When many students get home, whether they want to or not, they have to work on homework. This can present an issue when looking at the bigger picture of dinner, personal time, sports, time with friends, and more. Where is family time? It can be hard to sit down and talk with family when there is so much going on in life. Today, let’s look at a few ways that you can spend time with your children even when they have busy lives with school and friends.
One of the best tips we’ve heard from our parents is to work in the same room as your child once they are at home. This could be as simple as picking up or as complex as balancing the checkbook. Taking time to be in the same room as your family can show them that you are there. In addition, it can offer moral support when your child wonders why they have to sit and work on homework while friends might be out playing in their yards.
Replace Sports With Family Sports
Though sports are great for children, too much to do can leave them at a disadvantage. Rather than pile on the extra-curricular, encourage them to do something with you for fun in the afternoons instead. Try going for runs together, playing soccer in the backyard, or hitting up the local park for basketball. Not only will this allow you to have time together, but it can also help each of you stay in shape while working on your child’s favorite sport as a family.
Though this can be impossible for many, an option might be saying no to too much homework. Most recommendations point to the ten-minute rule. For each grade about second, your child can have at most, ten minutes of homework per grade to be most effective. If you have a choice in the school your child is going to, perhaps look for a school that limits the amount of take-home work that they give each day. In addition, look for a school that offers little to no weekend-work.
Sit Down for Dinner
One of the hardest things our generation has to deal with is the need to keep moving. Rather than sit down at the table for dinner, many families opt to grab a meal and go or watch TV while eating. Focus on the family by making this time “downtime.” Require everyone in the house to sit down for dinner and talk as a family. Though it might seem strange at first, eventually it will be something that everyone looks forward to each day.
Sometimes there is no getting around schoolwork. However, you can encourage your child to take breaks so that they can rest their mind and eyes while talking to family. Try following a 25 minutes working and ten minutes off-plan for the best results. Let them know that a break can be as simple as a walk down the street, letting the dog out, or having a conversation with you. However, make sure they get back to work so that they can finish for the night.
Overall, the school year can be as tough for families as it is for the child. Homework, school, sports, personal time, and time with friends can make family time almost impossible to find. However, spending time with family can be great for your child’s mental health and family bonding. Try sitting down for dinner, going outside for walks, taking breaks, or even changing schools should your child have too much homework to deal with.