When Kids’ Outside Activities Get in the Way of Homework


Most kids say they don’t like doing Homework.  But why?

For many kids, they’d rather be outdoors playing or watching TV or texting their friends. These are certainly understandable reasons.  Usually, when parents and teachers help them understand how important homework is to school success, they’ll buckle down and do it.

It helps if homework is always done at the same time each afternoon or evening, and there’s a regular, quiet place to do the work. In addition, kids need to have good study skills.

But what happens when homework is a struggle? When your child is just too tired or over-stimulated to do homework? Then homework isn’t finished. Sometimes it’s missed completely. Studying for tests is rushed and the end result can be poor test grades.

One of the main reasons for this challenge is simply too many outside activities. There aren’t enough hours in the day for your child to eat, sleep, go to school, do four or five (or more) outside activities and do homework too.

Finishing homework and getting enough sleep suffer when kids have too many outside activities.

I once worked with a boy who took music lessons two times a week, played soccer in the fall, basketball during the winter, and baseball in the spring, and was on a swimming team on Saturdays all year. He was also in a drama club in his town. Drama club involved putting on a play twice a year.

No wonder this 9th grader didn’t want to do his homework.  He suffered from one of the “terrible toos”–doing TOO much. He was exhausted from being overbooked.

The average 9th grader needs at least two hours free every day for doing homework.

To help them figure out what their schedule looks like for an average week, download my free “Daily Schedule” form. Have your child fill it in. Block out at least two hours a night to do homework and study. It doesn’t have to be two hours straight.

If  your child doesn’t see a minimum of two free hours on the schedule, they’re doing too much. When children are unhappy about having to drop some activities, remind them that summer vacation is a great time for these activities.

Don’t forget to leave a comment.  Let my readers know how you’ve solved one of the “terrible “toos” problem at your home.

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