When to Do Homework???

Updated on September 05, 2007
T.B. asks from Brunswick, GA
10 answers

I have started watching my neice after school. She is 8 and in third grade. My kids are still little so i have none in school. My question is when do i make her do her homework? I have been letting her rest and have a snack for 30-45 minutes after she gets home then start her homework. But she starts to get winey and saying she doesn't kbow what to do even with me helping her. I get her started and try to help but don't think i need to sit with her the whole time. Plus i try to take the two babies to another room so she will not be distracted. I come in and check on her every 15-20 minutes and ask if she needs any help. It took her an hour and a half to do 10 math problems the other day. Any suggestions would be great. She just moved here to live with my sister-in-law and i know some of this it just transition.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I was doing things half way right. I am now letting her get a drink and a snack at the table then doing homework. Not too much down time. And she doesn't get to play with my girls til she's done. Thanks so much ladies!!

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answers from Ocala on

Hey T.. I can relate to this one because I have an 8 yr old in 3rd grade and two younger children as well. When my daughter comes home, I let her have a snack and then straight to the homework. I know if I give her a break then she won't want to do it later. It is still fresh in her head when she gets home and she has really had nothing to distract her yet. Usually I let my two little ones sit with books or they will color while she is doing her homework. That way she doesn't feel like she is the only one. Oh, and the whiney part...my daughter does the same thing. It is the age...lol. I make her read it to me and then tell me what she learned in class. She can usually answer her question herself, I just have to dig it out of her. Good luck!

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answers from Sarasota on

With my just turned 6yo first grader, I have him do his homework as soon as he walks in the door at home. I stay with him the entire time, and try to keep the 3yo from crawling all over him and his homework (she's very excited about homework, it seems... I hope she stays that way when she reaches school age!) I tell him if he does it first, then it's out of the way, and he gets a snack and time to watch TV or play a video game. He whines and complains, but he gets it done because he wants to be able to do the other things. Last year I tried waiting until later to do homework, but it was much harder to get him to settle down and work the longer we waited. Doing it right away works much better for him. And he knows if he piddles around and takes forever, he'll miss snack time if it gets too close to dinner.

If she has to get her work finished before she can have a snack or do anything else, maybe that'll give her something to work toward. And if they get to playing (or whatever) it's harder to pull them away for homework. I would tell her "work first, then you've got all the rest of the afternoon to play." And you could tell her she has to do the work, but it's her choice if she wants to spend all afternoon doing her homework, or she can choose to do it quickly. That gives her a little power over the situation. After a bit I'll bet she'll realize how much better off she is if she goes ahead and gets it finished.



answers from Sarasota on

I have 2 one in 4th and one in 2nd, both girls, and my oldest does the same thing. I started make them do homework righ twhen they get home, that way they don't forget how to do it and then a snack can be motivation and reward for completeing it quickly. If my oldest says she doesnt know what to do then I explain to her how and tell her to do it, then I will check it and if she is wrong I will go over it with her. Because usually its more of " I don't want to do it so you tell me the answers. Also if they have the motivation that there will be no playing until it gets done they go a little faster. They are still in school mode when they get home and I have found that if they get out of that mode it is harder to get back into it.



