An Easy After-School Routine for Busy Parents

School Age

Welcome home! Your kids have put in a full day at school and now they're home, hungry and loaded with homework! Establishing a consistent after-school routine will help kids know what to expect, behave better and make afternoons less chaotic overall.

Get smart about snacks

After a long day at school, kids need fuel. Try serving plain, low-fat yogurt with a piece of fruit, whole grain crackers with string cheese or sliced veggies with hummus, along with a glass of water. Keeping healthy snacks in plain view and ready to eat will make it easy for your kid to make a smart choice.

Playtime does a body (and brain!) good

Physical activity increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, improving focus and concentration. Being active will help kids focus more when it’s homework time (and what kid doesn’t want to finish their homework faster?).

Create homework helpers

Set expectations for homework time, whether it's after school or after dinner. Some kids find it better to tackle homework immediately, before distractions set in. Others need some downtime or physical activity before they can focus on academics again. Either way, make it a rule to finish homework before watching television, playing with a cell phone, surfing the web or playing video games.

Try to limit entertainment-related screen time (including computers, phones, video games and television).

Habits will make life easier

Creating after-school routines helps kids keep it together after a full day of school. If they know what to expect every day—and can recharge their batteries with plenty of playtime—they’ll be happier, healthier and ready to focus on homework.