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Best Time for Homework
Q: I have an eight-year-old daughter and a ten-year-old son. When is it a good time to have them to do their homework? I feel when they come home from school at 2:45 that I am asking too much of them to do it after they have been in school all day. What would work best?
A: Different children work better at different times. Just as with adults, some children work better early in the day and some later; some work better with music playing and some need quiet. You know your children better than anyone else and know what schedule works best for them.
As a general rule, most children need a break when they first get home from school. Fifteen to 20 minutes for a snack and a talk about their day can help them to unwind from the hectic pace of school, and then they'll feel rested and ready for homework. The break can be extended if they need a little more down time, but if you wait too long to get started, homework can move into dinner and bath time. For most children, the ideal is to have a break when they get home, do homework, then have some time to relax before and after dinner.
As the new school year starts, you can try different schedules for a week at a time until you find one that meets the needs of your children.
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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.