What Does a First Grader Do When He Gets Home?

Updated on August 23, 2012
M.C. asks from Escalante, UT
22 answers

First time for full day! Long and tiring!
What does he do when he gets home, ideally?

He probably just wants to watch tv. It's a LONG evening. 3:30 to 8 (bed). What's the best way to fill the hours? Obviously we don't want him to be a couch potato, but he is tired and getting used to the whole full-day school thing. I need ideas for the school year, and mostly it will be too cold to be out much.

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answers from Houston on

Mine will eat a large and healthy snack as soon as he gets home (3:30), do homework, play with friends outside, have dinner (5) and then leave for sports practice between 5-6, and come back home between 7-8, depending on the day, shower, read, bedtime...lights out by 8:30p. It'll be different on Weds when he has piano lesson before 6pm practice.

Don't even get me started on the weekends....lol

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

First stop was always a snack. Then TV for a while so they could just veg. They really did come home exhausted and needed that time to unwind. I know many parents insist on homework right away which I have never understood. Kids need a chance to relax instead of jumping right backinto school. Would any of us come home form work and jump right back into the work we brought home for the night?? No.
So after relaxing they will either play outside or eat dinner. Then homework, maybe some more TV, maybe a family game. But often it was an evening activity. Between scouts, sports and ccd there was often somewhere to go unfortunately.

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answers from Honolulu on

My son is in 1st grade, and is 6.
After school, the routine is:
Yes, they are tired after a long day at "work." Thus my kids, I let them deflate and unwind. Give them a snack. They can lounge or play. Then 1/2 later, they do Homework. My son gets homework everyday.
He has a full day of school.
My kids bedtime is 8:00. 8:30 at the latest.

After my kids do homework, they can just play or relax or hang out.
Or go outside in the yard. My son is pretty self-reliant and does not get bored.
Then dinner, no later than 6:00pm.
Kids get hungry earlier than adults.
Plus, I need to time everything and the night time routine, per bedtime.
So that, my son and daughter DO get enough sleep.
They wake the next morning early. 6:30'ish am.

For me, after school until bedtime is not long.
It is busy.
I don't really have to fill those hours, FOR my kids.
They are good about keeping busy and are very self-directed and always have something to do. Which is not tv.
And they do their chores, feed the pets, help me cook dinner etc.
Then before I know it, it is time to get to the bedtime routine. And get them in bed, BY 8:00pm. And my kids pass out, within 10-15 minutes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Come home and relax/unwind for 30 minutes or so, play outside if it is nice, play with toys, help with dinner, homework. I always find the time goes by pretty quickly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

He may be tired at first, but he'll adjust just fine. For the first week or so, you might want to give him a little more down/tv time just for rest purposes.

When my GD was in first grade, I only worked PT so I too had to find things to occupy her in the afternoons. It wasn't hard. Time goes by fast!

First thing is to change to play clothes and wash up for an afternoon snack. While she's snaking, she's telling me about her day. Then, she gets some "her" time; time to play in her room, ride her roller blades, play with the dog, etc.

Then by 4:00 it's homework time. After homework, she usually hangs out with her grandfather and then helps me cook dinner when the time comes. After dinner, it's a whirlwind to get a bath, evening snack,reading and bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

comes home no later 4:10 we talk about the school day light snack i'll look over his homework and any other papers he will sit down do homework will help if needed spelling words he will write them 3x each then after that watch tv or go outside dinner by 5:30 baths done between 615 & 7:20 brush teeth go over spelling words then hit the beds by 8

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answers from Washington DC on

I personally think there's too much emphasis put on the idea that school is so overwhelming, etc... I would not worry about it at all. I'm not concerned one bit about my full-day kindergartener. I also have 2nd and 4th graders. Never had any issues with them... They are the same kids that they are in the summer! :)

I've just found that they like a schedule (during the school years and not), so I try and stay consistent about what we do afterwards and before school. Usually they are a bit hungry, so after we get home they give me their book bags, wash their hands, then I give them a small snack. After that they usually play outside, read a book or color or something like that, we aren't big TV people... then homework time, maybe some chores and dinner... Then showers and bedtime (This is on a NON girl scout or gymnastics day...)

The time REALLY DOES go by fast...

