Should I have my son do his homework right after school or should I give him time to decompress?

Tina - posted on 10/10/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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When my 7yr old son gets home from 1st grade I make him do his homework, particularly on the three nights when he has Karate, but I worry that I am not giving him a period where he can release the tension of the day. I am concerned that if I let him play first it will be much harder to get him to come back and focus in order to do his homework. I go back and forth on this a lot. I appreciate any wisdom....

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I think it depends on the child. I make J do his homework right after school because if I give him too much time to unwind he doesn't want to stop unwinding to do the homework. That said, he does take sort of a small, 5 minute break before homework. My son is in 2nd grade, but we've followed the same routine since k5.
This is our routine:
We listen to soft music on the way home (I was asking him about his day, but realized this somehow stressed him out, so I stopped doing that. I do keep the music soft so he can talk to me if he wants to.)
Once home, he gets a drink and a small snack. We sit at the table and chat while he eats, and I go through school papers.
Then we do spelling (which is just studying--I call out sentences using his words, he writes the sentences, then I check for capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.)
Next is Math worksheet. He does this on his own, then I check it and we redo anything he misses.
Next is Math Magician, a website we use for Fast Fact memorization. 5 quizzes--one minute each.
Next is Taekwondo practice. We go through all of his forms, sparring techniques, and self defense sets one time each. It takes about 20 minutes and gives him a chance to move around and get some energy out.
Next is 20 minutes of reading (it's 30 minutes this year) while I cook dinner.
Next we have dinner as a family at about 5:30pm.
After dinner we go to Baseball, gymnastics, or taekwondo (depending on the night) or practice guitar if we do not have anything else.
We usually get home about 7:30pm, he has a shower and we play a boardgame, take a walk around the neighborhood, or just let him play on his own until bedtime.
On Fridays, he doesn't really have homework, so I let him go play with the kids in the neighborhood for socialization and physical play until dinner time.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/10/2013

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When mine were that age, they'd get a 20 minute snack period when they got home, then had to complete any homework before anything else was done.

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Tina - posted on 10/10/2013

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I appreciate the wisdom ladies and I am glad to know I am not the only one who has had to cross this bridge.

Angela - posted on 10/10/2013

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The benefits of immediately dealing with homework is that it's over & done with and frees of the rest of the child's time for the things he/she would rather be doing.

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