This post is brought to you by El Monterey. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
School has started, and we are back to the grind! I already miss the lazy days of summer, but even I admit I like that school forces us to get back in a schedule again. It wasn’t too long ago that I discussed our Night-before and Morning routines of school and today I will be discussing our After School routine.
You see, with five young children and working full-time from home, I’ve realized just how important it is to have order and organization in our routine. When everyone is on the same page and we are working together for common goals in an organized manner, we are more likely to reach them and we are more likely to do it in the least stressful way. Some would say that after school activities and homework make life crazy. I agree that things can get busy, but it doesn’t have to be crazy. We have our kids in sports and piano lessons like many others, and each child usually has at least a half hour to an hour of homework which keeps us on our toes. Recently, we have implemented some rules and guidelines for the kids so that we can get everything done without complaints and without too much craziness.
After we pick up the kids from school, we have specific rules set up. As soon as they get home, they need to wash their hands and grab a snack to eat. With some of them eating as early as 10:30 in the morning for lunch, they are usually starving by the time they get home. While they eat, I like to chat with the kids and see how their day went. After they grab something to eat, they have to work on homework. I recently put together a Homework Station (which I’ll share more details about) with all of their needed homework supplies to help them in their efforts. We sit down with them and get homework done which usually includes spelling, fluency practice, math problems, reading and more. Once homework is done, they practice piano or any other sport they are currently in and then they are allowed to watch a TV show before dinner. We set these rules up and made sure the kids were on board with them and now they do it without complaints. Sure, every once in awhile someone is tired and will complain about homework, but then they quickly realize there is a task at hand and they need to get it done. Setting up these guidelines and establishing family rules (like no TV until everything is finished) has really helped our family stay on track and get things done without it getting too stressful. 😉
The Homework Station we put together has been very handy in our efforts with homework. We realized the kids needed a myriad of supplies at times to get their work finished, so I gathered all of the “essentials” including markers, pencils, scissors, crayons, glue sticks, colored pencils, paper, erasers and more. We put them all in one spot on a tray (that could be easily moved) on and off the table where they could all gather around and use those supplies for their work and projects. The kids love having all they need at their finger tips, and I love that everything is gathered in one spot so we are not frantically looking for certain items through out the house last minute. Here’s a closer look at the station…
I like stocking up on these school supplies each year since they are usually inexpensive during Back to School time. I’ve realized we go through a lot of pencils and crayons, specifically, through out the year so having a back up supply always helps. 😉
As I mentioned before, my kids are usually starving by the time they get home. They usually want something a little more hearty than a string cheese or apple, so some of their favorite after school snacks are Taquitos and Bean Burritos from El Monterey.
Often times, I will cook up some of these El Monterey items and have them ready for the kids so we can chat and eat and do homework together. We love the taquitos and bean burritos because they’re delicious and easy to make. Both can be baked or microwaved and both are made with quality ingredients, like whole beans and real cheese. El Monterey burritos are inspired by authentic Ruiz family recipes and are bursting with authentic Mexican flavor. Although I like all the burritos, the kids love the Bean & Cheese Burritos the most. They love every taquito they have tried, and I love that they are filling and keep the kids satisfied until dinner time (and not roaming around the kitchen looking for more food). 😉
Evie likes the Chicken & Cheese Taquitos the most.
I know that life can get busy, but I also know that there are things that can be done to make life less crazy (And I’m all about making life less crazy). 😉 Setting up routines and goals, creating spaces to help them do their work and providing food that is quick and delicious has definitely helped make our After School routine an enjoyable time, instead of a hectic time.
Be sure to use El Monterey’s product locator online to find the stores closest to you that carry them.