By Lisa Gillet
Time. There is never enough, and we can always use more of it. Which is why, as parents, it is imperative to master time management! A major issue in my household is balancing all of the kids’ activities with homework, school projects, sports, and dinner.
It is important that our kids are involved in extracurricular activities, whether it is a sport, chess club, art classes, or band. Finding something that our children are interested in allows them the opportunity to grow, socially, physically, and mentally. But, do you struggle with getting homework done after picking them up? Our household certainly does! What tips and tricks have you found that work for your family? Please let me know. Comment below and let’s share our experiences to help each other!
One of the main reasons that TGA sports works so well for our family is that the programs are often scheduled right after school, at school, and only an hour long. Camps and summer programs provide extended lessons that incorporate academics with sports to help my kids grow without the pressures of travel teams.
Trying to have the same routine every day has helped us at balancing life. Keeping in mind that what works for one family may not work for another, here are a few things that I have learned through trial and error, and tips from teachers. A great rule for my kids that has worked well since kindergarten (yes, they get homework that young) is having a designated homework spot. For us, it is the kitchen island. That way, my kids can do homework and I can make dinner at the same time while being on-hand should they need help. Multitasking at its best!
We do homework as soon as we get home, right after washing hands and having a quick snack. This works for us because we want to relax after dinner and enjoy some family time in our pjs. However, that doesn’t work for our neighbors. They want their kids to do homework after dinner, giving them a break right after school or an activity. They feel like it allows the kids to relax and unwind before doing more work. Whatever schedule is the best fit for your family, stick with it. The routine is the key here, so everyone knows the expectations.
We want to make sure to keep the noise to a minimum during homework time. No TV and definitely no phones! If you need to ask Siri or Google a question for help, use your phone. This will help the kids focus and be finished faster.
Often times while doing homework, I find it helpful to relate their favorite activity to their school work. The TGA student handbooks are a great resource reinforcing lessons our kids are learning in school. For the younger ones, working on counting we can count how many clubs are in a golf bag, or look at a golf ball to see how many dimples it has. Tennis is great for reviewing shapes; courts are rectangles, balls are circles and racquets have ovals. I have to ask, though, what color is the tennis ball? This is a reoccurring discussion in our house, half of us think it is yellow and the other half are certain it is green. Yellow or green?
Balancing time between activities and homework can be difficult. One of the top-10 Gillet family rules is ‘school always comes first.’ The main tool for success is creating a routine. Even if the timing of everything changes day to day, expectations are the same. School, sport/club, home, homework, dinner, relax, bed.
With a set routine, it also becomes much easier to evaluate if your child can play another TGA sport, maybe: cheerleading, flag football, floor hockey, golf, lacrosse, tennis, ultimate frisbee, or volleyball. You can read up on the benefits of children playing more than one sport here.
Remember, if you have some additional tips to add, please comment in the section below. Share your advice and maybe it will work for someone else, too!