Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Afternoon/Evening Routine

Morning routines are the most imporant, but afternoon/evening routines are important as well.  Especially if you have activities that you need to get to every night.  We have a great routine that works for US (every family has to find that RIGHT routine that works for them).  I have had other afternoon/evening routines (last school year) but it seems like as the kids get older, the routine has to change a little bit to keep up with the kids.
We have activities.  Both of the kids are in swimming lessons one night a week (thank goodness it's the same night) and my Daughter is in Guiding another night. 
But on a regular afternoon/evening, this is what we get done:
5:00 - Arrive Home from daycare/work, empty backpacks, put shoes away, hang up jackets
5:10 - Chore Time (*)
5:30 - Kids play and wind down and Mommy makes supper
6:00 - Supper Time!  They only get 1/2 an hour. I set the timer. There is no reason to have a longer supper than that. If they don't like it, I don't make another meal. They will eat if they are hungry.
6:30 - Table Time (**)
7:00 - Bathtime for my son, Homework time for my daughter (***). My daughter can do her homework by herself (most times) so that's helpful.  I can stay upstairs with my son.
7:30 - Bedtime for my son, Bathtime for my daughter.  Our sons bedtime routine is pretty basic.  Read ONE story, tuck him in, turn on the radio and walk away.
8:00 - Bedtime for my daughter.  Her bedtime routine is a little different.  We read ONE story (or two if she reads one), tuck her in, turn on the radio and walk away.  BUT the lamp stays on.  We have her lamp on a timer that will automatically turn off at 8:30.  That means she gets 30 minutes by herself to what she wishes.  She doesn't have big toys in her room, a couple of dolls, but usually she just draws or reads or plays on her Dora computer.

* - I have the best app in the world. It's called "Motivated Moms" and gives you a customizable list of chores that you need to get done every day.  Somet of them are every day (clean out sinks, sweep floor, etc.) , some are once a week (clean toilet, mop floor, etc.) and some are even once a year.  Do you HAVE to do these things when it says?  NO  But it's a great reminder for busy families who get off track fast!  At chore time, I let me kids pick one item on my to-do list and they have to do that. 

** - Table time is a quiet time that I came up with this year.  Table time can be lots of things!  Playdough/Arts and Crafts, Supper Games, Puzzle Time, Board Game Night and on special nights, even a movie night (usually Fridays).

*** - My daughter gets "homework" every Friday that we have to do on the weekend.  But to keep her in routine throughout the rest of the week, I give her homework to do.  Sometimes is colouring (learning how to stay in the lines), writing a letter (practicing her printing) and drawing a special person a picture.  If I know they are learning something at school, I give her something that is closely related.  For example, I know they are learning about patterns, so I pulled out the Pom Pom Pattern Supper Game and let her make some fun patterns!

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