Parenting Perspective: Best Time for Homework

April 1, 2010 10:01:43 AM PDT
When's the best time to get kids to do their homework? When my girls come home from the bus they are filled with excitement and anxious to get out and play with their friends. And that's when the problems start!

I usually make the kids do their homework first. I'm afraid if they start playing we'll get busy and distracted and the homework will not get the attention it should. But, it is a battle when they're so full of energy and itching to get outside. When I cave and let them play first, it always seems to backfire.

Inevitably the neighborhood kids start joining them just as I'm about to call them inside to begin homework. Before I know it, they're begging for 10 more minutes and the rest of the schedule is off.

My sister Maryann is a schoolteacher and has six kids of her own, so I always turn to her for advice. She says it's important to give them a healthy snack and let them play for 30 minutes. She recommends having the siblings only play with each other. When you add the neighborhood kids with such a short amount of playtime it creates too many problems.

Whether they play with each other or with others, Maryann says stick to a strict 30 minutes. If you're clear on the rules, there's no negotiating.

I'm going to work on this and I'll let you know how it turns out!