Wondering what other families do in that afternoon/evening period, from when you pick your child/ren up from school, until putting them to bed, what do you all do? Anything you try to fit in more or fit in less often? Are there certain days that are different? Has it changed over time? Are you happy with this routine or is there something you would like to change?
What's your routine between after school and bedtime?
Love our routine, we changed it this year and so far it's been really nice
3:30 home have a snack on the back porch and take out homework
4:30 start dinner kids get computer time
6:00 dinner probably eaten and then we go outside and play for awhile
8:00 TV til 8:30
8:30 reading together
and if then bed time.
We do mix things up a bit, maybe ice cream after school or park, which means we still come home and do homework then fit in as much as possible without making it feel rushed. Either way it's nice and we're all involved.
Out schedule looks like this:
Pick up kids 4-4:30. Usually via car, occasionally via bike.
Ten minutes we sit at the kitchen table with a light snack and talk about the day
DS gets 20 minutes computer time, DD sometimes takes her 20 minutes after him, sometimes does something else.
DS and DD play together. Often they ask us to do something with them, like play Uno. When the weather is good we try and go out to the backyard or the local playground for 10min - 1 hour.
5:30 to 6:00 DS and DD get to watch tv. I make dinner. We eat from 6:00-6:30ish.
DS and DD play together. DH and I talk at the table.
We go up for bedtime routine at 7:30. On bath nights, twice a week, we go up at 7:00 and they can have a half hour in the tub. Brush teeth, pajamas. DH and I alternate - one of us makes the lunches for the next day while the other reads a bedtime story. DD falls asleep about 8:00, DS can then come back downstairs for another hour to do something quiet. (like taking apart his robot, play a game, we read a book...)
Usually 1 or 2 days a week there is something extra - gym from 4:00 to 5:00 or DS or DD has a friend over or goes to a friend to play and have dinner, or we have to go extra grocery shopping....
I'm generally happy with the routine, because it is not too stressful for any of us, which means a comfortable home environment. I would like to cut down TV time, but it isn't off the charts. I would like to bike more. Last year we had to bike a ton because DH had the car in another city, which was great quality time with the kids outside and great exercise, but annoying in really bad weather and stressful because DHs hours at home were cut short. Now that he is working most days from a home office, the car is too easy.
If my kids aren't in after school sports, and it's not raining, the schedule is 3pm off of bus, eat snacks, talk and hang out, 3:30 farm chores, walk dog, play outside at least a half hour all together. Supper is about 5:30 and they can play anything they like until then, but no screens unless their homework is done, after supper homework, sometimes a bath (not every day), pretty much do what they like until 8pm, we read together or they can choose to read/draw/knit (my youngest is 7 and he loves knitting to wind down!) in their beds until 9. They all have about two days a week each that they have sports/group activities (riding, 4H, Trail Blazers, Tae Kwon Do) and they all have youth group for an hour once a week. On the week-ends they can totally hang out if they want (as long as all the animals are cared for and in cold weather everyone works to make sure the wood situation is up to date.) They are also generally only allowed computer or TV time on the week-end, unless it's a rainy week day and all their other stuff is done. Sometimes they can play the DS on sunny week days if their homework is done, because the activity can take place in their rooms and not monopolize the space of others.
We pick up dd at 2:15, and usually get home around 2:45-3:00.
First she gets a snack and chills out for 20-30mins. Then we do homework.
Then playing at home, maybe a trip to the park if it's nice out.
Dinner at 5:30-6pm
Some nights we do a bath around 7:30
Bed is at 8pm. Ds falls asleep right away, dd reads till 8:30-9pm.
2:30 pick up from school. home by 3:30. snack or meal according to dd's wishes. play with neighborhood children, or do hw, or play and then help with making dinner. by 8 start with getting ready for bed. in bed by 9. reading talking and then hopefully asleep by 10. i would love if dd was asleep by 9. nope. very rarely. she gets up at 6/6:30 am.
we never have a routine. it all depends on our mood. sometimes we stop at a park on teh way home to have a picnic and come home by 5 or 6. and scramble.
sometimes we have friends over. it really works for dd that she has the free time after school instead of any afterschool activity. actually for the first time she was looking forward to a new after school activity but unfortunately due to budget cuts - its gone. she is rather disappointed about that. the other stuff they have she does not want to do it.
My kids are teens now, so their routines have changed a bit from when they were in kindy or primary school. But generally it is:
4:20 pm - Return from school (in primary it was ~ 3pm)
4:20- ~ 6:30 pm - have a snack if they want, do chores, any homework, and then play. Now that they are older, their play is more internet based. This used to be the time that they did their formal music practice, but they stopped taking formal lessons.
6:30-7:15 - usually supper time
- dishes, trash and recycling
7:30 - evening news on TV - kids often shower during this time, or a little afterwards
8:00 - 9:00 - prepare schoolbags for next day, finalize any homework. If no homework, then read for pleasure or play.
9:00- 9:30 - reading in bed, lights out.
When the kids were younger, we first had lights out at 8pm. Then 8:30. It's crawled up to 9/9:30 now.
If they have after-school activities, they go there themselves and come home themselves. Today (for example) DD has rowing practice and will not get g home until ~ 7pm. So, on her rowing days, her chores are lighter and she makes up for it on the other days.
