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Do Parents Ever Cross a Line by Helping Too Much With Schoolwork?

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Replies to: Do Parents Ever Cross a Line by Helping Too Much With Schoolwork?

  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 Registered User Posts: 3,852 Senior Member
    My daughter almost never did typical homework at home. Always got it done at school. But where projects were involved, she did them at home, and she often asked for her father to help with certain things such as power drilling holes in pipes for a science project, spray painting a statue for a history project, or burning the edge of a drawn map to make it look old, etc. They were her projects, and she had her vision, but liked help when power tools and fire were involved.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,309 Senior Member
    D1 was failing introductory physics in 5th grade, so I decided to step in. It was so painful later on all I had to do was to offer my help and she would magically start doing better in the class. But I have to say she did ace the class and later on became a STEM student - all to my credit. :)
    My kids never liked my help with their homework.
  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 Registered User Posts: 980 Member
    edited October 18
    Do your parents or a tutor ever meddle too much in your work so that the final product doesn’t feel like your own?

    This is the key takeaway from the article. Do I help with homework? Yes, when asked. However, that help means that I either guide my kids to come to their own conclusions by asking a series of questions or I do very basic copyedits. I never rewrite essays and I never try to take their voices away.

    The article mentioned the world "henceforth" which I know was the subject of another thread here. Using the word, "henceforth," isn't the issue in and of itself. For some students, that may be a common word. However, when the teacher knows the student doesn't have the word in his vernacular and it suddenly shows up in an essay, it becomes obvious that the student didn't write the essay.
  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom Registered User Posts: 758 Member
    @wellspring I could have written your post! My son always struggled; we overstepped I"m sure many times. Our daughter rarely asks for help and it a great student. S has gotten better - he's a sophomore in college doing much better than he did in HS, but I still worry every day about him academically!

    My husband teaches in the district where my daughter goes to high school. Now that she's into Chem and Alg2, she does occasionally ask for his help on something she doesn't get, but she doesn't like to ask for help. Ironic, since my husband probably makes more than his annual salary in tutoring fees. Does hiring a tutor to help count?? My daughter is in the clear minority by not having a tutor.
  • mom2andmom2and Registered User Posts: 2,527 Senior Member
    As other have said, context matters. Yes it would be better if every teacher was willing/able to go over a problem that stumped your child and really explain it. But that doesn't always happen. Helping a kid work through a math problem is one thing, doing it for them is crossing the line. Teachers don't always even check every homework problem.

    We didn't help much with homework, except if one of the kids was doing poorly in a subject or was clearly stuck.
  • momocarlymomocarly Registered User Posts: 631 Member
    @wellspring I wil say the same. My daughter always struggled and yes, we overstepped sometimes. She is a child that has an emotional disorder, can't focus, severe depression, and school and homework were severe triggers. She honestly barely made it through high school. Now she is doing more on her own, she is still very behind. The times we didn't help her she just didn't do it or learn anything from failure, other than that she should just give up and went further into depression. Even her therapists and school were telling us to do what we could to have her do the most she could and get her through high school. That type of child is hard. Due to this, her brother got almost no help at all! He could handle it and is doing great in college.

    For him, I remember one time I did some of his work. APUSH, teacher got a brain tumor and had to leave after a month of school. He had 8 different teachers for the rest of the year. Horrible. He had a major polocrosse tournament out of town one weekend that we knew was coming and he worked all his work ahead for. On Wed. the APUSH sub changed a major project entirely. He had followed the rubric and it was almost done. The sub saw the classes progress and changed everything (sent a note home documenting this). Son's writing was done but now she wanted it in terms of a story. I gave him an idea that had minimal rewriting - not a big deal. BUT she decided that of the 52 pictures required, only 5 could be printed or from magazines and the other had to be hand drawn and quality of the drawing counted. My son cannot draw anything other than stick figures to this day. He talked to her (as did most of the class), no relief. And it was all due Monday morning. It had to be bound as a book meeting all kinds of requirements. We were leaving Friday right after school and were in the middle of nowhere. He did all he could but yes I outlined the pictures and in his breaks in the tournament he colored. I printed his writing and glued it for him (all his writing). Every parent complained. On Sunday night at 10 pm (after his was finished, she changed the deadline). I missed seeing the tournament, he missed all the tournament events, and this happened. Yes after the next week she never returned. He still talks about that project!
  • bjscheelbjscheel Registered User Posts: 317 Member
    I helped a lot with math. Probably too much but they did well on tests without me so I assume they did learn better by having me explain things instead of just letting them struggle.
  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 338 Member
    My kids' peers get so much help from tutors that my kids joke about how they are actually in class with a bunch of out of work PhDs. Also, I vividly remember being at a school board meeting where one parent loudly complained about having to hire a tutor to help her second grader with math. All I could think was "really, you'd admit that you don't know enough math to help your second grader?"!
  • Momma2018Momma2018 Registered User Posts: 372 Member
    LOL - those elementary school projects were always a hoot. DS18 would always have some grand idea in mind and be so disappointed in the result. I would buy supplies with him but that was it. I am less artistic than he is so he never asked for my help. Then, the school would often have a day for parents to come in and see the projects. I would say at least half the class looked like they had gotten parent help. Either that, or some 4th graders were very skilled at woodworking!
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 815 Member
    I proofread DD's work when she asks, but that isn't often. I'll tell her, "You made three punctuation mistakes in this paragraph. See if you can find them." or "You changed tenses twice in this paragraph. Pick one." I feel like her teachers can't complain about that. She can make mistakes - and learn from those mistakes - without the fear or penalty of a bad grade. Over the years her writing has gotten very good, so I think that method has helped.

    Forget math. I haven't been able to help her with that in a while.
  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 Registered User Posts: 980 Member
    Also, I vividly remember being at a school board meeting where one parent loudly complained about having to hire a tutor to help her second grader with math. All I could think was "really, you'd admit that you don't know enough math to help your second grader?"!

    Second grade, multiplying fractions:

    Kid: "Can you show me how to do this?"
    Me: "Sure!" and proceeds to show her how to cross multiply fractions.
    Kid: "That's now how my teacher said to do it."
    Me: "Well, then, you're on your own."

    I still don't know what method the teacher was using to multiply fractions, but I secretly used cross multiplication to check my kids' work.
  • allyphoeallyphoe Registered User Posts: 1,796 Senior Member
    Kid: I got full points in my English assignment, but the teacher marked every sentence up. What am I doing wrong?
    Me: I interpret the comments in conjunction with the grade as, "this is a good first draft; here's how you can tighten it up."
    Kid: Can you mark up my next assignment so I can revise it before I turn it in?

    So I did, and asked her to take both the draft with my comments and the final version in, and ask the teacher whether she agreed with the changes I suggested. Teacher apparently got a good laugh out of it - she said that the extraneous words I'd crossed out in the first sentence were the same ones she was crossing out in every single kid's first sentences.
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,271 Senior Member
    S was able to just get it done on his own and id quite well. Very structured and focused. D always wanted my help with math. Used to cause strife in our house. Would have been easy for me to just help her with it to get it done, but I refused.She'd ask for help. I'd read the problem and ask, "What don't you understand?" She'd say the whole thing. I'd say read it to me and tell me specifically what you don't get. Do you not understand the words? She'd say no I just don't get the concept. Which concept I'd ask. And then she'd explain the concept (which she clearly understood). So I would say, see you know how to do this and then she'd do it. She was just being lazy and didn't want to.

    I can easily see why a parent would take over because that was quite painful after a long day but she doesn't ask anymore :-*
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