The Balancing Act of Afterschool Activities
It is cold outside and we struggle with balancing our daily lives. How can we keep our kids active in their daily lives even in the dead of winter? Most of our kids are over scheduled with sports, homework, afterschool activities, and screen time. Other children come home to empty homes and waste away hours waiting for parents to come home from work while eating snacks and watching television or playing video games. And other children have overwhelming household responsibilities to help their family with sibling care, dinner preparation, and laundry chores.
Managing School Day Activities
Listed below are 10 guidelines to help your children manage their school week better:
- Encourage your children to prioritize their interests and encourage them to participate in a sports team activity, an afterschool club or activity, scheduled school projects, or play dates.
- Ensure that children complete daily chores around the house to support the family.
- Schedule adequate time for homework and independent writing activities each day.
- Read to children each night. Allow adequate time for preparing for bedtime rituals.
- Help your children organize themselves the night before a school day to ensure a smooth transition to prepare for school each morning.
- Limit the amount time spent watching television and playing with technology each day. Some parents limit screen time use to only weekends.
- Schedule time to check in with each child daily. Make sure there is sufficient time to identify an individual child’s needs or concerns.
- Schedule a family play date with the family each week.
- Include spiritual and community service activities in your family’s life to give back to your community and support your child’s moral growth.
- Laugh lots! Celebrate all that is good in your life by expressing daily gratitude.
Parent Support for a Healthy Balance of Activities
As you model healthy growth and balance in your life, you can support your family’s healthy balance. Your children can also become less stressed and more appreciative of all that is good in their lives.
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.