Increasing competitiveness and assignment overload are causing some parents to do their children’s homework for them. This is one of the biggest long-term mistakes a parent can make when it comes to a child’s educational development. We share advice about what truly helps kids and what doesn’t. Read tips below.
HOMEWORK DO’S AND DON’TS:
DON’T: Tell your child the answers. This sends the message that someone will bail him out when faced with a challenge.
DO: Help your child get started on tasks and brainstorm ideas for projects. Ask what topics are of interest to him.
DON’T: Let your kid watch TV, take phone calls or make pit stops at the refrigerator during homework time.
DO: Provide your child with a space in the house that is clean, well lit and set aside especially for doing homework.
DON’T: nag or bully your child into getting homework done. Pestering most often breeds resentment, not motivation.
DO: praise your child. Educators say that effort is more important than success. Be sure to applaud small milestones.
DON’T: Bribe your child to do homework by offering money or gifts. This teaches kids to work only for compensation.
DO: Acknowledge homework that is well done, but instead of gifts, let her pick an activity, such as a trip to the zoo.
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One of the great benefits of homework is to keep parents engaged in what kids are doing. Knowing that your kids have homework and what the expectations of the teachers are on that homework is important. As kids get older you may not know every piece of homework they do, but you should have some sense of teachers’ expectations for your students work. However, parents are not supposed to do kids homework. Being engaged in it vs. doing it are two different things. Just because you’re involved doesn’t mean you should do your kids’ work for them.
- One of the goals of homework is to practice something raised in class. If you do their work for them they don’t get this opportunity.
- Another goal of homework is to offer kids a chance to work independently, which is something they need to learn how to do. Homework teaches an independent learning style. For example, a long-term science fair project that your kid is supposed to work on over a couple of months involves taking a problem, taking it apart and accomplishing a goal. If a parent jumps in on the last night and does it, the child lost all the opportunity for planning and independent work that teachers were hoping to achieve. 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.
- As parents you try to teach kids a sense of responsibility and when you rescue them by doing their work for them, especially if they left it for the last minute and now won’t complete it in time, you rob them of the lesson of responsibility.