The girls have a hard time transitioning from school to home, they are tired, grumpy and quick to argue. I've found the best solution is to have a little activity planned each afternoon during that first hour home. After that they are more likely to go off on their own playing (and getting along) which allows me to work on dinner. In order to prepare I spend a little bit of time on the weekend planning and then putting it on my Google calendar. In Google you can set up email or pop-up reminders for earlier in the day so you can get any supplies that are necessary.
Tangent- I also use a Google Calendar to keep my dinner plan, I have it set up to send an email reminder for preparing--an early in the morning email for a dinner that goes in the crock-pot or late afternoon reminder for something that requires less time. This way at 5:00 when the kids are starting to get hungry I'm not surprised by a meal that requires a two hour cook time.
Here is our activity plan for the week.
Monday: We're working on our artist trading cards (see below post).
Thursday: We're supposed to have some warmer weather so we're planning to make a chalk drawn city on the driveway.
Friday: No school for us on Friday's so I try to plan the messy, bigger projects then. This Friday we are going to paint with cooked spaghetti and maybe some other shaped noodles.
Do you have any fun activities planned this week? Do you have a good planning system that works for you?