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


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

  • socowondersocowonder Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    I agree also. My child is in High school and an A student. I quiz her on her AP World and help her with any comprehension difficulties in the lengthy reading assignments. Her teacher has no time to go through the assigned material in class, so if I didn't to it with her, no-one would. My partner helps her with math and chem -- mostly checking her homework when it is finished and showing her which problems she needs to rethink. Then my daughter does them over. Again, they don't go over all the HW problems in class so helping her at home is key. I worry about how much we help her sometimes but also rationalize that many of her peers have tutors. And we do not do her work for her, but show her what she has not clearly understood, which is usually minor.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,599 Senior Member
    @socowonder I think what you guys do for your daughter sounds great. You're not going to school and taking tests for her, so she has to perform at the end of the day. I think maximizing the learning opportunities can only position her for more success in the future. She will probably continue to shine in college. And there are lots of free tutoring resources in college that she will have to help her when she needs it. I think being able to recognize when you need help and ask for help when you need it is key, and sounds like you have set her up well.
  • havenoideahavenoidea Registered User Posts: 141 Junior Member
    When each of my kids got their first textbook in third grade, I helped them learn how to study the first chapter. After that, they were on their own; we never helped them study again. I'd tell them I'd already been to x grade, and it was their turn. They learned long ago to go to teachers for help, and figure out 99.9% of homework problems on their own (they'll look up questions on khan academy; in fact, last yr, my S's physics/Chem 1 teacher was terrible and he had to teach himself both subjects by reading the textbooks, using the internet, and studying with his twin sister who had a different teacher). I think it does kids a disservice if you help them study, etc. How will they do it themselves in college?
  • socowondersocowonder Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thanks collegemomjam! Good to hear that you think that amount of help is not unreasonable. I remember my own high school days when I slogged through it all myself. BUT the stakes were a lot lower and the work less onerous.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,863 Senior Member
    "I think it does kids a disservice if you help them study, etc. How will they do it themselves in college?"

    That's a gross over generalization, studies for years have shown that parents being involved in their kids' educatio benefits the kids, wrt what they learned and grades. Teachers have told parents in back to school nights, they'd like them to help their kids study vocabulary before a quiz. Should they ignore that and say, hey since you're on your own in college, don't expect help from me. No, most parents are eager to help out with things like that.

    And, in most STEM classes in college, solving problems is more important than learning the theory, so I tell kids if you have only a hour to study, do the chapter review problems. I doubt that's doing a disservice to them.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,878 Senior Member
    I would echo the difference between teaching and helping for the sake of learning, versus for grades.

    Some of us have mediocre school systems with mediocre, overwhelmed teachers.

    If I hadn't taught them math facts, they would never have known them and college math would have been tough. They learned to write at home: teachers never ever went over a paper.

    One of my kids has some learning disabilities and after hours of studying, still though the revolution happened in England not here. Of course I told her the real story. She went back to the studying with that in mind.

    It is a tricky balance but the point of education is to learn. Grades are not the point of education, just a measure of how it is going. Every parent I know understands that a lot of the education has to happen at home.
  • yucca10yucca10 Registered User Posts: 734 Member
    My rule of thumb is - if you would have helped your spouse or a good friend with it, it's unreasonable to withdraw help from your kid. So if a friend takes a class in a subject in which I am proficient, and has trouble understanding, of course I will help if she asks and won't tell her to go to her teachers. Naturally I won't do her homework either.
  • mountain88mountain88 Registered User Posts: 16 Junior Member
    I feel extremely lucky we have not had to help much with homework other than quizzing for memorized facts. I can no longer remember high school math.
  • Leigh22Leigh22 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    I last helped my kids with homework when they were in elementary school.
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 2,937 Senior Member
    I get paid to help other people's kids with chem, physics and math. I don't know why I'd deny it to my kids.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,599 Senior Member
    I am pretty useless to my kids with their homework....I majored in Economics in college and have an MBA and still can't help my son with his AP Econ, even if I wanted to.
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