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Old 05-24-2008, 09:55 PM
Location: Milwaukee, WI
603 posts, read 2,358,804 times
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Hi, we are parents of young children so we haven't dealt with school homework yet but I want to gather information ahead of time. I hear about people saying the rule in their house is homework must be completed right when they get home from school and they can't play until it's done. I think on paper, that sounds like a great policy but I can't help but think maybe kids need a little down time after school? I think back to when I was growing up, it seemed like we played after school, did some homework before dinner and then some more homework after dinner. But as an adult, I'm also somewhat of a procrastinator so maybe that wasn't the best routine? I remember when I was in fourth or fifth grade coming home from school and taking a long bike ride every day before doing homework. I found it so relaxing and I really enjoyed that time to "clear my head". I'm not sure I would have been as productive if I has to get right to homework. Also, in Wisconsin, it gets so dark so early in the wintertime, I feel like if we had that rule, they'd never get to play outside after school if they did homework first because it starts getting dark at 4:30. Please share your thoughts on this....I'm an open slate when it comes to all this school stuff! I want to start good habits early.
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:29 PM
8,726 posts, read 7,410,753 times
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Well, just my opinion but I think you need to see what fits best.

If your kid is more inclined to play after school and still does the homework just fine later, then there should be no problem. The bonus is that if they don't do the homework then the punishment is automatically doing it right after school and depriving them of play time.

I do not have kids so no experience other than myself.

Procrastination is not a bad thing, many people, myself included, work best when under pressure of something like a time limit, I do my best work when rushed and under stress, it was very benificial to me while in the military.

So I think it is best to try different ways and see what appears more natural and better for your kid, let it evolve into what is best.
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:49 PM
Location: Camberville
15,859 posts, read 21,436,084 times
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It really depends on your kids. In my house, my brother always had to do his homework as soon as he got home up until high school. Otherwise, it just wouldn't get done. On the other hand, I ALWAYS needed a nap as soon as I got home and some downtime and privacy to unwind after being surrounded by people all day. I'm an outgoing introvert so after being around people all day, I need a lot of alone time and would get things done at my own pace. Often times, I'd just do my homework in the morning at school since the bus got us there between 45 minutes to an hour before we were allowed into our first class. I knew how to figure out how much homework I had at home and ration it so I could make the best of my mornings. My parents trusted me to do my own thing and I flourished because of it.
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:30 AM
Location: Piedmont NC
4,596 posts, read 11,448,185 times
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I always felt like my daughter, as a little one in elementary school, needed some down time, just like I did when I came home from teaching. She usually had a light snack, and I would encourage her to do something outdoors and 'physical,' like ride a bike, play with a neighborhood child, or we'd go for a walk. We were fortunate that there was a nice park within walking distance where she could swing, and had access to playground equipment.

While I might clean-up the kitchen and wash the dishes, following dinner, she'd sit at the kitchen table with her Dad to do homework, or we'd swap-off. Most often, she could sit and work on her assignment(s) independently. Unless she was having to concentrate, we could discuss school, too.

Having a routine like that did two things for her as a small child: got her into the habit of doing her homework, at a set time, and let her know we, as her parents, had certain expectations of her and her schooling. We didn't do HW for her, or even always with her, but were there to help, answer a question, and when I glanced over it when she finished, I made comments -- assessing if the the work looked good, or if I thought it could be better. If it was something of a creative nature, and she was kinda' 'stuck,' I might toss ideas around with her, or if there was an error that I caught, I might direct her attention to it.

When HW was done, she would either watch one show on TV (if it was a night she had a favorite show) and get a bath and be in bed at a reasonable hour.

As she got older, and could gauge priorities, set times for herself, I let her dictate when she did her HW, but still made sure there was not too much TV watching and then staying up late. I always insisted on a decent bedtime as long as she was in school and living at home.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:10 AM
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Kids do not get the down time that they used to. Most schools have gym only one or two days a week and brief recesses. I think as the other poster's said, it is different for each child, but as a teacher and mother (both elementary school) I think that they need some physical activity/social interaction that is not strictly monitored. Let them play whatever they want however they want to play it. They are very structured little ones now a days. We do homework after dinner. It works well for us. Some of the kids in my class are involved in after school activities every day. It seems that the parents choose what the kids "should" be involved in rather than let them be kids. They are involved in structured activities from the moment they wake until they go to sleep. It shows when they try to interact with the other kids. They need guidance.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:16 AM
20,793 posts, read 61,297,575 times
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We had the kids do their homework right after school. They were still in the school mode and it took MUCH less time for them to complete the work then vs waiting until say after dinner. Then they were free to play the rest of the evening and we didn't have to interrupt a game of kickball or whatever for them to come in and do homework. Most of their friends had the same set up so it worked very well.

When our oldest started getting homework we let him play after school and then did homework after dinner, 10 minutes of homework turned into 2 hours of whining. Once we moved to doing homework right after school that 10 minutes of homework took 10 minutes.

Now that they are older and involved in after school activities most of the homework is done after dinner. Our twins are fine but our oldest can drag out his homework assignments.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:39 AM
Location: friendswood texas
2,489 posts, read 7,211,454 times
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Another thing you need to consider is when your children get older and if they play sports you have to factor time in for that as well.

My kids do their homework straight away after school. Its easier on everyone, then they have dinner, play outside or go to practice. Trying to get them to refocus at 7pm to do homework is a nightmare.
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:04 AM
Location: SF Bay Area
2,201 posts, read 3,359,496 times
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From the time my twins began getting homework in early elementary school, they always took a break afterschool and played or took part in activities. Then we have dinner, then homework time starting at the same exact time every night (6 PM). It became a routine that worked very well for them.

They are 13 now and still like to relax after school or visit friends or are taking part in school sports (which usually means arriving home around 4:45 PM on practice days and at 5:30 PM when they have a meet), all which would make doing homework afterschool impossible. Dinner is rushed after practice/meets, but homework time will still start at 6 PM.
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:00 AM
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Drink, snack, and a good thirty minute rest/digest time. It works!!
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:59 AM
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When my kids were young I let them play right after school and then start homework around 5 when I would start dinner. As they got older they were allowed to figure out what worked for them. In middle school they often had homework that would take them from when they got home from school until fairly late at night with just a pause for dinner. Of course, this would be because there was a project that had been assigned two weeks prior and due the next day..... What works one year or even for one child might not work well another year or for another child.
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