answers from Fort Walton Beach on

When my son was this age, I let him have a snack and watch t.v. for no about 15-30 mins (depending on what time he got home from school) and then it was homework time. He had to do his homework at the kitchen table and I was either in there cooking, cleaning, etc. or I had to sit right there beside him and read while he did his homework. It helped him to concentrate on his homework instead of wondering what mommy was doing in the other room. Every so often he would want to stop his homework and start telling me about what happened at school that day and that was fine but if he kept doing which sometimes he did just as an excuse to put the homework off, I would have to get him focused back on his work which meant even warning him that I would leave the room if he didn't stay focused. That always worked! I didn't have any other children so I know it's hard when you have your kids also. But you're doing a great job by helping with your neice. Can you occupy your children with something in the other room during "homework time" so you can stay with your neice and help her. I could always pop in a movie or something to occupy my son if I needed to do something like pay bills, make business phone calls, clean, etc....something to where I needed some quiet time to focus on what I was doing. Sometimes you even have to make it fun for the kids or use rewards as an incentive. She could get a sugar-free piece of candy every day once she completed your homework and your kids could each get one for not disturbing your neice during her "homework time". If you keep having problems with her focusing, you might want to talk to your sister about it. She could have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or some other type of problem that can be easily treated. My best friend and her daughter both have this. My friend was never diagnosed until the same problem came up with her daughter not being able to focus on homework. Her dad said it was taking her all night to do maybe 2 hours worth of homework because she would lose concentration and then zone out thinking about something else. They had to start sitting in there with her to keep her focused. Now she's on mild medication and doing fine. I would try the other things first but this might definitely be something to look into if everything else fails.



answers from Jacksonville on

I would have her sit down & do her homework right when she comes home. When she is done then give her a snack as a reward to completeing her work. Children will sometimes act like they have no idea how to do their so you will do it for them. Keep down behind her. It's very kind of you to help your sister!!! Family is very important. Keep up the great job!



answers from Pensacola on

Hello T. B:
The time frame you have set for her is fine in my opinion. the checking on her times are really good too. homework can take a while as they get older so don't get too worried. Noone likes homework so get ready for the whining and excuses so if she starts to get difficult, she may need a break of 5 minutes or more and diligently get her back on task. I don't know if that helps, but you are doing just fine .
C. G



answers from Jacksonville on

Having tutored kids in the same age range, I learned that you have to make it fun. Even when you only have about a half hour. Maybe you could bring a stroller, pack-n-play or some child-safe toys in and let your kids play in a corner of the area where your niece is and sit down with your niece and show her how much fun math can be. Pull out some silverware or straws, maybe even get out some paper and have her draw and color.

I also agree with having her do her homework first thing! I was a procrastinator myself and when high school came around and I realized just how much good grades and study habits affect your college selections, I had to retrain myself (can be difficult). I do also agree that it can be a little transition, too, but with repetition and understanding that this is how things go at Auntie's house, she will get into the routine and things will get easier.

I hope things work out for you. You never know, your little ones may even have a blast playing and learning all at the same time.



answers from Pensacola on

I would start homework right after having a snack. Make sure she is in a quiet room where she can't hear cartoons on tv or anything. And instead of waiting 15-20 minutes to check on her, try only waiting 5 - 10 minutes. Then as she gets used to this routine you can try stretching it out further. But this way if she gets stuck on something, she's not sitting there for 20 minutes waiting for you to come in and help her (cuz I'm sure she won't get up and ask for help :) Also, give her a little direction. Tell her which paper to start on first, and when each paper is done, have her come and show you. This would be a good opportunity to praise her and tell her how well she is doing and have her go to the next etc. Best of luck! Jen



answers from Sarasota on


First I want to say that you are doing a wonderful thing caring for your niece afterschool.

I have a 6 year old daughter who whines about homework and whines about Karrate etc. Kids are a bit lazy and will try to get out of doing anything that takes time and effort. The TV doesn't help.

You are doing absolutely the right thing. Come home have a snack and rest a bit. Then the homework. You are starting her in traing for future good homework habits. She will thank you in the future. With regards to sitting with her it is problably not necessary. Checking in on her to see her progress is great.

Maybe you can suggest something fun after all the work is done and her homework time might be less. But remember, not everyone is good in math or reading etc. Some math might be a bit difficult for her.

Keep up the good work.




answers from Tallahassee on

She is probably missing the attention from her parents and that is probably what is distracting her the most. Make sure the TV is off while she is doing this homework. She might have a problem with math all together. Helping her would be the best. Then she'll always remember her wonderful Aunt that helped her with her homework...She needs someone to care about it too before she cares about it. Get her motivated. Do something fun with her after the homework is finished.

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