If you’re a parent of a school-aged child, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. Naturally, you want your child to do well in school. But at what point is your involvement helpful, and when can it be harmful?
“One of the great benefits of homework is to keep parents engaged in what kids are doing,” said Diane Salvatore of Ladies’ Home Journal in an interview with NBC News. Homework time can be an excellent opportunity for parents to impress the value of learning and to encourage a positive attitude towards homework.
However, Salvatore points out that “Being able to do homework at home is a way for kids to be alone with their work and be self motivated — two things they can’t learn in school.” Giving your children too much help—like providing them with the answers—means they don’t get the chance to practice these skills.
For some parents, helping their children can mean allowing them fail. In a post on alphamom.com, one mother blogged about an incident in which her eldest son waited until the night before a long-term assignment was due to start working on it.
“It would have been easy to do the work for him, to write the essays, or to spoon feed him the answers,” she writes. “I wanted to help him. I wanted him to get a good grade. I also wanted him to be capable, independent, and confident in his own abilities. In the end I went to bed and left him sitting at the kitchen table working.”
Parents, what are your thoughts? Do you help your children with their homework, and how much?
Teachers, to what extent (if any) do you feel comfortable allowing parents to help their children with homework?