29 answers

Do You Allow Your Child to Listen to Music While Doing Homework?

There's an ongoing debate in my house about allowing children to listen to music while doing homework. My 8yr old step-daughter (3rd grade) keeps asking to listen to music on her iPod while doing her homework. My husband and I have held the opinion that music, as like tv, will cause a distraction, and told her "no". However, her Mom allows her to listen to music when she's at her house so, she believes we are not being fair. (Her Mom is a school teacher allows it so sd uses that as justification as it being ok) After thinking about again I suggested a compromise to my husband. I suggeted that we have her write a proposal stating why she should be allowed to listen to music during homework time and how it will benefit her learning experience. Also, IF we agree to it, music would not be allowed during reading and writing exercises.

What rules do you have for homework time.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your responses! Like many of you stated, some people are able to concentrate better with music and it can act as white noise. That point was exactly what I was thinking when I suggested a compromise... not to mention that we have music on most of the time in our house anywyays. Also, we have four kids total so I can see that drowning out the other noise in the house could be helpful and, I always listen to music too so, why not her? I think we're going to stick with allowing her to listen to music while doing most of her homework as long as it's not during the reading time. We have the same rule for my 15yr old son and it seems to be working just fine. My husband was most concerned that at her age it might cause more of a distraction. Hopefully SD sees this as a fair compromise. As one of you mentioned, it IS hard for her to have different rules between her homes so this is something that can be consistent for her:) THANKS AGAIN!

Featured Answers

Hmmm, well, you might want to consider that listening to music might actually help to focus her--it does that for me. I ALWAYS listened to music while studying--I think it actually helped with my recall. I did very well in school and became a teacher myself.

I would let her do it as long as the quality of her work doesn't suffer.

3 moms found this helpful

it depends on the child. When I was in school, if I was in complete silence I would have gone nuts and no work would have gotten done. I frequently did homework while watching tv, listening to music, sitting in a room with others playing/conversing, etc. I guess having to force out the extra noise allowed me to focus and concentrate on work. And my grades were top of the class - literally. My husband can't do anything if something else is going on. His complete inability multitask makes me wonder how he even manages to walk and engage in conversation at the same time. My oldest son is a lot like my husband and the music would be a no, no. The slightest thing pulls his concentration.

2 moms found this helpful

I desperately NEED background noise when I'm studying. The TV, music, white noise...something.

If it were silent, or I only had intermittent distracting noise...I'd never get anything done.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Yes, I allow it.
Why not?
For some people, kids and adults alike, they can actually concentrate better with music on.

Even chewing gum... while doing homework, can help some people concentrate more. For example.

Each individual, retains information and concentrates differently, per studying.

The bottom line is: IF listening to music, hampers your child from doing homework and doing it well and results in poor concentration, then sure, don't allow it. BUT if she can still do quality work while listening to music, then what is the harm?

5 moms found this helpful

We have two different kids with two different needs. One child has ADD and if it's too quiet in the house all the other odd noises distract him. The sounds of the refrigerator, or a truck driving down our street will stop him in his path. so we let him have music on in the backgroud and it's very helpful. On the other hand, my daughter does better when it's quiet. So we encourage her to keep her music off while she does homework. She's 15 and there are times that the music in the background helps her tune out emotional stuff from school and allows her to focus on her school work. So really, it depends!

But keep in mind, for some kids music is not at all distracting - in fact it functions as white noise for them.

Good luck on this. It's tough enough mothering our bio-kids let alone stepkids who have to change homes and parents mid-week. Remember it's tough on her and it's not her choice that she has two different homes and sets or rules to remember and live by. Yikes.

4 moms found this helpful

Personally, I work BETTER with a distraction.

All three of my kids have different homework/study habits. The middle would take HOURS to finish his homework if didn't let him watch TV while doing it. The oldest is a figiter (word?), needs a PROP to fool with in order to focus. The youngest likes music.

Even in their HS they're allowed to listen to their ipods while doing class work, as long as they are not creating a distraction to those around them.

All three are outstanding students.

I guess we all work/focus best under different circumstances. Whatever gets the job done, with quality and speed, that's the thing to do!


4 moms found this helpful

My boys haven't asked to have music on, but sometimes I have music on while they are doing homework. I have no problem with them listening to music while doing homework.

I am a high school AP English teacher, and I often have students request that we have music on in the classroom whenever they are working quietly at their desks. I usually allow it. Occassionally I have a student say that it is a distraction, and I will turn the music off, but that is rare. Most students seem to focus better with music on as long as it isn't too loud.

Good luck with your decision.

4 moms found this helpful

I tend to disagree with you. I did my dissertation on distraction and there are quite a few studies on how some "distraction" can actually helps people focus. I did a quick search and hear is one link: http://whywereason.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/cognitive-obs...

I also know of a study about how doodling during conversations or seminars actually helps a person retain information. The basic idea is that the brain can take some advantage by having to force its attention to the main task. the secondary task keeps a person alert and can encourage creativity.

Personnally, I have always been a person who had on music or even the tv to study. As am adult, I always have talk radio on at work. And I am a big doodler during meetings :)

I think it depends on the specific task and on your daughter. At some point she needs to learn what works for her. I only have a 7 year old, and I know that having the tv on during homework would be a big problem. But your question has me thinking if music would help her focus a bit more? Right now she works in silence although in the main part of the house with her sister and I making noise and talking.

I think your approach for her defending her idea is great, but I also suggest you give it a chance and see if it changes her study habits and her retention and her feelings about liking doing her homework. I know she is a child and you want to set her up with good habits. But the same thing doens't work for everyone. Best wishes.

4 moms found this helpful

What a great question. Our first grader doesn't have an Ipod, but if she did I don't think I'd allow her the use of it while doing homework. At least not at this young age. I've heard that classical music can actually aid in learning/memory retention, but I doubt your daughter is listening to that genre :)

4 moms found this helpful

There is music on at our house 24/7 just about.

I get my motivation to do my work from having music in the back ground.

My kids tend to be a bit calmer with it on.

It helps them focus more on what is in front of them and cuts out distracting back ground noise's like his brothers down the hall way playing.

I have to have it on for that reason also.

Music during reading and writing(especially writing) is something that can come with age on how well you can do it and retain what is coming in. So I agree with you there on this as well.

I have just gotten tot he point I can type an email with my head phones on and NOT type out accidentally some of the lyrics to the song....

3 moms found this helpful

Hmmm, well, you might want to consider that listening to music might actually help to focus her--it does that for me. I ALWAYS listened to music while studying--I think it actually helped with my recall. I did very well in school and became a teacher myself.

I would let her do it as long as the quality of her work doesn't suffer.

3 moms found this helpful

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