From 4:30 until 8:30 we play, eat, and do homework. School is an hour away, so dd(9) gets a lot of homework done in the car, usually. If not, she is usually at the kitchen table working on homework while I'm preparing dinner. She'll pitch in and help some, too, usually. We have a sit-down family meal together every night at about 7pm. That's about the only thing we do that is routine. We don't have a routine or activities outside of the house during the school week, unless it's a monthly Girl Scout meeting. If the weather is nice, we play first. If it's not nice out, homework first. There are also evenings where dd will have a lot of homework and on those evenings, she basically eats and does homework only. There's not much I would change about it as we are not much into scheduling. Before bed, we usually hang out in the living room reading our own thing and listening to music (well, dh is usually doing a cross word) or sometimes watch some TV. If dd needs it, she showers at this time.
Edited by velochic - 9/6/11 at 3:30am
We pick ds up from school at 2:30 and are home around 3-3:15. DS gets a snack and gets to chill (playing on the computer, watching a tv show, reading, whatever) for a little bit (30 minutes or so). After that he does his homework. After homework he can play until dh gets home (around 5 or 5:30) then we either go for a walk as a family or dh and ds go ride bikes/run or we eat dinner and then do exercise. After dinner/exercise ds can watch tv/play computer/whatever until 8pm then it's bedtime.
On wednesdays I pick him up from school at 2:30 and usually go to the library or something. At 4:00 I take him to his therapy out at 5, run home (usually grabbing him dinner on the way, unless dh was able to get off work early and make ds some dinner). We get home around 5:30-6:00 (depending on traffic). Ds eats dinner immediately and then goes to karate at 6:30. After karate is bath and bedtime.
On a day when we don't have an after-school activity, our schedule looks something like this:
2:00 Pick up DS and neighbor girl from school, drop neighbor girl off at home (or have her over to our house for a while sometimes)
2:15 Have an after-school snack, then play outside, either in the backyard or take a walk to the park and play there
4:00 Come home/inside and start fixing dinner
4:30 DH gets home and hangs with the kids
5:30 We eat, then DS does his homework (I think we should move this to right after school, because the after-dinner period feels rushed to me when we do it this way)
6:30 We get the kitchen cleaned up and either take a short walk, play a game, watch a movie, or do something else together
7:30 The kids get their PJs on and we watch a short bedtime show
8:00 DH puts the kids to bed: toothbrushing, reading stories, singing songs
Once a week my kids have a swimming lesson right after school, so that just takes the place of playing at the park that day, and once a week my DS has soccer practice right at dinnertime, so on that night we get a pizza or something else easy for dinner, and I try to have him do his homework earlier on that night so the evening doesn't feel quite so rushed.
pick up at 3:15
go home, do homework at the kitchen table and eat a snack (or they eat whatever lunch wasn't eaten in the car, or both)
play or watch tv
showers/baths at 7
bed by 8, though I'm trying for 7:30
the only days this varies is on Monday and Thursday when we leave right before dh gets home to go back to the school for ds's speech therapy at 5 and dinner gets pushed back to about 6:30
We're new to this kind of routine. I was homeschooling the kids with plans to continue until some health issues got in the way. DD is 6 now and started her second semester of public school -- second grade -- and DS is 5 and is at his first day of kindergarten right now. Last semester I picked up DS at preschool, then picked up DD at school and we stayed at the playground for an hour or two to play with friends and get the kinks worked out after sitting at a desk for so long. Then we'd do homework, dinner, and bedtime.
We'll probably do something similar this year. Personally I don't particular agree with giving homework to such young kids. There are enough studies showing that homework at age 5 doesn't increase a child's chance of success later in life, academically or otherwise, that I'm happy to bag the whole thing and let the school know that they may not assign disciplinary consequences to my kids if I opt them out of homework entirely. My 6-year-old has other ideas, however. She looooooooves homework. She throws a fit if we even suggest that she doesn't need to do every activity in an assignment that says choose 2 of 3 activities. I'm giving her the lead on that as long as it doesn't interfere with meal times and bedtime, but I'm not going to go crazy on pushing the kids to get their homework done. Dinner's at 6:00 and bedtime's at 7:00 for both of them. I try to keep that pretty regular so they get enough sleep and so we have family time over dinner at least.
We have after school activities 4 days a week. The time we get in varies widely depending if someone can bring home DD1 who gets done anywhere from 5-7:30pm. It is usually rushed around here. Dinner is already made, either crockpot or leftovers, we eat, baths for some kids. DD1 is the only one who does homework, about 20 minutes a night. In nice weather, we might take a short walk with the younger kids. Bed starts at 7pm for the smaller ones.
When Dylan was in elementary school, he got home around 3 PM (he walked), did homework, played until dinner, usually around 6 PM. After dinner, he played, watched TV or was on the computer until an hour before bedtime. That last hour was bath, brush teeth, finish watching TV until bedtime. That was his routine when he didn't go to after school care. when he was in after school, I picked him up at 5 PM, we ate at 6 (or went to grandma's house to eat etc.). He did homework in after school care. The last year or so of elementary school, he and I took dinner to his grandmother's house, ate and sat with her until 8 pm. Then put her to bed and came home.
He home schools now. After his school work is done, he is free to get on the computer or watch TV if all his chores are done.