August 23, 2023

After School Routines: Tips from the Rally Teaching Team

Autumn is our favorite season. Crunchy leaves, a crispness in the air, and the hustle and bustle of the start of the school year. While the freshly sharpened pencils are put to work and that new crayon box is opened, kiddos are learning new routines at school that set them up for success. School routines help students find predictability in their day, so we try to establish at-home routines to help kiddos unwind and know what to expect when they come home.

Home routines vary from family to family, as each has its own unique needs. Below are a few components to consider when building your family’s after school routine:

Check in: As former teachers, we often hear parents say that their kiddo doesn’t share about their school day. Rather than asking “how was your day?” - try something a little more open ended. “Tell me something good that happened today” gives your child the opportunity to focus on the positive during their reflection and respond with a specific moment from their day. A few other check in prompts we love are:

- What is something that made you laugh today?

- Tell me a time you were proud of yourself today?

Snack Time: Nothing curbs a midday melt down like snack time. Including your child in the preparation of snacks is a surefire way to get them to eat what’s on the menu. Amongst Rally Reader’s 50,000+ books are incredible cookbooks with kid-friendly recipes to help assist you and your sous chef during your snack adventure. Here are a few of our favorites:

- Food Network Magazine The Recipe-A-Day Kids Cookbook: 365 Fun, Easy Treats

- The Delish Kids (Super-Awesome, Crazy-Fun, Best-Ever) Cookbook: 100+ Amazing Recipes

- Kids Cook Gluten-Free: Over 65 Fun and Easy Recipes for Young Gluten-Free Chefs

- The Everything Kids’ Cookbook, Updated Edition: 90+ Easy Recipes You’ll Love to Make - and Eat!

Homework/Independent Reading: Having a dedicated time and place for homework with limited distractions can help kiddos get their homework done. Rally Reader’s built-in digital reading coach helps your reader get the feedback they need during independent reading, while giving you peace of mind that they are receiving support while you get started on dinner.

Down Time/Activity: That glorious time after homework but before dinner is a perfect time to let kids be kids. Whether your family is a fan of free play or prefers more structured activities, kids need a moment to just be. Rally Reader’s bookstore offers many titles that support creativity and growth! We included some of our favorites here, from sewing, to meditation:

- Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make

- Fun and Easy Crafting with Recycled Materials: 60 Cool Projects that Reimagine Paper Rolls, Egg Cartons, Jars and More!

- WoodShop: Handy Skills and Creative Building Projects for Kids

- Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere

- Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, Movement, and More

- How to Be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, Super-Important Skills to Learn before You’re a Grown-Up

After school routines may feel daunting, but they are meant to structure what you already do. Don’t stress it too much and have fun! We’re rooting for you!