When to Do Homework?

Parents with children just starting school often wonder, “What time should I have my child do homework?” Do you do it right when they get home? Do you let the play for a while first since they have been in school all day? Do you do it in the morning before school? What should you do?


I was no different when Brayden was starting school. I worried about making him sit and do homework after being at school all day. I worried about forgetting to get it done if we waited. I am a big “work before play” person, so ultimately we went with doing homework when he got home from school before he did any playing.


My opinion is that you get the homework done as soon as after school as possible. If you allow playing or TV watching first, then you will find yourself battling with the “fun” to get into homework mode. Late at night, just before bed, a child will likely be too tired to get focus well and you will likely be too impatient to handle that with grace.


Another reason I like doing it the same day rather than before school the next day is that the brain processes information it learned that day while sleeping. Also, being rushed to get homework done before you run out the door leads to more stress and impatient parents. You don’t really know how long homework will end up taking, so waiting until before school can lead to homework not getting done, also.


But aren’t kids tired when they get home from school? Children can vary, just like adults can vary, but in most cases, you can offer a small break and then get the work done and out of the way. Then you and your child can enjoy the remainder of the evening without anything hanging over your heads.

Really the best time to do homework is the time that consistently works well for your family. Picking the same time of day so that it is part of your routine is wise. If you try soon after school and that just doesn’t work for you, find what does. With that said, this is what I have found works for us.


Talk About Day

If your child needs a little break before starting homework, talk about your child’s day first. Get some decompression.


Eat a Snack

Give your child a healthy snack before starting homework. This give your child a few more minutes before jumping right in.


Do Homework

After the talking and snack, move into homework. Tell your child she can get it done, get it in the backpack, and then not have to think about it until school the next day. Work before play. If your child still struggles after the talking and snack, try getting some exercise into your child. Maybe you can go for a walk while you talk about the day. Maybe you can challenge your child to a sprint around the back yard or do some jumping jacks. Getting some exercise can help a child be able to sit for a bit longer to finish that homework.

See also

Scheduling Homework Time/Piano Practice Time/etc.


When do you do homework? Do you have any special routines?
Today the ladies from the BFBN are all blogging on back to school topics. Visit their blogs for more!

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