Homework on Friday afternoon or Sunday afternoon?

We went to visit some friends on Friday afternoon, and their eldest was hard at work on a long-term project due on the next Friday.

This was the second time we came a calling and the eldest was getting her homework done on Friday afternoon.

I was impressed by the discipline of the child and the adult. By the time Friday afternoon comes we are just done. We just want to bum around and do nothing.

But then comes Sunday afternoon, and we have to get to work. My two kids were working on their long-term projects on Sunday instead of playing.

So I am wondering do other families work on homework on Friday afternoon or put it off until Sunday afternoons? To which do the kids seem to be more amenable?

23 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

January 14th, 2013
4:04 pm

It has been a long time since we had kids at home working on homework. WE did not work on homework, as a family. The kids did it themselves. Every once in a while, there were projects that involved us. Not on a weekly basis though. That being said, I am not last minute. My kids and their Dad are. Drives me crazy!

lakerat

January 14th, 2013
4:15 pm

It really does not matter as long as the work gets done – and I am like MJG in that I am not a procrastinator; if something needs doing that I can do or am supposed to do, it gets done pronto.

Patrick

January 14th, 2013
4:35 pm

I am guilty of having procrastinated on some long-term projects in school. My biggest crime would have to be when the teacher assigned homework over the weekend that was due on Monday, I usually never did it. Only time I might have done it is if it was to study for an upcoming test, or if the assignment was long-term, like a term paper or other similar research project.

When I had the latter, if it was allowed (usually wasn’t, but depended on the teacher), I would go to the library during the day on Saturday, when my parents usually went, and did my research. Then, I’d work some on the report when I got home, or I’d wait until Sunday and work on it. Usually I’d wait until night to work on the project; that way, I’d have the whole daytime to play or relax. When night fell, after supper, it was nose to the grindstone, until time for bed. Sunday would find me working on it for most of the day, maybe go outside for a little while, and then Sunday night finish up. Sometimes I’d get my projects done a week in advance this way, but would have to hold it until the due date. Some teachers didn’t give extra credit for turning it in early. I don’t see why they should. My boss never gives me a bonus for getting a job done earlier than expected. Sure, it encourages a child to work hard and turn work in early, but when they get to the real world, they’ll be crushed when their boss doesn’t give them a bonus for getting a project done ahead of schedule.

mother of2

January 14th, 2013
4:37 pm

WE did not do home work. My kids did thier homework on thier own. I would help if needed. Home work was done right after school so there was no last minute rush to get this done.

DB

January 14th, 2013
5:02 pm

I’ll second/third that — what’s this “we” and “families” doing homework?! It’s THEIR homework. If THEY weren’t able to do it and I determined it was because they hadn’t been sufficiently prepped in class to complete the work, then I sent a note/email to the teacher and said, “Although Susie attempted to complete her assignment, she needs additional help with (long division, etc.) in order to understand the assignment.” I figured the teacher needed to know if kids weren’t getting a concept, and it wouldn’t help her if I stepped in and taught it for her. One particular teacher (who was only there a year before she was bounced) was notorious for assigning homework AHEAD, so that parents ended up teaching it to their kids and she only had to “review” it in class. Hello?! The principal talked to her, and she improved somewhat the second semester, but that was a miserable math year.

But for the most part — their homework was their responsibility. If they wanted to do it on Friday, then fine. If they wanted to wait until Sunday, fine. When they were in elementary school, I would REMIND them of upcoming weekend events, but would leave it to them to allocate their time. Daughter liked to get up early on Saturday and do it. Son usually waited until Sunday evening. If it wasn’t much, they’d knock it out on Friday afternoon. Just depended on what was going on that weekend. If it was an out-of-town soccer tournament, then he would try to do it in the car on the way over there, or he would take it with him and work on it in the break before/after dinner.

They both procrastinated at some point and earned the consequences for it. Luckily, they are reasonably bright kids and figured out that they didn’t like getting zeros on assignments. :-)

DB

January 14th, 2013
5:05 pm

I will add that, once they were in high school, they were ON THEIR OWN. If they were going to be out of town for some event (happened a lot with daughter, with concerts and rehearsals around the state and country) it was their responsibility to get their assignments and stay on top of things, and negotiate with teachers for due dates, etc.

Techmom

January 14th, 2013
5:47 pm

Nope, no homework on Fridays here. We usually have stuff going on and our son typically still has practice and then goes straight to work. But even when he was younger, there was no homework on Fridays… I don’t have the energy to think about work, why would my kid have the energy to think about school? Sundays it is.

Atlanta Mom

January 14th, 2013
5:57 pm

I let my kids do their homework, whenever they chose. If there were weekend activites, they were informed and expected to work around it.

Observer

January 14th, 2013
7:12 pm

Kids were allowed to do weekend homework when they wanted. I am ready to be off work end of day Friday. I didn’t expect my kids to hit the books when the week ended because I was also done. Time for some balance. HOWEVER, they learned early…..don’t tell us at 8 pm on Sunday night that you need us to take you to purchase project materials for project due next morning.

Misty

January 14th, 2013
8:32 pm

There is no WE or THEM… I think what she means is that the kids sit together at the table to work on homework. My parents were always around to help explain something that we may have missed in class. They NEVER EVER did our homework for us. I am one of those types that plans ahead- if I know I have something coming up, I’ll do my homework on Friday rather than waiting until last minute on Sunday. Granted, there are parents who will simply do their child’s homework for them but not mine.

