When Should Kids Start Their Homework?

“When do you want your child to start their homework?”, the poll asked. Vote now. After casting my vote, I was surprised to see the results. I was certain that most parents had voted as I had– as soon as they get home. To my surprise, at the time I voted 48% answered within an hour of getting home, while only 28% voted as I had. Another 14% said right after dinner and 11% said they let the child decide. When I cast my vote over 7,000 people had voted in the ongoing poll by the Family Education Network. I signed up for their newsletter last year when I was homeschooling and in addition to great educational resources for parents they generally have a poll on some aspect of parenting. I have to say I was surprised at the results of this poll.

Before Tyler started kindergarten last month, we talked about the importance of homework and established the rules concerning when he would do his. I made it clear to him that as soon as he came home from school he would work on his homework. I figured he would not have much to do and I really want to establish a routine so that as he progresses through each grade and the amount of homework mounts he will know what is expected of him. So far I haven’t have any problems with him abiding by the rules and they generally have just one or two activity sheets to do and perhaps a few sight words they need to study.

But I strongly feel kids should do their homework as soon as they come home. No TV, video games, talking on the phone, etc. until it’s done. And I definitely don’t think kids should be allowed to do their homework at their own discretion, even the older kids. If they do their homework as soon as they get home then it’s over and done with and they have the rest of the evening to do what they want. I know after I eat dinner the last thing I want to do is work. Also if they wait even an hour, I feel they will get too comfortable and not want to work. Also, especially with the older kids, if they wait too long to do their homework they may encounter a problem that may require more time to work on and might end up having to stay up late in order to finish. I witnessed this firsthand a few weeks ago. My great nephew, a 9th grader, spent most of his weekend playing video games and having fun. He waited until late Sunday night to do his math homework and was up until 11 pm because he was having problems figuring it out.

So that’s my opinion. If you would like to vote go here and cast your vote.