Help Kids With College Papers?

<p>Have any of you helped your kids with college work of any kind?</p>

<p>No. </p>

<p>In my opinion, a student who still needs help from his parents with college work is a student who is not ready for college.</p>

<p>My children started taking part-time courses at local colleges when they were quite young (age 13 and 14), but even then I didn't' think it appropriate for me to help them with their work.</p>

<p>I'd happily drive them over to the college to meet with a professor during office hours if they wanted help on a paper, but I refrained from helping them myself. If they wanted to work with a study group, again, I was happy to drop them off.</p>

<p>College is a place to learn from a community of peers and professors, not parents!</p>

<p>On occasion, my D would email me a draft of an essay, for general comments. More when she was a freshman than later. My S has done the same this semester. Because I am an English/writing instructor, I think they both see it as getting an informed reading, like going to a writing center. Both have bounced ideas off me often, too, when they are mulling a topic.</p>

<p>I know that it's not a matter of not being ready for college. If you have a reader you trust, why not make use of it? My H and I often ask each other to read what we write and offer opinions.</p>

<p>When my D was a freshman in Honors Chem, she also worked through some tough problems with her dad at one point. She also frequently participated in study groups on campus, talked to profs, etc.</p>

<p>I think a parent can tell whether or not the student had a deeper problem. We did not believe so, and I think circumstances proved us right.</p>

<p>I agree with garland. My son, currently a junior in high school, will usually give us his essays to proofread, mostly for typos, but once in a while my husband and I will discuss the content and the possibility of my son improving it. We don't tell him what to do or write, but discuss what he could do to make it better. I see this as teaching him. I believe once a student is in college, especially in the beginning, there is still nothing wrong with him or her asking another person, parent or other, to review an essay for content or typos... as long as it's a learning situation where the student is doing the actual work.</p>

<p>Just because a kid magically turns college age and enters college doesn't necessarily mean they mature on all levels at once! Most schools we've looked into offer tutoring... I don't see how that is any different than a parent giving guidance the way I've described.</p>

<p>My husband had a roommate during college who would send his rough drafts home for his Mom to edit and type. This was in the 70's. I thought that it was a bit much just because it was such an involved process.</p>

<p>I would teach organizational skills to my daughter when she was small but I only occasionally looked at the substance of her homework. I felt that her teachers needed to know what she could do on her own. As she got older and her homework was no longer about acquiring basic skills I was happy to look over a paper if she asked. Once in a while she will e-mail a paper home but she is more likely to run it by her roommate who is a comparative lit major.</p>

<p>I hope D emails me her papers when she's in college. I'm a former English/writing teacher so she sees me comments as somewhat valuable. And I think it would be another way for us to keep a strong connection going.</p>

<p>I, too, proofread my daughter's essay and application before she sent it in. I also helped her prepare for interviews by asking her questions she might encounter in the admissions office.</p>

<p>Other than that, she was on her own. It was up to her to schedule visits and interviews at the colleges, as well as follow up with any questions; to ask for teacher recommendations; to get paperwork to the guidance office; and to fill out and send the application before the deadline.</p>

<p>A friend, on the other hand, did all the work for her three children, including communicating with the admissions offices, filling out the applications and asking people to write letters of recommendation. "If I didn't do their applications, they would never get them in on time!" she proclaimed. All they had to do is write their essays - she did the rest. Yes, they got into good schools, including Ivy League.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, after they graduated, they had a difficult time surviving on their own. Now they're back home with Mom, who once again is doing everything for them.</p>

<p>Ihaven't proofread my daughters work since she was in elementary school, while she does occasionally bring me copies of her work to read and I welcome that, but she is much better at editing than I am.</p>

<p>Wow, not at all what I was expecting. Neighbor in dorm sends papers for review by his mother and we are all horrified! Will he do this in grad school? Send memos from the job?</p>

<p>No, but after we see his first semester grades we may both be wishing he had asked me to look at his papers! </p>

<p>I did proofread some of his college app essays, but some I never saw. He's always been on top of his homework and I rarely even knew what he had after elementary school. </p>

<p>I'm having to do a bit of a 'Jamimom' to teach some time management skills to the younger one. He's my uber procastinator and frequently underestimates how much time projects and papers will take. Not so much helping with the work but with getting it done.</p>

<p>"And I think it would be another way for us to keep a strong connection going."</p>

<p>I agree. That is why I love the rare occasions when my D does e-mail me a paper. She usually sends one when she knows that the topic would interest me or her Dad.</p>

<p>I don't get why it is horrifying. Wouldn't you ask a trusted friend or colleague to take a look at something and give you feedback? Why can't that person be a parent?</p>

<p>I don't edit, type, look for typos, etc. We discuss content, ideas, etc. Like adults. Which they are.</p>

<p>bobby, if he were to send essays to a tutor or a good friend, would you think differently?</p>

