Should You Help with Homework?

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 by 2 Comments
Should You Help with Homework?

To a certain extent, all parents should expect to be called upon to help with their children’s homework at some point.

In the early years, you’ll need to listen to them read aloud and later on you may need to translate some math directions. You may even need to provide some assistance with a science project.

The question is, is there ever a time you shouldn’t help with homework?

There are two times, as far as I am concerned, that parents absolutely should not help with homework.

The first is when you are the type of person who gives your child the answer. The whole point of homework (which I don’t believe in, by the way) is to give children extra practice with new concepts or those that they are having problems with.

If you help them by giving the answer, they aren’t learning the concept and you aren’t helping them at all.

The second example of when you shouldn’t help is if you are one of those parents who gets frustrated and angry if the child doesn’t get the concept, or if you are terrible about explaining how to do something. I homeschool and when I was busy, my kids would occasionally go to their dad for help with some of their work.

He was one of those people that not only explained things in the longest way possible – he also got frustrated when they didn’t get a concept. That does more harm than good. Anger almost always makes a kid feel stupid, and lengthy explanations just cause kids to mentally check out.

If you have to help your child with homework, you should explain the how-to in the most succinct way possible and leave it until your child asks for more help. Let him learn the problem solving skills that you obviously have already developed.

photo credit: USAGYongsan via photopin cc

Posted in: Parenting
Marye Audet

Marye Audet is an author, freelance writer, and editor. As a work at home mom she has a unique perspective that encompasses the overwhelming deadlines and commitments of the professional woman as well as the constantly changing needs of a homeschooling mom with a large family. She is the author of one cook book and the creator of Restless Chipotle Media, a network consisting of two food based blogs, a blog for “women of a certain age”, a video site on Youtube, and upcoming blog on kitchen decor, and downloadable eBooks. Marye also is a freelance writer, editor, and book reviewer.

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  • Penny W.

    Good points. I usually ask my child to describe the problem to me, and what about it is confusing to them. Often by taking the role of “teacher” to explain it to me, they realize what they need to do and figure it out quickly from there. Otherwise I try to ask leading questions, and if that fails, tell them to move forward on other work and ask the teacher for more help the next day.

  • Adventures In Babywearing

    I definitely assist if I can and even delegate one of my older kids to help along (sometimes just my helping is annoying to them and their siblings ease it along!)