Psychologist Bill Pfohl says it’s important for kids to have a set time and place for homework at least five days a week. He recommends 15 to 20 minutes for younger children, a half-hour for elementary and middle school kids, and 45 minutes to an hour for senior high.
He also says parents need to know their role where homework is involved. “Parents should not do homework; they should monitor; what do you have to do? Did you do it? Don’t write papers for them; don't correct; if there are problems or differences, contact the teacher.”
When it comes to making time for homework, in addition to all the other after school activities, Dr. Pfohl says parents must be aware of their child's media access.
Robin Shea says she actually got rid of her family's Gameboy when one of her four sons got a little too attached to it.
“I wasn’t comfortable with how obsessed he was with it when its beautiful outside. That's where kids need to be experience that.”
She says the rainy day rule works for her family. Only when it’s raining can they have time with the play station. Dr. Pfohl says knowing the games your kids are playing is also essential.
Regardless of what you approve of, Dr. Pfohl says its often television, computers, and video games that takes up our time and keeps any real family communication from taking place.
Dr. Pfohl says for busy families who don't spend quality time together at meal time or bed time, he recommends half hour family meetings on Sunday just to make sure the family is on the same page with issues everyone is facing.
And he says if you work to make time for everything your family is involved in, you won't miss out on the most crucial ingredient of all, communication.