Thursday, October 24, 2013

The After School Crazy Hours

When our girls get off the bus at 3:50 in the afternoon and walk down the street to our house, it is safe to say that 4:00 is the average time they arrive home. From 4:00 until 8:30 it is a mad dash of homework, playtime, dinnertime, activities, reading and baths before getting these kiddos to bed for the night. It is the most challenging part of my day, and I have by no means perfected it. In fact, it has become a struggle as of late. Here are the things that need to be done:
Reading: 20 minutes
Spelling/Vocabulary practice
Math Homework: Tuesday and Thursday nights only
Piano Practice: (Hannah) 15 minutes a day
Piano Lessons: Tuesday afternoons
Gymnastics: (Leah) Thursday evenings

In addition, my kids get an afternoon snack and one 30 minute TV show (usually Wild Kratts or Arthur) before starting all the things we have to do. I suppose I could nix this time, but I really think they need it. Or if they would rather play outside for thirty minutes, that's fine too. They always have that option, but I am totally ok with a 30 minute zone out on PBS. I think they need a short mental break when they walk in the door. This also gives me time to go through their backpacks and sign their agendas, look over papers, sort out what needs to be signed and returned, setting aside homework papers, and throwing away uneaten lunch and snack items.  

My two struggles as of late are the following:
1. What to do with Lucas while his sisters are trying to do their homework. He has a hard time playing by himself and I don't want to just plug him in to a movie all the time.
2. Dealing with one daughter's attitude regarding work. She generally drags her feet, whines and complains and declares "it's not fair" that she has things to do and Lucas doesn't. It's getting old.

In addition, there is the need for me to be in the kitchen around 5:00 or 5:30 to start cooking our dinner. So that further complicates our evenings. 
Any of you out there have some tips or suggestions for making this crazy time of day run a little smoother? 
After the hurricane of homework

When it's all done, they get more playtime! Yipee!

* The child not pictured in these photos didn't get to go play because it took her twice as long to get everything done with all the whining and complaining. It was a long night for her.


Ashley said...

I can totally relate. Advice: 15 minute meals, croc pots and speed dial pizza delivery. Papa John's has 50% off specials all the time. I have an app for it....
And, each whine about work equals one less minute of video game (or tv time) they are allowed each night.

Jacquelyn said...

Solution: Move next door to me and I will come cook and/or help with homework every night. ;)

Emily said...

Jacque, the house across the street for us is for sale. Let's do it. :)

Sarah Purdy said...

Great questions and things that I'm just beginning to think about, too. Maybe you could prep some "homework" for Lucas ahead of time... drawing, writing/tracing numbers, letters, shapes etc? Practice writing his name? There's templates or school fonts that can be easily downloaded and adapted. Playing with those magnetic letters? That's a tough one. Please keep us updated on what you end up doing or what works/doesn't work so I can learn from you! :)

Emily said...

Good ideas, Sarah! I will try them! :)