Most families have hectic morning schedules where it takes a small miracle
to get everyone dressed, ready, fed and off to school on time. But that’s
just half the battle! Having active students is a blessing, but getting
them to their after-school activities can also be difficult for the busy
parent. Here time management, organization and planning are essential
for success. It’s also a great opportunity for parents to teach
their students these valuable life skills. Here are some tips from the
experts on how to navigate the quagmire of after-school activities.
The Family Meeting
A successful activity weeks starts with the family meeting. Make it fun
by handing out treats or allowances at the end of the meeting. You can
also get your students to chair the meeting because being involved will
mean they participate and pay attention. Family meetings mean each member
of your family stipulates their needs and is aware of other events taking
place during the week. Write all the events on a family calendar which
is can be seen at a glance. Put this on the back of the door or in the
kitchen. Plan how and when each family member with get to their activities.
In addition to the family calendar, you can also utilize phones, computers
and diaries to remind students of upcoming events and arrangements.
Network with other parents to minimize your transport needs. Make sure
that your student knows who their lift will be on any given day. Networking
with other parents can also mean that your students can have study groups
with their friends when you are waiting for a sibling to complete an activity.
Activities bags must always be packed the night before so that any missing
sports gear can be located and uniforms can be washed and packed. Also
plan meals as hungry students are cranky students. Always keep a stash
of snacks and drinks in a cooler in the car in case your student misses
a meal or needs a little energy. You can also keep fun activities in the
car for siblings who are along for the ride. Siblings can also utilize
the time to do their homework.
As your students get older, leave more and more of the arrangements up
to them. Of course you can oversee their plans and remind them of upcoming
events, but making arrangements among themselves will make them feel empowered,
involved and more understanding of the needs of others. When you students
have made the arrangements for who gets a lift and who gets a ride with
you, there may be less dissatisfaction at the outcome. It’s also
important to remember that going home signals a wind-down period for most
students. This makes it more difficult to get them back on the go. Avoid
stopping at home after school and then going out again later.
After school activities can be a challenge, but they are well worth the effort.