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Strike a Balance Between Homework and Activities

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

There have been a lot of news stories recently about children and homework. It seems that the amount of time spent on homework has been increasing and many children have been staying up too late, and therefore getting less sleep. It has also caused stress in children as they have had less time for free play and other extra curricular activities. There have even been reports that parents have resorted to doing their children’s homework, just to get it completed.

But other schools have chosen the opposite approach and are now forbidding homework. This approach has also been questioned as not allowing teachers the option to assign work that needs to be completed outside of the classroom and to reinforce the day’s lessons.

But regardless, children who have homework need to be helped with time management. I see too many kids with so many activities after school that their homework is not even started until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. and as a result, their bedtimes get pushed back. Many of these kids, who may even be in elementary school, are only getting six or seven hours of sleep.

Help you child get their homework started, have good study habits and if you think their homework assignments are routinely too lengthy, have a discussion with their teacher. Homework and free time are both important, but the key word is balance.

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat again tomorrow.

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