Weekends are a fun time to forget the stress of the week and relax, but how many of you (or your kids) wait until the very last possible minute on Sunday night to complete an assignment or study for a test? This adds so much stress, anxiety and pressure to the once fun weekend. I learned while I was in college that putting it off until Sunday night is not the best way to study. It might seem strange but I found by not doing homework on Sunday, I seemed to have more time to get it done, more focus on my assignments, and they seemed less challenging as well.
As a parent, I wanted to have a different experience in my home on Sundays. We have implemented the no homework on Sundays rule and it truly has benefitted my family. As the kids get their work done earlier in the week, Sundays become a lot more relaxed and truly a day of rest for us. Let me share some reasons why and how we have been able to accomplish this.
Increased spiritual guidance. Sunday is a special day for us. It is called the Sabbath. One of the commandments we have been given is to keep the Sabbath Day Holy. To keep the Sabbath holy, we take a break from all our weekly labors, jobs, chores, homework, and routines and instead try to follow and obey the Savior and do His work on His day and rest from everything else. As we try our best to obey this commandment, we have been blessed with added peace in our home, opportunities for quality family time, and spiritual growth and greater guidance as well.
Fill your Sabbath with good things. The Sabbath is a nice day for us. We go to church together, watch uplifting shows, work on Family History, play board games together, listen to uplifting music, watch old family videos/family albums of them (they love that!), visit grandparents (we try to go weekly), read scriptures, have our family planning meetings, have a spiritual lesson and testimony meeting together, give service, visit neighbors, or maybe even take a nap. It really is a restful day, full of nice things together!
Teach your kids to Plan ahead. Yes, this is important! Any child can learn to plan ahead. Buy each kid a planner. They can write all of their school assignments and when they are due each week. Any large projects or assignments should be planned ahead. Does mom need to buy things for a project? How much time will it take? Will they need a parent or sibling’s help? Also, have them include any extracurricular activities that will take up their time: sporting activities, music lessons, youth activities, even play dates, etc.
Set up good habits for homework. Setting up routines will help your children get in the habit early of making education a priority and planning time for it, instead of procrastinating until Sunday night. We have always had the hour right after school for homework. Homework is done before play or electronics. My kids get to bed at a consistent time so they aren’t falling asleep in school and in Kindergarten they get an alarm clock so they can wake themselves up (my daughter still uses her Hello Kitty one). Each kid has a desk in their room but most of the homework they do on the kitchen table. It’s great when they need a sibling’s help. Here is my post on routines.
Keep a family calendar. We still use a giant paper calendar for everything. That just works for us. Some families share an online calendar. Figure out what works best for your family. Each week we have a family meeting and discuss the upcoming week. Any important family events, extracurricular activities where they need rides, or big homework assignments are written on this calendar. This helps us all be on the same page and to plan fun activities together when we aren’t busy.
“Faith in God engenders a love for the Sabbath; faith in the Sabbath engenders a love for God.”Russell M. Nelson
Focus. We have been greatly blessed by following the command to keep the Sabbath Day Holy. We should do things on the Sabbath that will help us honor God and help us be closer to him. Russell M. Nelson said to ask this question, “What sign will you give to the Lord to show your love for Him?” If you ask that question and really ponder it, you will know what you should or shouldn’t be doing on the Sabbath. Homework was something that I really felt strongly about not doing.
I have seen so many blessings come from keeping the Sabbath Holy…Good health, less stress=more fun and enjoyment together, a weekly day of peace, a nice brain break from the rigors of education and employment, we feel recharged, its a great time to reset our minds, it gives us more time to serve, my kids all get very good grades, knowledge and retention of that knowledge instead of just cramming at the last minute, the kids have learned better planning skills, we feel the Holy Ghost more, and seem to do better academically with less days. I think the greatest blessing is a closeness to God and greater appreciation for Him.
President James E. Faust advised, “I would counsel all students, if they can, to arrange their schedules so that they do not study on the Sabbath. If students and other seekers after truth will do this, their minds will be quickened and the infinite Spirit will lead them to the verities they wish to learn” (President James E. Faust, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 34). What a promise! I have seen this in my life!