School nights absolutely take some coordination when it comes to those few hours between the end of school and bedtime.
Goodwin girls are hungry. tired. ornery.
They all have something to tell me, papers to give me and questions to ask me.
They all have things to do that they don’t want to do.
They want to play. or watch TV. or read. or color. or just be home.
Figuring out a way to keep the peace on a school night is quite tricky.
Somewhere in those precious hours of time we have to unpack backpacks, sort papers, empty and clean lunch boxes, do homework, repack for the next day, eat dinner, rest and get ready for bed.
Throw in an errand or two… a church night… an appointment of any kind and you just could have disaster.
School nights are a complicated, quick blend of life.
For this relaxed homeschool loving family… wow. This has been an interesting transition, but one that I’m SO glad we are adjusting to here and not in a few months when we arrive in France.
I must say that homeschooling has definitely prepped me for organizing the girls quickly and, since I have a very good idea how they learn best, I can prep things so that our nights run much more smoothly.
Keeping the peace on school nights is a tough job but with a little prep and some organization, it can be done.
School nights can be peaceful and everyone can go to bed ready for the next big day of school.
Well, here are a few of the things we’ve applied from homeschooling and some things we’ve learned in our short month of traditional school.
1. Find out what homework is going to look like for the week. Granted, it changes each day depending on new projects, but each teacher seems to have a way of doing things. If you can figure that out, you can anticipate what is expected for that night. I’ve found patterns within the weeknights that help me plan for that specific night.
2. Keep a folder. I have one folder holding the important papers for THAT week. Spelling words, teacher notes, project dates… if the girls have to take a paper back to school, I take a picture of it with my phone or make a copy on our printer. This way, I know what they need for the week.
3. Keep it simple. Review things with them, but don’t overdo it. This is a homeschool thing. They have already been in school for SEVEN hours. They do not need 2 more hours at home.
4. Be ready when the kids get home. Even if you are super busy, taking 10 minutes to get things ready for the kids before they get home is a huge help. I have a snack ready and the homework that I assume they are going to need to do depending on which day it is already out for them. I have a small pencil box with pencils, markers, erasers and other easy school supplies so we don’t have to tear the house apart looking for a pencil. With a fun snack and their supplies all ready, the girls sit right down and get their work done. If we are out and have to run errands, I bring snack and homework helps with us.
5. Give them responsibility. You can prep all you want but if they don’t want to do their work at home, you are going to destroy all peace for everyone trying to get them to do it. If they don’t do it, they face the teacher the next day. Not you.
6. Stagger showers and bedtime. We start showers very early if we aren’t going anywhere. While 2 kids are snacking and doing homework, 1 is using the bathroom and taking a shower. By taking turns with bedtime steps, we all feel more peaceful at bedtime.
7. Make dinner count. From serving a high protein healthy meal to taking advantage of the family time dinner provides, making dinner count will absolutely help keep things peaceful for everyone. Talk to your kids, ask questions about school, monopolize on teaching moments from their day away from you. Giving kids time to talk over dinner is a parenting gem you can’t let go of. Your kids will feel more peaceful after talking with you! And a good meal makes everyone less crabby!
8. Limit after school activities. The more rushed you are the less peaceful it feels. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and say no to things that overwhelm your kids and keep them from accomplishing what they need to do each night for school the next day.
9. Keep bedtimes. When everyone is rushing around for bed and things are crazy, time flies so fast. Before you know it, the kids are 30 minutes past bedtime and quite unhappy. Keeping bedtimes regular each night makes sure your kids get the rest they need and helps you and your hubby have some downtime before you go to bed!
10. Family Devotions. This can be done at dinner time or bedtime or even on the way to school… or all three if you can fit it in! The more you focus on the things of God in your home, the more peace will surround your home. There is a reason we are encouraged in the Bible to write God’s Words on the doorposts of our home and wear it on our clothes and put it on our foreheads and talk about it on the road… God’s Words bring peace! They are teaching points for us as we raise our children in this world. They are helps and wisdom for us when we don’t know what to say about a question or thought from our children. God’s Words are important and we need to keep them at the forefront of our families!
We still have crazy nights.
We still get busy and forget some of these steps.
But, on the nights we are prepped and ready and working together, we enjoy each other so much more and everyone goes to bed much more peaceful than on those days we neglect the necessary time to keep things peaceful.
I am excited to hear your tips!
What are some things you do to keep things peaceful on school nights?