“Can I watch just a half hour of TV first? Pleassssse.” Do you give in?
After a long day, the last thing anyone wants to do is homework. Parents don’t want to review it. Kids don’t want to do it. So how can you get it done without a battle? Here, we weigh the pros and cons to help you create a homework schedule.
Jump In: Homework Right After School
- When the kids come home and head straight into homework, the work of the day is fresh in their minds. It can be easier to help them understand problems being asked or to recall suggestions from their teachers.
- Homework right after school may also instill a sense of accomplishment and timeliness about work that needs to be done. Instead of procrastinating, homework is finished and the night ahead is clear.
- And if you hired a nanny or after-school sitter to watch your kids in the afternoon, she can help them with their homework.
- It may be hard for you or your sitter to get kids to focus after being cooped up in school all day. If you think your child could use 30 minutes to decompress after school, allow it. But when homework is finished, don’t let mindless television take up the evening. Play a card game, board game or color some pictures.
Stop & Smell the Roses: Homework After Dinner
- Kids, like adults, need time to shift from one task to another. The walk home after school may not be enough time to switch from the classroom to the family home and post-dinner may be the best time to start homework with your kids. Playing outside with friends who aren’t in their class or just having time to relax in their own home before settling in to homework for the evening might be a better plan for some families.
- Homework after dinner may work best for your family too if there are two parents working outside the house. Helping with difficult assignments or test prep (if you can handle the pressure!) can be a time for bonding between parent and child. Lessons learned from mom or dad (who are the first teachers, after all) can have a huge impact in children’s lives.
- In the meantime, fill after-school hours by letting children “help” you in the kitchen making dinner as part of their down time, or try yoga or stretching, along with 30 minutes of exercise to get the final wiggles out. That way, homework can take center stage after dinner.
- The pitfalls of doing homework after dinner, though, include an over-tired child who doesn’t want to do homework — thus putting off bedtime.
- If after-dinner homework isn’t working, consider switching to right after school, but prepare yourself for a little foot dragging. Consider making a game-time decision when your child gets home from school. If math homework tends to be the most time consuming and your child informs you that’s what’s on tonight’s agenda, completing it before dinner may be the way to go.
Time is of the essence when it comes to kids’ schedules. They might be struggling through homework and juggling recitals, lessons and practice now, but soon you’ll be spending hours helping them apply to college. The after-school craziness will be nothing but a happy memory.