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Getting kids back into a routine means setting rules for homework, TV and games

POSTED: August 8, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Setting up a homework routine, and sticking with it, is good for both parents and children. Boosting kids' energy with nuts, fruits and veggies also helps get them focused on all that homework.

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This morning, alarm clocks all over Hall County signaled the official end of summer vacation and the beginning of a new academic year.

Although it had been months since students have sat in classrooms, the learning curve for getting back into the routine of the school year is a short one.

Getting used to waking up early again is one thing, but adjusting to hours of homework is another challenge all together.

"I don’t think my kids ever fully adjust to having homework," said Taylor Littles, a Gainesville resident.

"They grumble about it all year long."

Some parents say setting up rules about when homework is to be done helps kids get over the back-to-school hump faster.

"We established a homework routine when my oldest started school; now he’s in ninth grade. That made it easier when the other two came along. Now everyone knows what to expect," said Jan Morris, a Gainesville resident.

"When they first get home, they’re given the option to take 20 minutes to decompress. They can do anything they want during except watch TV or play video games.

"After that time is up, they have to get on their homework. They can take little breaks if they need to, but they don’t get to do anything fun until their work is done."

Sometimes homework routines are just as important for parents as it is for the students.

"I have a son in kindergarten and a daughter in first grade, so they need help with their homework. When I pick them up from school, I’m just leaving work, so I need a little down time," said Shay Ransom, who lives in Oakwood.

"When we get home, I turn on music in the den and let them shake the sillies out while I lay down for a few minutes on the sofa. It’s good for them to move around after sitting still for most of the day, and it’s nice for me to have a couple of minutes to unwind."

Incorporating an after-school snack can also help students focus better on their homework.

There are several hours between school lunchtimes and dinner at home, so an after school snack will help students pay less attention to a rumble in their bellies and focus more on their assignments.

Healthy snacks like cheese cubes, fruit and nuts can pull double duty satisfying hunger and fulfilling daily nutrition requirements.

"Sometimes I have a snack waiting for them when they get home, but most of the time they like to fix it themselves," said Alex Hays, a Gainesville resident.

"I always make sure I have things like fruit snacks, individual bags of chips or packs of peanut butter crackers. I’ve tried to branch out, but they’re creatures of habit."


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