The 2012-2013 school year is well underway, and with kids in 11th, 8th, 6th, 4th, and 2nd grades….after school hours around here are hectic. Lots of homework, lots of reading, and they still have chores to do.
The kids get home everyday starting at 2:30 – three by bus and two by foot. And when they walk through the door, after they’ve dumped their shoes and backpacks on the floor, they head straight to the kitchen.
My kids come home from school ravenous. I’ve learned well enough by now that I might as well encourage them to get an after-school snack and give them some down time before getting to work. The school day is tiring for kids, and it never pays off to push them too hard.
Last week, I discovered Tyson® Any’tizers® Snacks “School Year Survival Guide” and as much experience as I’ve had optimizing our before-and-after-school hours, I can still use more tips.
Here are a few of our “tried-and-true” school year tips:
- Our morning routine is just as important as our bed time routine. Everyone wakes up at the same time every day (yes, I am the “human alarm” for all but my oldest daughter…). Everyone gets dressed, eats breakfast, packs a lunch, and then has down time with whatever time they have left.
- Mornings go so much more smoothly when the kids have packed their backpacks and picked out clothes the night before.
- Although I often make sandwiches for the kids, packing their own lunches is their responsibility. I have a couple of drawers full of good lunch-time snacks for them to add to their lunch box to make choosing good options easier.
- After school, it’s always helpful when there are snacking options ready for them. If I put crackers and cheese out on the table, they’ll go straight for that versus scouring the cupboards or the fridge.
- It’s important to have a clutter-and-distraction-free place for them to work on their homework. Sometimes that’s the kitchen table. Other times, that’s the front porch or their bedroom.
- I encourage the kids to be active – play at the park, play a few active wii games, or help me with a job or two around the house.
- Having the kids get enough sleep each night is crucial for staying at the top of their game.
This past week, I put out a variety of Tyson Any’tizers Snacks (Buffalo Style Boneless Chicken Wyngz, Popcorn Chicken, and Chicken Fries) – I heated them up set them on the table, and let the kids discover them. You would have thought that they had died and gone to heaven. And I loved that they had a protein-rich snack and didn’t complain about being hungry before I had dinner ready a few hours later.
The Tyson’s chicken was especially popular with my pre-teen son, who eats more than I can believe and still looks like he’s skin and bones (that’s an 11 year old boy for you). Of course, like a typical 11 year old boy, he refused to let me take a picture of him eating…
What are afternoons like around your house? Share some of your school year survival tips below!
And be sure to visit the Any’tizers “School Year Survival Guide” for tips for making the most of the school year – for kids AND parents!
Note: This post is part of a compensated campaign with Tyson® Any’tizers® Snacks, but the thoughts and tips are my own.
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