<p>I really think it's how it is handled that matters most. If it is just intelligent feedback, creates discussion and inspires the person doing the paper to improve it, I see that as a wonderful chance for learning. One where teachers just don't have the time... after all, they are in college to LEARN. If however, the parent types, or actually tells the child what to say, etc...that's obviously a very bad thing.</p>

<p>As for aspects regarding college application, etc., again, I think every student is different. Some have more take charge, mature personalities, some are not as organized and on top of those things. That doesn't mean they are not capable of being sucessful in college... they just may need a little help. I think for a parent to guide, not so much do, is fine... again, that is how people learn.</p>

<p>Feedback is fine. Alot of these people sound like they have serious detatchment disorders. I haven't given a paper to parents since 8th grade.</p>

<p>You know, as I'd mentioned above, many schools offer tutoring programs. Obviously, not everyone is perfect and can go it alone without some extra help. Some colleges even offer special help for students with learning disabilities. Some people, whether they've been diagnosed with such problems or not, are just more in need of some extra help. </p>

<p>Joev, you are one of the lucky ones that is so wonderfully independent and feels you need no help. You should be glad, but don't put people down. Another thing, in your statement above, you said: "Alot..." "Alot" is not a word... it is actually "A lot..."which is two separate words. Perhaps you should have had your mom or dad proofread some of your work in the past. Maybe they would have taught you that. :-)</p>

<p>Alot is actually an English word. In my eyes, if its in Webster's, its a word. I am in no way demeaning anyone, if my father was an English prof of course I would have him proofread a paper. Only an idiot wouldn't do that.</p>

<p>Fine. Use alot. Use it a lot. Let your English profs know that it is a word. I'm sure they'll appreciate the correction. :)</p>

<p>Bobby100: here we are again but now on this post. I gather you have a college child as do I. I have one that graduated from Harvard and one from PENN and one now at Carnegie Mellon. I have NEVER aided any of them with their assignments including the drafting and reading of papers. I must admit my second PENN son had a real hard time at PENN in engineering..but did better in the Arts and Sciences classes in his written work though I never thought he could even get into PENN's A and S program because of his miserable Verbal SAT score. At any rate, my belief is that you NEED to let go and allow them to negotiate the demands of college and a social life without that level of support. My suggestion is to hold back and wait to determine if they first will be asking you...I would not impose my desire to assist in any way. Just my thought! You perhaps want to read my earlier post re: allowing our kids to learn how to wing it and how to become more resilient as I am sure we would like them to be! I very much wanted to cut that umbilical cord....I wanted them to self-actualize.</p>

<p>Bobby100 asks if the kid will send memos from the job.</p>

<p>My husband and I run a very high-level national business, working with governments and corporations. We ALWAYS - and I mean ALWAYS - exchange work for proofreading. It is very, very hard to catch all your own mistakes - I can read something I read ten times and not see a typo, because my brain is telling me what to EXPECT, not what is THERE. In the business world, it can be a disaster to send out things with overlooked errors. Occasionally there are even grammatical errors, as when one writes a long sentence with many subordinate clauses and forgets that the subject was singular!</p>

<p>Before I had my own business, and worked for corporations, nonprofits, etc., people very often asked others to look over their work. It is important and sometimes absolutely necessary to make a good impression, and reports that are going to be published cannot contain errors.</p>

<p>So the answer is yes - I DO expect that if my children get almost any kind of job - for example, in scientific research - that they will ask others (me included) to look over important work.</p>

<p>There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a parent look over papers. At my son's (top ten) college, it is strongly recommended that SOMEONE - a roommate, someone in the writing lab, etc. - look over papers for errors one might have missed. I happen to get along with my kids extremely well, and I was a teacher/editor, so why not ask me? At the school where I volunteer, I often get handed papers that the writing lab has looked over, and I find blatant errors! So why not go to the best?</p>

<p>There is no reason to say things like "MY kids haven't need helped since they were 5 years old" or "I haven't shown anything to my parents since the Reagan administration." So what? Maybe you or your kids never make typos, but not everyone has that specific skill!</p>

<p>NOTE: if there are errors in my post, I don't care! This is a message board, not the State of the Union!</p>

<p>Edit: And I find it VERY funny that people think this is "not cutting the umbilical cord!"</p>

<p>Bobby100 asked if as parents we assisted our kids with their college papers. I don't know where the memoes from the job came from. I think I have come to the realization that I view college as a different experience than most on this board. I believe it is a time to self-actualize...and if you don't graduate at the top of the class so be it. You at least did it without parental influence. Now allowing a roommate to read a paper is something else. That connotes to me learning how to learn and profit from others...cooperative learning so to speak. I would feel rather uncomfortable if my child received a poor grade as a result of my input. HE should begin to come to terms with his own shortcomings on his well as his strengths, I might add.</p>