By Jodie Lynn
With my kids in after school programs and practice and games, when should they do homework? My husband says as soon as they get home, but I say let them take a break for at least a hour and then begin. After all, they are usually starving. What is your opinion?
ANSWER FROM READER:
Our household is very busy. Life with four kids can get wacky at times The kids get a snack and go play to unwind and take what I consider a much needed break. We decide who gets help with their homework first based on the needs of each child. Or, we may have to take schedules into consideration and be flexible. Sometimes, we may even have to wait until after dinner to begin or finish. - Sherry R. Harlow in Columbus, OH
Most kids are very different from each other...including siblings. They have different personalities and frequently like and do different things and learn in different ways. Before you guys agree or set up stern rules regarding homework, take into consideration their own personalities and schedules. For example, if your child is a super achiever, he/she have already had a very intense day and desperately needs to take a break from their day's activities. And, actually, once homework is started, a five- to seven-minute break every 30- to 40-minutes might be beneficial. If you have a daydreamer...who really knows what has been achieved or completed toady. It may work best if a snack is given and then jump into homework right away. (It takes these kids a longer to to do just about everything.) Or, if you have a child that is somewhere in between, figure how out the day has gone so far, this can sometimes be done in the car on the way home from school or an activity or once they walk into the house off the bus, and go from there. Try to shoot for around the same time each day to begin but also be flexible. However, in most cases, if kids are tired from the weekend or have just had a hectic day, diffuse the frustration by allowing some quiet time and then maybe talk about it but not forcing them to discuss it if they choose not to do so. Just remember, there are no hard and fast rules to get done with assignments within an allotted amount of time every single day. There's always things that will come up and play into the scenario. As long as it is done by the child, if in fifth grade and above, and handed in on time, then you may save yourself a lot of headaches and unneeded stress for you and your family.
NOTE: In "Taming the Homework Monster," Ellen Klavan says homework should be a positive learning experience. Learning the teacher's expectations is very important.
CAN YOU HELP?
We have had a cat for seventeen years but now the vet says she has to be put to sleep. We do not know how to tell our kids about this or even know how to explain why. They are seven, eight and nine. Please help.
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