How to Help Your Kids Make Time for Schoolwork
Whether homeschoolers or “lunch boxers,” kids need structure in making time for their school work. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Choose a time that works best for your child. If they need a break right after school, then that might not be the best time to tackle school work. For many homeschool families, morning is the best time for working with kids.
- Stick to that time! Yes, there will be exceptions because . . . well, life happens! But chisel that time in stone and respect that time slot until it is routine.
- Teach your kids to avoid procrastination. Having a set time will keep them from learning to put off work that needs to be done.
- Place and time go together. Create a place for your child to focus on the work at hand. Quiet, if need be, and stocked with any resources, tools, devices their work requires.
Benefits of Structured Time for School Work
- Fewer distractions Even worthwhile things – chores, errands, etc. – can steal away time for school work if there is no set schedule.
- Kids learn the importance of time management. A built-in time structure leads to good work ethic.
- Enjoy free time! Knowing your work is done and it’s time to kick back is a great feeling. Work hard, play hard – a motto to benefit everyone!
One Homeschool Mom’s Story
”We have found that given the opportunity our youngest children will be up early, want to watch a movie, play with legos, eat all morning long, etc. when a set school time is not established. In addition, when a regular school time wasn’t set our oldest daughter would go to bed to late, sleep too long in the morning, lollygag out to the kitchen around noon or so looking for breakfast, be too groggy to get much learning done and fail to finish her work before dinner time. While she complains that school must start at 9 a.m. (and I close the kitchen for breakfast by 8:50 a.m.), she is the first to admit that she is glad for the structure. She knows fellow homeschoolers who do not have the “ball and chain” and has found that as they have grown older their punctuality is suffering for it. The younger students have become quite efficient little workers because they want to build with their legos, play in their outside fort, ride bikes, etc. and know that once they’ve learned, studied, and done their chores these wonderful activities await them. I know that this type of schedule is the best training for becoming men and women who work first and play later. It is a trait I will be proud to see established in them as adults.
One “Lunchbox” Mom’s Story
When my five kids come home from school, they need a break! I let them grab a snack and chill for 30 minutes. When it’s “homework time,” it’s homework time for the whole house! All electronic devices are shut off (except those needed for school work) and it’s quiet time for everyone. If a child has completed their homework, they can read, do something non-electronic, or begin their daily jobs. Having a set time for everyone has been a big help to us! Of course, it isn’t always flawless – we have one son in high school so his schedule is very different. But all in all, having a determined time and respecting it has been key.