Our kids' after-school hours mix media with family, reading & sports

March 20, 2018




"Doing homework?" Really? Yes, really. This is the #1 activity that 65% of American children engage in after school. 


As if to counter that figure, 64% report watching TV or movies as chief among after-school activities. 


Then comes 56% reporting "engaging with family members." Some 42% play video games. "This is reported much more among children ages 9–12 (48%) and 13–17 (49%) than younger children," says Barna.


What a battle! Good habits versus not-so-good in a struggle for our children's minds and hearts.


This poll by Barna of children between ages 4 and 17 isn't like a pie chart where a theoretical child offers up the slices of what he or she does each day after school. Instead, it's a measure of what 1,021 children report doing after school. Any child age 4-17 may report any combination of those activities in this poll.


So you might find a child who does homework and then extracurricular activities or classes, while another child "hangs out with friends," is "on social media or texting with friends," and "engaging with family members"--that's a relational kid for sure.


States Barna, "More than one-quarter (27%) spend their free time on social media or texting with friends, though this is primarily an activity among the 13–17 age group (48%). Half as many 9–12 year olds (25%) do the same, as well as only 13 percent of those eight or younger. One in four (25%) spend time browsing online, another activity dominated by teens."


Only 8% of children report reading the Bible/devotions/prayer after school. Actually, that seems pretty good/encouraging for the general American population these days, as the Bible is progressively considered by young people to be simply a good book rather than anything special.








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MississippiMatters is a news blog of cooperative writers, videographers and podcasters published by  The Well Writers Guild, a 501c3 devoted to mentoring Mississippi writers and to addressing uncovered or under-covered topics.  MississippiMatters focuses on offering creative "takes" on our state's culture, ideas, events and more.