By Jeff Zbar | October 10, 2007
I’m an early bird. Not surprisingly, my kids are night owls. So when they need help with homework or want to hang out, Dad’s pretty much worthless after 9 p.m. or so (that’s Mom’s cue to step in). But homework, projects, studying for tests, etc., all must be handled – often with help from an adult. Balancing conflicting schedules can make the difference between happy, well-adjusted and well-performing grade-schoolers, and a miserable lot.
I don’t deny my general state of worthlessness once the evening wears on. But no one is likely to rise at 5 a.m. when Daddy’s already in the office and primed for work. So the issue becomes how to reconcile a set of conflicting schedules. Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Opdyke weighed in on this recently, lamenting the sheer volume of homework his kids were bringing home. I chimed in at ChiefHomeOfficer with a lament of my own, more focused on why kids are so challenged with school work (my premise: it’s the double whammy of hyper competitive college admissions and standardized tests that make grade school principals struggle to boost performance)
Since I work from home, in our household I’m able to get the kids started on homework immediately when they return from school. Any questions about any subject – except algebra, geometry and chemistry – should be brought up then. I’m in the right mindset to help and hopefully get the little ones (albeit 10th, 8th and 4th graders – so not that little) prepared for tomorrow’s school day.
Just don’t wait until tonight. Because then Daddy’ll be beyond helping anyone…