The Great After-School Debate: When is the Right Time to do Homework?
As our kids are settling into the new school year and more homework is coming home in the backpacks, we, as parents, sometimes have an uphill battle on our hands as to when to get the homework complete.
It seems that every household have different times. There are kids who get off the bus, open the backpack, and complete their assignments before they can go out and play. Then, there are kids who crack the books after supper. And still, there are kids who do their work right before bed.
But which is the right one?
Now, granted, our kids are still young, a kindergartener, 2nd grader, and let’s not forget a 2 year old who loves to “help”), so the homework demands aren’t that great, yet. But times will change as many of you know. And that time will be here before you know it.
It is, however, very important to instill good work habits in your children everyday.
Dr. Cooper, who was interviewed by Parents Magazine said this:
Time it right. There are three reasonable time periods during which kids can do their homework: immediately after school, before dinner, or after dinner. “Let your child help choose the time,” Dr. Cooper advises. “Some kids really need to let off steam when they get home, while others will be too tired if they wait. Figure out a time that suits your child and your family, and then stick with it.” (Of course, if your child gets home later on a certain day because of an activity, the plan may have to be altered on that day.) Before bed is the only time Dr. Cooper advises against doing homework, because kids wind up going to sleep later than they should. (Parents Magazine)
My wife and I happen to agree with with letting the kids run around, play a little football, ride bikes, and play with neighbor kids after school. They just had a seven hour day in school with lots of learning and it’s nice to give them a break. Run off a little energy. We have an understanding with them, though. If this isn’t working out, it’ll change, and maybe not to their liking.
It’s difficult to say which is the correct time for kids to do homework as every family schedule is different, but letting them chose seems to give them a little more sense of responsibility.
Oh, we still have difficulty occasionally getting them to pick up pencils and paper after supper. This is where a parent must encourage and keep it positive. How many times have you said, “It’ll only take 10 minutes to do it, but you’ve somehow managed to make it last a half hour! If you would’ve stayed with it, it would’ve been done already.”
The Kindle Fire has been our best little helpers, lately. The fun learning apps have been a great way to learn math, science, and fun facts. It’s learning with a game atmosphere and several challenges along the way.
Whichever time you choose for your child to sit down and study, turn the TV off and spend some time with them. If they see you’re not into what they’re learning, chances are, they won’t be either.