Now that school is back in session, the craziest part of my day comes between 4:15pm and 6:00pm. That’s when the kids get off the bus, tired and weary from a long day at school and a 45-minute bus ride home, and want to collapse.
Of course, this means they want to drop their backpacks at the door, lie on the couch, and watch TV. But of course there’s no time for that. Instead, they need to hang up their backpacks, take out all of the papers and folders they brought home, and finish all of their homework before we have dinner at 6pm. After dinner is family time (when TV is an option) and we try hard to preserve that bit of time to relax together. So the work must be finished first.
I know that it’s hard for two tired elementary school girls to shift to homework right when they get home, and I also know they’re running low on energy by the time they walk through the door. It’s been over four hours since they ate lunch, which means they’re running on empty at this point. In the past I’ve tried to have them dive into homework immediately, but quickly found that it resulted in very grumpy kids putting in a lackluster effort in their work.
Even kids get “hangry.”
So before we start on homework, they fuel-up their bodies and minds with a snack and a 10-15 minute free-reading time. During this time they can read a magazine, a comic book, or just sit and stare at the wall if that’s what they need. And they each have a quality snack that will give them the energy to tackle math and writing.
One snack that is a favorite in our house is Bagel Bites. Cordy and Mira both love pizza, and the idea of mini-pizzas as a snack is a fantastic idea for them.
A snack-size portion is easy to make, too: I can pop a few into our toaster oven 15 minutes before the bus arrives, and by the time they’re done hanging up their backpacks and taking off their shoes, they have a snack ready and waiting for them. I usually add some fruit and a small glass of milk to round-out their after-school fuel.
Cordy likes the pepperoni Bagel Bites, while Mira prefers the three-cheese style. I like that they’re made with real Mozzarella, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, tomato sauce made from scratch, and bagel dough made fresh each day, using high-quality ingredients. They’re a convenient baked snack that the girls find fun – they call them “fairy pizzas,” since they’re so small.
Ready for their snack. (Cordy was saying “YUMMM” while I tried to take this picture!)
Once they’ve eaten their snack and had a few minutes of “decompression” time, we pull out the homework folders, review what needs to get done, and they get to work. It’s amazing how well a quality snack and a little bit of downtime helps them to recharge so they can tackle their after-school work! With the right fuel, they’re more focused, energized, and ready to work.
If you’re a Bagel Bites fan, or want to try them out for yourself, be sure to check out the Bagel Bites coupon they’re offering to save you some money on your purchase.
Also, Bagel Bites is giving away a $100 VISA gift card – that would buy a lot of after-school snacks! To enter to win, leave me a comment below with the answer to this question: What’s your (or your kid’s) favorite snack?
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