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How much homework help from friends and family is appropriate?

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

This is a question that parents are faced with as long as their children are in school. There is no simple of answer. It depends on many factors, such as the number of children you have, the amount of time the parent can set aside for the child, the child’s IQ level, the child’s interest level in studies, the child’s ability to absorb educational inputs, etc. However, the bottom line would be that as the student graduates from elementary school to middle school and to high school, the number of hours of time spent helping him with homework should steadily come down. Parents should encourage children to be able to handle their work  on their own (to the extent possible), and look for help only when it is absolutely essential.

One positive method of helping children with homework is to position oneself as a dependable resource to answer specific questions. Parents should make an effort to answer the child’s questions. In addition, parents may wish to consider engaging a tutor to fill in knowledge gaps and plan the student’s work.

However, under no circumstances should parents do any part of the child’s homework, such as project work, even if it helps them receive high grades or accolades. When parents do some part of the child’s homework, the child will begin to increasingly depend on parental assistance. The child would begin to expend less and less physical and mental effort on homework. Also, when an elder sibling does a child’s homework, it would be unfair to the other children in the class who would be taking pains to do the work on their own, as they may not get the high grades or accolades that they rightfully deserve. The student would miss out in terms of learning about the importance of ‘fair play’ in life, and could also damage a student’s self confidence. That would be a setback in the growth and development of the student.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2009 at 4:31 pm and is filed under Homework. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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