PS: my kids are never tired from school, but they get about 11 hrs of sleep at night... make sure he's getting enough sleep.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

My daughter is in first grade and is 6 years old. She gets off the bus about 3:20. We have a snack together first and I always ask her "what is your favorite & then least favorite thing about today?" then we go through her backpack so she can explain any work to me and/or do homework. After that its usually clean her bedroom or bathroom. She gets to play with her neighbor friends in the yard or cul de sac or in her room until about 630 when its dinner/bath/bed by 830. I always make sure to give her about 10-15 min of destress time before bed. Usually its read a couple books of her choice together, spending time w/baby sister, or just snuggling. Then lights out for another fun filled day of the same =)

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answers from Chicago on

Move his bedtime to 7. Seriously I know that seems SO early, but they NEED that much sleep still. Up until age 10 it's a MINIMUM of 10 to 12 hours.

Then to fill the hours - first feed him a snack, have protein in there for that energy he needs but no sugary junk, then let him play for the first two hours, with toys or outside. DO NOT let him have TV or computer, he has sat all day he needs to move!

After he plays for a while, maybe at 5 when you are cooking dinner, THEN let him watch TV for a bit, but very short...

Then it's dinner, doing any homework (almost every single school nation wide has required free reading at night, I have yet to hear of one that didn't), a family bonding thing like a walk or a game or even a TV show you all watch together, then pj's and teeth and tucked into bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Rest/short nap, have a snack, do some chores, watch a little tv, do some homework, do a craft/color/puzzle/playdough/paint, play outside, eat dinner...


answers from Norfolk on

choose clothes for tomorrow and lay them out,
make sure everything needed for next day is in the backpack,
1 hour tv,
story time
and finally bed.



answers from Bellingham on

My first grader has something to eat, does his homework, then goes out to play and ride his bike with his brothers and the neighbourhood little rascals. Around 5.30 pm they will come in and have dinner, chat etc before showers, stories and bedtime. Sometimes they may fit in a little tv - when they're having their snack.



answers from Colorado Springs on

When my first-graders came home, what they wanted to do first was eat! So they had good snacks.

Then they played, outdoors or indoors. They ran around if they weren't tired, or played imaginative games or read books if they were tired. There was a little TV, but not a whole afternoon or evening full of it.

Your son may be pretty tired the first week or two. Then he'll get accustomed to the new routine, and have more energy when he comes home.


answers from Houston on

Nothing wrong with being a couch potato. When he wants to do something, he will. Let his little brain have some mindless time.


answers from Austin on

Our daughter used to come home have a snack, down time.. TV, read.. or we would run errands. Homework, play outside, dinner, down time, bath and then bed.

Sometimes a friend would be invited over. They would have a snack, do their homework and then play..


answers from Grand Forks on

I do after school care for 2 other boys so my boys always have friends to play with. Outdoor play is really important for us. Ideally, if the weather is good they will stay and play in the school playground until 5:00pm when the other boys go home and we have supper. In the winter they might only stay outside until 4:20 or 4:30pm, and they might watch tv for 1/2 hour. I do let them play video games after school one day a week. After dinner they have either swim lessons or martial arts, followed by homework, then bed.



answers from Oklahoma City on

My daughter gets out of school at 3:50pm so she gets a snack when i pick her up and we talk about her day. Once at home i let her relax with some tv and play with her sister. Dinner by 5pm. After dinner we do homework, then the girls play. Baths at 7:45pm. Bedtime snack and in bed by 8:30pm



answers from Chicago on

the kids I nanny for would come home from school.

20 mins of reading
bath before dinner
tv / computer time
dinner then family time



answers from Dallas on

Snack, playtime or TV time, they do homework while dinner is being prepared sitting at the dining room table, dinner, family time, bath, bed.

I feel they need time to unwind and be kids before sticking them with more work. They've been in school all day and need a break so they can concentrate on the homework later.



answers from Atlanta on

Kids only have about what?..5 hours to enjoy being home after school. Mine get off the bus at 3p and is sleeping at 8p. They have been following the same routine since kindergarten. Get off the bus, take school clothes off, have a snack, do homework while I read/sign any papers that were sent home. They are then allowed 2 hours of free time to do whatever they please. (in the house) Be it watching tv or playing with toys. After that its dinner time (around 6p). After dinnertime there is only 2 huors til bed. We walk the dog, have a lil family time, shower and read a bedtime story.Weekends are fun times at my house. During the week its basically school and indoor play



answers from Cleveland on

My kiddo was hungry so we changed, washed up /pottied, ate a snack, did "homework" or read together, talked about the day, colored, did something educational, -- for 15 mins,
played my kiddo loved to draw at that age,
or watched a show if i didn't want help making dinner, or made dinner with me,
made lunches for tomorrow with me,
Ate, bath, layed outu clothes for tommorrow and packed book bag. honestly I think 7:30 is a better bed time.



answers from New York on

Mine always went outside to play. They need that time to get rid of the pent up energy.

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