or to jump in to help with homework at the first sign of struggle, especially if our children aren’t forthcoming about their workload or issues they’re having in class.
And on top of that, when our students struggle with motivation, it’s common for them to do the bare minimum or avoid homework altogether. We end up enabling our children by constantly checking to see what homework is due, and helping them get it done on time, even though this task should be their job.
Ultimately the question we’re asking is: Should parents help with homework? It’s one of the first questions we get from the parents we work with, so we put together a guide that you can use to find an answer that works for your family.
Below is a breakdown of when it makes sense to lend a hand, and how to do it effectively. Then we’ll outline some more general recommendations on what to do.
” Then, instead of fully leaving it to them to work it out, open up a dialogue and try to let them come up with the steps. As they get the hang of it, you can help less and less over time.
But don’t be afraid to help the process along when they’re young. I recently spoke to one mom who called our office in Fairfax looking for a tutor. She was making it a regular practice to tap into her freshman son’s school portal each day and print out his assignments so they would be ready for him when he came home from school. They’ll never have the opportunity to develop the skills they’ll need to do that if you don’t set the stage for them to do these things on their own.Set the timer for 15 minutes at first, and let your child know that if they work as hard as they can for that 15 minutes, they get to take a 5-minute break when it’s done.Then repeat that process, slowly increasing the working time up to 25 minutes. First, set the expectation: they need to record there assignments somewhere.Before they know it, the assignment is done, their confidence is up, and they’re onto the next thing. Then (and this is the key) allow to choose how they’d like to do that.Whether it’s a good old fashioned pencil and paper in a planner or agenda book, or by using an app on their phone, when kids get to choose the method, they’re much more likely to follow through.Here are some easy organization tips you can implement in addition to recording assignments.As it turns out, this problem is actually very similar in nature to the “Super Bowl Kids” problem, in that students often procrastinate more the larger the project.When your child starts a math assignment, it’s a great idea to make sure she understands the directions and watch her do the first few problems so she’s off to a good start and knows how to solve them.A parent’s job is to make sure a child’s homework is complete, but not to critique it for accuracy – that’s the teacher’s job.Here’s what we recommend: Like I mentioned above, kids who are elementary school age haven’t fully developed their executive functioning skills, and so aren’t quite ready to go it alone when it comes to planning and working through long assignments independently.All this means in practice is that when you know there’s an assignment coming up, sit down with them and ask “What are the steps you’re going to need to do to complete this ?