Parents take different approaches when it comes to helping kids with homework. Some parents make an effort of ensuring homework is completed each night, and they take a “sink or swim” approach that allows kids to do their homework completely on their home. Some may check the homework to ensure it is done correctly, and others may let kids earn a grade based solely on their own efforts. Others will sit down with their kids and assist with every question, problem or task they are assigned.
Many parents wonder how much they should or should not be helping their kids with their homework. You may be wondering if not helping your kids fully is resulting in lower grades than other equally as intelligent and driven kids may be earning. You may be wondering if you are hurting your kids by assisting too much with homework. The fact is that each child is different, and the level assistance that is right for one may not be best for another one. This holds true for siblings within the same family, too. Consider these points:
Your Child’s Drive: Some kids are driven to solve problems perfectly every time, and they will not give up until they know they have the right answer. Others will simply throw down an answer without much care for getting the right answer or not. Kids who are motivated to find the right answer may need less assistance than others.
A Learning Experience: Teachers don’t assign homework because they want your child to help you keep your child busy at home in the evenings. They provide homework so that kids will learn. If parents are constantly doing their child’s homework for them, the result is that the child will suffer over the long-term. With this in mind, ensure that the method you are taking is assisting your child in some way. If your child likes to work alone, make sure that he or she arrived at the right answers. If he or she needs assistance, ensure that your child understands the concepts and is learning from the homework.
Ease Off: Younger kids who are new to doing homework may need help developing good study habits and working on homework on their own. You may need to be more hands-on with homework initially. However, as your kids get older, unless they have learning challenges, you likely can ease off to the point where you are uninvolved in their homework altogether. Once kids know how to do their homework and how to check over it on their own, you generally do not need to be involved in the process.
Here are a few other articles written by this author:
How Positive is Your Parenting?
Helping Your Kids Through Fights with Friends
Kids and Friend Drama: When to Step In