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Hack Your After School Routine

It was 9:30am and the fifth 1st grade student had come up to my teaching table to ask me how long it was until lunch. The sixth student who came up to ask told me that I had a vein sticking out of my forehead. That’s the day that I decided we needed to place a visual of our school routine on the wall. Kids NEED to know when things are going to happen, and ultimately thrive on consistent routines. When children know exactly what to expect they feel more at ease and can pay attention to their play or school work.

If you’re looking for an additional way to make this school year easier, you may want to consider establishing an after school routine. If you’ve already perfected one, you might consider posting it up in a prominent place in your house to help remind the little people (and big people) when to complete certain tasks. If you’re planning to revamp your after school routine this year, try one these quick tips for perfecting that list and print this visual after school routine list to help you out.

Write it down

Brainstorm your ideal after school routine and write it down. Don’t be afraid to make it as strict or as lax as you want. Revisit the list a few times to edit and make sure you have it just right. Once you’re satisfied, write the final routine down on a paper that will be posted where everyone in the house can see. If you want things to be done at different times, write the times next to each listed item. If your child is a non-reader, you can make the list for them using pictures or drawings (depending on how artsy you are). Try out this FREE template we made for your to write down tasks and times.


Practice makes perfect! Once the routine is listed out, start practicing after school. Try to help everyone keep in mind that getting into a routine can take up to 66 days. If the routine gets derailed for a day, or a week, keep at it as best you can until you get back in a rhythm.

Utilize timers

The timer and alarm features on our phones are so nifty. When getting into a routine, it might be helpful to set reminders on your phone to start or finish certain tasks. For example, you might set your timer for 15 minutes to remind everyone when it’s time to move from rest time to homework time, or you might want to set a timer for when to start packing lunches for the next day.


Chances are, the routine you design for after school won’t be perfect the first time around. As you practice your routine, don’t be afraid to make adjustments based on what’s working and what’s not. If nothing is working, don’t be afraid to go a few weeks without a routine and then revisit it when you’ve had some time to think.

Happy learning!

Hoffman Tutoring Group

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