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When should older children do their homework? Straight away when they get back from school, or after dinner?

(40 Posts)
LittleBella Fri 05-Sep-08 16:27:28

Or in the morning before school?

I always let the DC's chill out for about an hour before mentioning homework. They currently only have about 10 mins worth usually. But a friend of mine with teenagers said I was MAKING A ROD FOR MY OWN BACK because when they are older, they won't do their homework - when they get in from school, they are still in school mode and should get it over with. If they sit down and relax, they won't want to do it for the rest of the evening.

So, what do you think? Should I take pre-emptive action now and get them into the habit of getting homework done asap or ignore her?

AMumInScotland Fri 05-Sep-08 16:42:05

Ignore her! What works for her children may not suit yours. As long as they do it, and at a time when they are not too tired to make a reasonable job of it, then it's fine.

If you find later that the current pattern doesn't work, then by all means consider alternatives. But the fact that she thinks her way is the only right way of doing things doesn't make it so!

tamarto Fri 05-Sep-08 16:45:43

Mine do it straight after school age 9 and 6.

I think as long as there is some sort of regular routine to doing homework it shouldn't be a problem as they get older.

pagwatch Fri 05-Sep-08 16:46:58

I have a 15 year old and in my experience you should let then do what suits them and what suits your family.
It has changed as he has become older and obviously has more to do but can stay up later.
My DS does his homework and I rarely even talk to him about it now. He does it depending on a lot of things including working around things like rugby trainning.

We have never done morning homework because none of us are early people ( except DH).
DS1 is often still asleep as he leaves the house these days.

Your friend is being silly telling others what to do because her children are idle.
Absoloutely ignore her.

Anna8888 Fri 05-Sep-08 16:48:52

Not in the morning before school (unless it is revision of revision for a test that day).

After school I think children need to chill for a bit and relax by playing/having a drink and perhaps a snack if they need it/watching TV. When they do their homework rather depends on how much time is left after relaxing for an hour or so and their supper time.

I always prefer children to do homework straight after relaxing and before supper - I think they are too tired after supper and need to unwind/read a book/have a bath before bed.

mankyscotslass Fri 05-Sep-08 16:58:42

Just do what works for them and you.
We do it straight after school because he is still in uniform and in school mode. If I left it for a bit or til after tea he would be a nightmare to get started again.

Takver Fri 05-Sep-08 17:03:02

This sounds daft, but shouldn't the children choose? My DD is too young to have homework (only 6) so can't speak from mum experience, but certainly when I was at school my parents never got involved with when I did my homework (which for the record was mostly on the bus on the way to school).
I'm sure if I hadn't done it at all they would have taken action, but apart from that, why should they need to?

juuule Fri 05-Sep-08 17:12:26

Mine decide when they want to do it.

At primary school, I ask them now and then if they have any homework and ask whether they have done it. More as a reminder than anything else.

At secondary I just leave them to it.

snorkle Fri 05-Sep-08 17:15:26

I don't think there's a fixed rule. What works best for some probably wouldn't for others. As long as they do actually do it and don't get into the habit of making excuses, that's the main thing

DisasterArea Fri 05-Sep-08 17:16:48

in theory we have a set half hour between 6.30 and 7 for homework, spellings, music etc.
in practice this means that when i'm at home they do some work, except when at ballet or sports club. and when i'm at work they watch the simpsons. so my plan sort of works. sometimes.

pointydog Fri 05-Sep-08 17:22:00

They do it when they want here. As long as it's done. Mind you, I don't check very often.

notsoteenagemum Fri 05-Sep-08 17:22:50

I do try and get it done before chill out time because we have had incidents where we've done it over breakfastblush but we have a drink and a snack and get changed first, and usually DD is enthusiastic about doing it she's addicted to house points!
She did have a reluctant phase early in year 2 so I'd set the timer for 40 mins and then we'd do it.
When I was a teen though if I hadn't done it before tea at 6 it never got done, this is why I want to get the DC's into a good habit of doing it.

LittleBella Fri 05-Sep-08 19:38:30

Oh good I'm glad I can safely ignore. I just think that when I get back from work, i want to sit down with a cup of tea and not do anything - I need an hour to unwind and chill out and I kind of figured that the DC's might need that too.

roisin Fri 05-Sep-08 20:38:47

At primary my boys have generally come home and had a drink and a snack, then got straight on and done the homework.

ds1 has just gone up to secondary and will have a lot more homework. But we're still working out what will be the best routines to get that done. He's already very tired as he has a much longer day (travelling by bus).

