Now that we are well into October and the school year is in full swing, we are finally organized around here. Do you remember when I asked you about TV time? How much is too much? I realized that with Diego’s busy schedule, the answer was simple. Although we don’t ban TV in our home, the bottom line is, Diego doesn’t have much time for TV or any electronics after school. Weaning him off all of the screens after a very crazy summer was the tough part. But I found this very simple and cheap solution. This dry-erase board. Isn’t it nice? All framed and everything? I bought it at Staples and it was the best $30 I have spent for my kitchen lately. No kitchen table yet.
This little white board has clear expectations. A little list of things-to-do and gentle reminders. Diego sees something like this on a much bigger dry-erase board at school so he is familiar and happy that there is a routine here as well. He wakes up in the morning and although we have been doing this for about three weeks now, he still checks the white board with hopes of me forgetting to write “brush teeth”. Ha!
Diego was arriving home from school in September exhausted and ready to surrender in front of Octonauts. Unfortunately, with homework, soccer and piano lessons on some nights, plus reading in English AND Spanish, there was not enough time. I make sure he gets time to play with his brothers and he only has two busy evenings after school. I started to realize that if he didn’t have clear and visible steps for our mornings and evenings, we were constantly disagreeing on how to spend our time.
I have been able to sneak in some screen time at the end of the day and it actually serves as a reward for Diego if everything on his list is done. Although our afternoons look structured, he has a big say-so on what he would like to do first or last. Also, writing down “play” is so vague and we have done everything from baking to art to running up and down hallways with Santi. That’s what I like to see- Diego interacting with his little brothers and not glued in front of some type of screen everyday.
How do you keep your kids organized after school or throughout the day? Would love to hear more tips!