Benefits of Playtime Before Homework Time

We have all heard the adage, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” and it has been proven that children need exercise every day to keep them healthy and fit. Most parents, however, mandate the completion of homework before any playtime occurs–much as dessert is served only after all vegetables are eaten. However, some are beginning to argue this concept, and have suggested that it may be more beneficial for kids to have playtime before study time.

Imagine yourself sitting in a room with twenty other people your age. Someone at the front of the room is giving you facts that you must write down and study. You have two tests in different subjects. Your brain seems to be full at 1:00, but you must persevere until 3:00. You cannot wait until you are home so you can relax and let your brain process what has been learned. Once home, however, more work must be completed, but you simply cannot concentrate. You have reached a point where it is almost impossible to focus. This happens daily in almost every household to children around the world. If we force children to complete homework directly after a difficult school day, the results are often less than satisfactory, especially for younger children who have excess energy that must be usurped before any “seat time.” Keeping in mind that a child’s basic needs must be met before learning can occur, it seems only reasonable to give your child a quick snack before sending him or her outside to run off excess energy for half an hour or more.

Remember, physical exercise is an important component to a child’s daily schedule. Not only does exercise relieve stress, it keeps your child healthy and increases mental acuity. Once playtime is over, a child has a much greater tendency to sit still, focus, and complete homework more completely and accurately.

What are your views on playtime? When does your child play at home–before of after homework or dinner? How does this affect the time it takes to complete homework? Do you see greater benefits with your current routine over that of others you have tried? Let us know so we can share your ideas with others. For more information, contact Lake Forrest–one of the best schools in Orlando–at (407) 331-5144 today.


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