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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?

  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 841 Member
    Never helped, never will. IF kids gets really stuck on a question ( maybe once a month), then they ask for clarification. My role at that point, is to redirect and send them in the right direction regarding resources ( like the teacher), online info etc.

    That being said, I do check in. A lot. What's coming up? How did you do? Did you ask to meet with the teacher? Maybe you need to carve out more time for that subject, etc.

    My kiddos have always been A students but one is organized and a self starter, the other is a procrastinator.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,599 Senior Member
    Encouraging your kids to seek help from teachers/peers is great guidance, and we do it too. My kids often go in earlyif they are lost, and most teachers are happy to help before, at lunch, and after school. This is all part of the parental guidance, that I think kids need and deserve. I consider this being "hands on".
  • mom2twogirlsmom2twogirls Registered User Posts: 1,930 Senior Member
    I think there is a balance to be found between helping too much and being negligent. I also think that point isn’t the same for each family.

    For mine, I helped with spelling words and math facts in elementary, aside from supplementing my kids’ learning (ie I taught them to read before kindergarten, taught them how to multiply in kindergarten since they were curious).
    In middle school, I helped them the most with editing papers and with just talking things out. I also “quizzed” them before tests using study sheets they would make. They appreciated (mostly) my editing. My younger daughter actually brought a friend’s writing home for me to edit once, since the teacher was too busy to help everyone and the friend’s parents apparently had no interest in helping. By late middle school, my kids still had me check over their writing, but had also noticed when doing “peer editing” in the classroom, that other kids really appreciated their help. My kids insist that they learned how to edit from watching me do it with them.
    In high school, I’m mostly the sounding board and quizzer. A tiny bit of editing, but almost solely for typos. The majority of being the sounding board is when they are stuck, they will explain the problem to me and the steps they have taken.... almost always when they do that, they figure out where they went wrong. Very occasionally, I will ask them a question that inadvertently triggers an aha moment (ie I’m asking them what something means because I truly don’t know, and while explaining it, they will realize whatever they had missed). Every once in a great while, I actually really just know something and can tell them, while doing a victory dance.
  • bookwormbookworm Registered User Posts: 8,532 Senior Member
    Geez, I helped my kid with craft/ artsy projects. If he was assigned with a group, they worked in my house, or one particular friends house.

    I recall asking a teacher why son couldn’t do his covers and pictures from computer graphics, she wanted them hand drawn. Please, in HS?

    And my son helped me with computer spreadsheets and graphs. It is rare that I can help him.
  • lmkikerlmkiker Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I was the parent who always swore I wouldn't do my kid's homework. By second grade, I was barely even asking about it; she did it before I got home from work (either at the after school program, or eventually at home when she started walking home from school).
    Fast forward to high school. She's a junior, and for the first time, I am much more involved in her work than I ever thought I would be. I don't check everything, nor do I do assignments for her. But I can't imaging NOT helping with homework when she doesn't understand pre-calc or physics. They don't get graded assignments back, so it's not like I could wait and explain it after. Plus, in many cases these are due on the day of a test or quiz; if I won't explain how to do it, she then doesn't know how to solve the problems on the test. She also asks my husband to help her study English and History quite a bit, which he does. Every kid is different; we are helping mine to the extent she needs.
    For projects, I usually don't help. Her end product turns out far less professional than I would be comfortable with, but it is her work. But for normal homework, if a kid doesn't understand, I think it is completely reasonably to help them. The teacher should be doing it, but she has one who makes things more rather than less confusing when asked for help, and others who don't make the time to meet with students 1:1 who are struggling.
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,916 Senior Member
    edited November 3
    Schoolwork? We NEVER saw the schoolwork of our older child. He worked on it here and there, at random moments. We only learned of some of the papers he wrote when he cleaned out his backpack and left papers sitting on the table. He generally mixed his hobby time with his schoolwork time, so when he was using the computer we just let him go. For your younger child, we occasionally talked to her about her assignments. She was planning to be an artist and tried to use art as a supplement to the other projects she had to complete (e.g., book reports). So we saw the art. But otherwise we didn't work WITH her on it.

    In general, if the kids are self-sufficient and have time-management ability -- and they complete their assignments on time -- there isn't a lot of monitoring for parents to do. They may learn about the need for more monitoring or assistance by attending teacher-parent conferences. They may learn about the need for more art supplies by speaking to their artist-child!
  • MusakParentMusakParent Registered User Posts: 695 Member
    Some kids develop time management and executive function faster than others. As long as you're marching toward adulthood and the skills are coming YMMV. My daughter was born a planner. My son has needed a secretary at times but is very successful with dual enroll classes now with us completely hands off.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,599 Senior Member
    I completely agree some develop the time management skills faster than others. I do feel like this is an area parents can help their children with if and when they need it.

    We used to have to sit on my son but it finally clicked and he is overall very good at managing his time now, as a high school junior with a pretty rigorous schedule. He slips every now and then and has to stay up late or scramble last minute, but these moments are few and far between now which is reassuring knowing that he will be on his own at college in less than two years.
  • PostmodernPostmodern Registered User Posts: 1,179 Senior Member
    "I have never seen a student that was a B student in elementary that became a top student later on."

    Read Stephen Hawking's last book, "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" and he describes how he went from a B student to the greatest mind since Einstein.

    Hard work and determination can bloom at different times, IMHO.

    (ps not trying to be argumentative, I know it is still rare and we are talking about Hawking, the rarest of minds. Also, the book is great!)
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,232 Senior Member
    My roommate's boyfriend almost flunked third grade because he couldn't read. (Undiagnosed dyslexia.) He majored in economics, graduating summa cum laude from Harvard and went to med school. He never read a book for pleasure, but he was very, very smart.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,599 Senior Member
    My husband was an average student at best in high school and just got his act together in college and did great. Passed the CPA exam on the first shot and has made a very nice career for himself. I definitely think getting good grades creates opportunities for you, but there are lots of paths to success and people blossom at different times. Sometimes it's just a conscious decision to make more effort.
  • MusakParentMusakParent Registered User Posts: 695 Member
    There can be many reasons why a kid might not hoop jump for an elementary school teacher and be highly successful later in life. Many profoundly gifted students are not good candidates for traditional schooling. All grades mean in elementary school are that your kid is willing to jump through hoops.
  • mjk050607mjk050607 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Every kid is different, and at the middle school and high school level, if the parent is able to help a struggling child in the subject matter, it's a blessing, as you can avoid having to hire a tutor. Sometimes, the teacher is not great, so not helping your children just sets them up for failure.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,599 Senior Member
    @mjk050607 I completely agree. And there is a difference between helping/teaching and doing work for your child. If they are struggling and the parent is able to help them work through a problem, why not? Especially if the student is trying hard and being responsible.
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