anomaly where my mum picks the children up, along with my niece, and I get in around 5pm. We manage some reading but we generally just play before bath and bed. I actually get to enjoy their company instead of shouting all the time.

Weekly Routine

Tuesday and Wednesday  – I pick Benjamin up from nursery just after lunchtime and we go home for lunch (Benjamin just has a snack). On a Tuesday I take him to his swimming lesson just before school pick up. Although a little light for time, we get to school to pick up Isabella for 3:10pm and walk home.

The second we are in the door it’s time for a snack and drink; we down for half an hour before Isabella does her reading and spelling practise.

I usually start the dinner at about 4:30 and the children play together until teatime.

We all sit down for dinner around 5pm and after dinner we play in the garden or play games before going up for a bath at 6:20pm.

Bed is usually at 7pm after we’ve read them some stories and (touch wood) they go to bed really nicely.

Thursday is slightly different in that Benjamin goes to the pre-school at Isabella’s school and I’m not at work so actually get a couple of hours free to myself!

Again, I pick Benjamin up first and we go and have lunch and play together before walking to school to collect Isabella.

Thursday’s are Isabella’s swimming days so we shoot off there before coming home. Thankfully my husband is usually working from home so can put some dinner on for when we get home.

After dinner we do reading, spelling and then let the kids watch T.V before bed.

Friday is the same except no swimming so we tend to have a much more relaxed and enjoyable evening. They can stay up a little later on Friday, which is nice, especially when the sun is out and we’re all enjoying the afternoon sun.

Does Routine Work For You?

Although it doesn’t sound like much, just putting in this basic routine of reading and spellings before play/T.V has helped to illuminate some of the tantrums and it makes the evenings so much more enjoyable. I know as homework demands increase and when Benjamin goes to school too we might need to reshuffle but for the time being, this works well for our little family and takes the stress out of the after school madness.

Do you have a set routine after school or do you just play it by ear each day? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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