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However, evidence suggests that the quality of homework help also matters.
After seeing headlines such as "Why It's So Important You Never Help Your Kids With Their Homework" and "Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework," moms, dads and other caregivers can be left wondering whether they should even bother. Together with sociologist Angran Li, I set out to make sense of this conflicting guidance. The basis for claims that parental help with homework can be bad for students comes from research examining national surveys.
These studies find that frequent homework help from parents is associated with lower test scores.
The first step, especially with kids 13 and under, is to have them do their homework at a communal space, like a dining room or kitchen table.
If other children are in the home, they can all do their homework at the same table, and the parent can sit nearby to support the work effort.
Instead, they should let their children figure out answers on their own while offering helpful hints and positive feedback as needed.
Although parents should always consider their child's individual learning needs, researchers say that parents should gradually reduce homework help as their children grow older, probably phasing out direct assistance with homework by the time their children reach high school.
We find little evidence to support this presumption.
On national surveys, low-income and minority families report helping their children with homework frequently. Quality counts It is important to point out that our study looked at the frequency of homework help from parents.
But this finding does not necessarily mean that moms and dads do harm when they help with homework.
When children are struggling in school, parents may step in to help more often.