Once we have a homework timetable and can see what's expected we can plan. If possible I would like to schedule certain days as homework-free days: maybe Friday, Sunday and Tuesday. Then he can chill on those days, but get his head down and crack it on the others.

Hulababy Fri 05-Sep-08 20:43:19

I find 6yo DD is better if she does her homework straight away. She has a quick drink and snack, and then sits down at the table to do any homework she has, wether it is written or reading.

If she leaves it much later she gets over tired and a bit out of work mode.

sunnydelight Sat 06-Sep-08 08:59:14

My 9 year old needs to do it pretty much straightaway. I've toyed with giving him some chill out time first, but basically if he has longer than the 15 minutes it takes to change out of his uniform and have a snack he seems to have totally switched off and it's a nightmare. He has about half an hours worth Mon-Thurs, I'm dreading next year when they seem to give them projects to complete over the weekend.

15 year old chooses to get it done sooner rather than later which suits me fine.

scaryteacher Sat 06-Sep-08 09:02:56

My ds (Year 8) gets off the bus, comes in, has a snack and a drink and then does his homework. Once it's done, and his bag is packed for the next day, he can have chill time.

For us, this works....he is reluctant to do homework, and this ensures that it is done.

SqueakyPop Sat 06-Sep-08 09:06:59

They should do it when they are most effective at it.

I would not suggest doing the homework that is due that day before school, but if they arrive at school early, then it is a productive use of time to work on something that is due later or expected to be completed over a period of time (or use the school computers if they don't want to at lunchtime).

If the school has a homework timetable, it's a good idea to stick to it - which mostly means doing the hw the night it is set.

I wouldn't necessarily force doing their hw when they first get home - I would rather they went outside or do some chores, and then do their hw after supper when everything is generally calmer.

My DD will be doing most of her hw at school beause she will stay there until at least 5pm.

larry5 Sat 06-Sep-08 10:31:14

Dd who has just gone into yr12 has always had a chill out time before doing homework. She gets home has a drink and a snack and relaxes until 5. She then works from 5 - 6 and again after we have had dinner. Things will probably change now she has started AS levels as she will have free periods at school to do work and in theory will have 5 hours of independant study to do a week.

twentypence Sat 06-Sep-08 10:45:04

Routine is the key. There is no way if I let ds get into playing and chilling that he would get into school mode again.

Revising for tests should be done the night before - or so a neurologist told me. In non technical terms she said you needed a sleep to let it sink in.

Janni Sat 06-Sep-08 10:58:45

I do an early dinner and homework straight after. I like to give them time to chill out when they get home from school. After dinner though they have to get straight down to it before they can do anything else!

pointydog Sun 07-Sep-08 09:45:03

The sooner primary homework is done away with the better.

SueW Sun 07-Sep-08 09:50:25

Some days DD will stay at school and do hers but on others it won't be practical because of other commitments so she'll have to do it either after an activitiy or at the weekend.

School policy is that teachers are not to set homework which has to be handed in by the following day so this makes me feel more comfortable about some of her after-school activities and fitting homework around them.

ghosty Sun 07-Sep-08 09:56:18

My DS needs to eat before he can do anything after school - he is always starving. So he gets about 20 minutes or so to eat and chill then I encourage him to get his homework out of the way so that he can then do whatever he likes until dinner. After dinner is too late and before school in the morning is a shocker.
I was never every 'trained' to do homework properly and as a result I was a shocker with deadlines (regularly stayed up well into the early hours to finish assignments - once, at University I remember not going to bed at all, finishing my essay at 8am and then going in to hand it in at 9 shock)
For that reason I encourage DS to get it done the day he gets it, as soon as he can.

bozza Sun 07-Sep-08 10:00:31

Well DS did his a couple of hours ago. He is in Y3 and it was his first lot of homework. Now that he is a fluent reader we usually do that at bedtime as less distraction from DD. When it was more of a chore we did it earlier. Spellings done as and when before/after a meal at the kitchen table. But the proper literacy/numeracy homework is given out on a Friday and done on a weekend morning which seems to work best for DS. Then handed back in on Monday. I work 3 days a week and we often have playdates on Mondays/Friday plus Beavers on Monday.

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