right arrow
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: ski_racer, a high-achiever in high school, was rejected by some of the elite schools she applied to. This rejection was the best thing that happened to her as she got to choose her own path. Learn how she fell in love with her safety school, ASK HER ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our August Checklist for HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

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

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert 511 replies3091 threads CC Admissions Expert
"... — How do your parents — or, perhaps, a tutor or older sibling — help you with schoolwork? Do they read over or edit your essays? When you’re stuck on a math problem, do they get involved? Do they work with you on projects or help you study for tests? Do they help you in other ways, too, by making sure you are organized or reminding you not to procrastinate?" ...

Student opinion.

111 replies
· Reply · Share

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

  • bjkmombjkmom 7948 replies160 threads Senior Member
    I teach math and my husband teaches English. It's VERY rare that our kids will ask us for help at all.
    · Reply · Share
  • oldfortoldfort 23509 replies308 threads Senior Member
    My kid built a pyramid by using marshmallows and toothpicks (I think she ate most of marshmallows). A kid turned in a pyramid with (colorful) ceramic tiles.
    · Reply · Share
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl 2845 replies106 threads Senior Member
    I always figured their homework was just that...their homework. If they needed guidance, sure. But I didn't correct it, only checked to make sure it was done, and that was only in elementary school. In high school, my D would occasionally ask me to read a paper or help with grammar but other than that...again, their homework.
    · Reply · Share
  • BearHouseBearHouse 462 replies1 threads Member
    We never helped with schoolwork. We also never checked their work for any errors nor did we offer advice.
    · Reply · Share
  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 1002 replies7 threads Senior Member
    For me if varies. For instance in lower grades I had no problem going over math facts and spelling words as we walked 10 minutes back/forth to school because my kids liked that over studying alone at home and it worked well for them.

    I have a 9th grader and college freshman. Now I might quiz my high schooler on facts for a quiz/test like vocabulary. I might proofread a paper if asked. If my daughter has a basic question for math or science she knows she can ask my husband for help or to check something. If a math problem is confusing her my husband may do one problem with her which may be all she needs to independently do the rest correctly but if she needs more intensive help she is encouraged to talk to her teacher. I would say the biggest thing I do is encourage/suggest starting work earlier but she still believes procrastination is better.
    · Reply · Share
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24972 replies20 threads Senior Member
    When my kids were in 1st grade, I think they were supposed to do 10 minutes of homework per night. One would finish in 4 minutes if it meant she could go read and didn't have to do math. The other? She hadn't even started in 10 minutes. She needed the right pencil, to have a snack, to go to the bathroom and wash her hands. She needed a different pencil, to ask 5 questions about the 5 questions she was supposed to answer. She'd still be there if I didn't help.

    As life went on, the '4 minute kid' continued to do 4 minutes of homework and the other continued to take much longer than any other kid to do the homework.

    On the other hand, they did show up in 4th grade with the 'Pilgrim's Village' project they'd made themselves with milk cartons covered with pine needles and sticks while another kid had houses with mitered corners and some professional looking artwork. I think the teacher knew who had done the work at our house and who had done the work at Becca's house.
    · Reply · Share
  • doschicosdoschicos 26832 replies269 threads Senior Member
    "some professional looking artwork"

    Surprisingly, sometimes that excellent artwork is done by the child. I had one of those kids and kiddo's artistic skills and creativity even in 4th grade were superior to many adults. Yes, parents involvement is often noticeable but not always. Of course, the teachers knew about this kid's strengths so I doubt they questioned it. Teachers know who can do what.

    · Reply · Share
  • FallGirlFallGirl 8514 replies28 threads Senior Member
    I have a story about artwork. Both of my kids always insisted on doing the creative projects by themselves with no help. So their projects always looked "perfectly imperfect" next to the obviously parent done projects. Then when D was in 5th grade, I showed up a bit early to a program her class was putting on and was looking over some classroom done posters. I noticed that two posters were much nicer than the others- one done by a child who is very talented artistically and (you know where this is going), the other done by D. :)
    · Reply · Share
  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 4179 replies30 threads 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.
    · Reply · Share
  • oldfortoldfort 23509 replies308 threads 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.
    · Reply · Share
  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1218 replies3 threads Senior Member
    edited October 2018
    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.
    edited October 2018
    · Reply · Share
  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1796 replies2 threads Senior 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.
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity