By Allison Gardenswartz, Consulting Educator
I have a 6-year-old daughter who is in first grade. Her babysitter picks her up from school at 2 p.m., and I pick her up from the babysitter around 6 p.m. When we get home we have dinner first. By the time we do her homework, she is too tired or lazy to finish it. She tells me that she's sleepy and wants to take a nap. She doesn't take a nap at her babysitter's because she is so excited to play with the other kids. What can I do?
It sounds like your daughter's schedule needs to change in some way. Either she needs to nap at the babysitter's or get a start on homework there. It seems logical that she is tired after that long day and just starting homework at 7 p.m. Perhaps she can do part of the homework with the babysitter and take a short rest? Sometimes, even if a child does not sleep, she may have more energy after she has some down- time.
Another alternative would be for her to do a little of the homework as soon as you walk in the door as you are putting dinner on the table. If the homework is divided into smaller parts, perhaps it will go easier. She can do a little at the babysitter's, a little while dinner is being prepared and then have just a bit left to finish after dinner.
You will need to talk with the babysitter and make sure your expectations are clear and then talk with your daughter so she is aware of the plan. Sometimes the logistical schedule of where to fit the homework in is the hardest part. Once you find a routine that works for you and her, it will all fall into place.
Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.
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