Misty

January 14th, 2013
8:33 pm

I forgot to add that most parents probably aren’t smart enough to do long division since calculators and the internet is available.

motherjanegoose

January 14th, 2013
9:01 pm

@ Misty…that is not how I took it. BTW I am fine with long division, as we did not have calculators when I went to school. We did have slide rules. Calculus would be a BIG problem for me as would Latin. Both of mine took both of those classes.

A reader

January 14th, 2013
10:49 pm

My high school aged daughter usually does homework all weekend long. with breaks to have some fun of course. But she is very driven and very badly wants a scholarship to her school of choice.

When she was younger, Sundays were usually reserved for weekend homework.

And I can say that “we” are both involved in her homework. I do not DO it for her, but I make sure that I do not schedule so many activiti4es that she has no time to do it. School is important to both of us so I make sure that WE are on the same page. And yes, sometimes I help her study for tests and quiz her so WE are sometimes both involved in her homework.

Observer

January 14th, 2013
11:35 pm

@Misty…yes there are parents that are smart enough to do long division. But…as you stated, WE aren’t doing homework.

BehindEnemyLines

January 14th, 2013
11:46 pm

Once a certain age is reached anyway, I figure it to be the kid’s call as long as it gets done. Sundays are my own 14 yr olds choice, probably 2/3rds to 3/4ths of his classmates likewise.

Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D.

January 15th, 2013
7:25 am

I don’t think the question is when the children get the work done, but how it affects the tone of the home. My three kids are grown. Two were highly independent in handling their homework. They went on to graduate college and succeed with their careers. Frankly, I don’t know if they did their work on Fridays or Saturdays or Sundays, or even Monday morning in school. It was only my youngest child whose homework issues forced us to get involved. In retrospect, I wish I had taken a stand with the school and refused to let them make decisions about what my children must do at home under my roof. The oldest two would have still done well and the youngest one, while not the academic superstar the others were, would have grown to have a much better attitude about education and, I’m sure, more educational success. My recommendation to all parents is to support the school, let the kids do their own homework, but if a problem arises, keep in mind it is your home, not the school’s domain. http://www.thehomeworktrap.com.

malleesmom

January 15th, 2013
7:50 am

I prefer the child tackles the homework while the topic is still fresh in the brain; so knocking it out on Friday is optimum. That being said, we discuss if there is homework on Friday and then it’s up to them to get it done by Sunday afternoon. No waiting until bedtime on Sunday :)

Shannon

January 15th, 2013
8:45 am

We do something Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It may not be true homework but we are reviewing concepts for the upcoming week. My child is dyslexic so we have to make sure the information stays fresh for any upcoming tests.

lakerat

January 15th, 2013
10:37 am

Thanks, Shannon, for being an involved parent.

Shannon

January 15th, 2013
11:07 am

You’re welcome lakerat. : ) It’s my duty as a parent. “Failure is not an option” is our family motto.

jan

January 15th, 2013
7:24 pm

I also commend Shannon for being an involved parent.

My mantra is “Learning disabilities are a reason for difficulties in learning but they are NOT an excuse to allow failure.”

My son has learning disabilities. He has been hearing this mantra for so long that he now uses it himself when learning is difficult.

When he was younger, I would sit him down at the kitchen table on Friday night and review what homework he had and which subject he would work on each day of the weekend. I would also make him sit at the kitchen table and do the homework with me available for help as needed. Usually I was reading a book or something like that to make certain he stayed put and was actually working on the homework. After he finished it, I would review it and tell him to rework problems or sections of the homework if he had rushed through it or provide additional explanation if it was obvious that he missed an important concept.

In his freshman year of high school, he finally took the initiative and kicked me out of the homework process. He decided that it was his responsibility. I don’t ask about homework anymore. I just make him aware of the weekend plans and he decides if he can participate. He is graduating from high school this May with a 3.5 GPA.

DB

January 16th, 2013
9:42 pm

@Misty: I can guarantee you that most PARENTS can do long division either in their head or with a pencil and paper. It’s the KIDS who can’t add 2 + 2 without a calculator these days. I didn’t allow my kids to use a calculator at home until they had to use a scientific calculator in high school. They were annoyed and protested loudly that it made homework longer, but you know, they learned how to do math in their head, so they don’t have to pull out their phones to calculate how much 20% off is on a sale. (Which I see ALL THE TIME . . . blows my mind.) AND they were able to transfer that skill to standardized exams, especially the SAT and the ACT — they didn’t have to waste time using a calculator for most of the problems when they were doing the math portions

Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D.

January 20th, 2013
8:28 am

I don’t think the issue is when your child does the homework, but whether or how the homework impacts family life. In reality, people function in different ways. Some are planners. Some do things the last minute. Despite those different styles, people still live good and productive lives. As long as your child is managing his work in a reasonably independent way, you’re okay and you’re better off supporting him doing it his way than adopting yours or some other seemingly “right” way.

You know you have homework problems when things seem grossly out of sync. Family life fails to match what you think it should be, and you find yourself acting in ways you would rather not. That’s what happened in my family. For my oldest two kids, things went well. Once was more industrious than the other. One was more planful than the other. Both graduated from college and are successful in their careers. My youngest child, in contrast, had persistent homework problems. For him, I made the mistake of thinking that homework “had” to get done and that it was my job to get on his case. In retrospect, I wish I had insisted on homework relief. He would have gotten far more done if he had been given clear limits on the amount of time he had to spend on his assignments. I think one key factor that gets overlooked with homework is that parents are the rightful heads of their homes, and should make decisions that may overrule the teachers, when homework causes problems. I discuss this further on my website, http://www.thehomeworktrap.com.