Kids and Homework

Are you one of this? - Or do you let your child work on their own?
@SViswan (12072)
India
February 8, 2008 7:15am CST
Do you sit with your kids as they do their homework? Or do you let them do it on their own and help them when they need you? How important do you think is a parent's involvement in a child's homework?
12 people like this
53 responses
• United States
8 Feb 08
I sit with my 5 and 6 year old and watch everything they do when they are doing their homework. I make my 11 yr old sit at the table and do hers while I am making dinner or doing something on the computer but I don't bother her unless she asks for my help. After she finishes I read whatever it is she has done to make sure it is right. (The things you don't realize you have forgotten until you read them again in a 6th grade text book) If she misses something I make her do it again. My mother used to ask me as I was coming in the door from school if I had homework and I would ALWAYS say no. She never once opened my book bag to check for herself. The only reason I was such a good student was because stupid people (like my mother) started annoying me at an early age and I was determined to never turn out like them. The more a parent is involved in all aspects of their childrens lives the better the chances those children have not only in school but in life. Another great discussion! Wow, you are on a role this morning.
3 people like this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
8 Feb 08
lol...thanks and it's Friday night here in India! One of my parents would watch me do homework when I was little. But after my sister was born(when I was 7), I would do my homework on my own. Exams - my mom would help me prepare. When my sister started school, I'd my homework and studying on my own and didn't go to my parents for help. My now 7 year old never wanted me to be around when he did his homework and I was glad. I spent the time after he did his homework doing craft or reading something he was interested in. Now he does his homework on his own and comes to me only when he needs help. When he has projects to do, we work at it together. As soon as he comes home, I ask him if he has homework and most of the time I get a shrug as reply. An hour later I find him doing his homework on his own and I check his work and make him re-do anything that isn't right (which is rare). His school insists on the parent signing the almanac where they have each day's work jotted down and I sign it only when I'm sure he is done with his work. You are absolutely right importance of parents in a child's life and how that helps the child in school and in life. But I've also seen kids whose parents weren't educated and couldn't really help the kids...but they still made sure that the kids did their work and grew up to be great people.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
8 Feb 08
When our boys were going to school, they did their own homework and we helped out when they asked. Of course, me being horrible at math, my husband did that end, and me being good at literature and spelling, I did that part, but really our sons were so smart that they did not need my help. Usually it was when they finished their homework and we were watching television that we started to discuss things. I do not think the parents should do their children's homework but they should be teaching their children outside of the school's venue.
@patgalca (14309)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 Feb 08
We're the same way in this house - husband for math, me for literature. And, believe it or not, my husband's first language is French but *I* am the one who helps them with that, and I am not even fluent in the language. Now that my kids are a little older (grades 6 and 9) even my husband has trouble with some of the math. It certainly is different than when we went to school. My parents NEVER helped me with homework, though I don't remember having any in earlier grades.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
10 Feb 08
lol..it's the same at my place with Hindi...I speak better hindi and am more fluent in it...but my husband seems to be a better teacher on that front though he doesn't speak the language and always answers in English when someone speaks to him in Hindi. But I have to say that his foundation is very strong in the subject.
@tamz21 (67)
8 Feb 08
I always get my daughter to sit up at the table an hour before dinner, so while im cooking i can make sure she is doing her homework plus if she does get stuck iam able to help her if needed.. i find it works better her sitting at the table doing it instead of her being up in her room as ive let her chill in her room before and do her homework and shes got a lot of it wrong or didnt do most of the homework. I dont sit with my daughter watching her every move while shes doing her homework as i find she gets a little worried of what im thinking while shes doing it and gets up set thinking she is doing the homework wrong (bare in mind shes 7yrs old), if i leave her to it sitting doing her homework she tends to do great with it.. I do feel a parent should be involved with their child when doing homework, that way you get to see you child doing their homework and how they are doing. plus if they get stuck and need a little help by explaining something to them, you would be there to do so..
2 people like this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
8 Feb 08
I've got a 7 year old too...and he, like your daughter does his homework on his own. He likes to do it in his room and comes to me after he is done so that I can check his work and sign in the almanac. I'm so glad that my son is independant. In India, I find that most parents tend to sit with their kids well into high school and I wouldn;t want to be doing that.
@tamz21 (67)
8 Feb 08
I agree i wouldnt want my daughter being like that either. im really glad she is independent and is able to learn by her self but asks for the help when needed...
• United States
9 Feb 08
I let my 10 year old son do it on his own until he needs help. He is really struggling in math so I help him a lot with that. All his other subjects he does great and when I check his work they are usually all correct. My daughter who is 8 only has spelling words on Fridays and we go over that and do practice tests. I think it is very important to be involved with your child's homework. You're not only helping them but you're are also spending quality time with them, one on one which is very important when you have more than one child.
@lynnchua (3416)
• Singapore
9 Feb 08
I won't sit with my kid when they do their homework. I will help them if they need help and I will check their homework when they finished. Sitting beside my kids doesn't help much as they will start to ask every single question without thinking.
1 person likes this
@patgalca (14309)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 Feb 08
I agree with you. I have had to say to my daughter, READ the question again. Then I hear, "Oooohhh..." They sometimes expect us to do all the work for them.
1 person likes this
@lynnchua (3416)
• Singapore
10 Feb 08
Ya, they will never learn if I sit beside them. So I make them do their homework themselves and check for mistake after that and then I'll explain to them what mistake they had made. I find that they learn better this way.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
10 Feb 08
I agree....I find that when I sit with my son, he always asks for help at the first obstacle without bothering to figure it out himself.
@Darkwing (21588)
8 Feb 08
I think you have to be careful. My children are grown but my granddaughter had a slight problem with decimals and their sizes a couple of weeks ago. I tried to explain it logically to her, but it seems that perhaps the methods of teaching are somewhat different to when I was at school. I'll give credit where credit's due though. She did listen, and eventually picked it up. Afterwards, she told me that they had not learned about decimals in class properly yet, but she had been given this homework. Now, I don't think that's fair and in that case, they would certainly need a little tutoring from parents. Brightest Blessings.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
10 Feb 08
I usually tutor my child on a topic only if he seems to be having trouble with understanding the questions put to him (however I re-phrase it). And I also make sure I send a note out to the teacher that he hasn't really understood the topic (even if I have tutored him...she needs to know that there was a problem on that front). But I do agree that some methods are very different from what I learnt at school. Another technique I use with my son is have him pretend to be his teacher and tell me how she taught in the class...this re-inforces what he learnt and also gives me an idea of how it was taught.
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21588)
12 Feb 08
It seems you do a good job my friend. With my granddaughter, there's no need to make a trip to the school, as her mum is a classroom assistant there. lol.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
14 Feb 08
lol..so was I...that's why it's easier for me to figure out how the teacher works! I'm full time at home now with the little one.
1 person likes this
@SHAMRACK (8384)
• India
22 Feb 08
Hi, I do feel bit sympathetic when I see kids doing homework as a burden. If I feel it I may sit and do it for them. I hope those education is not by giving home work as a burden let them do it when they feel do it if they like to do that. These homework may adversely effect their mental power being unable to face those real problems of life that are to taught in school. If a man do have many degrees and finally walks through a road and get into accident it all gone were as a person who is enough to use his mind to just look left and right is be secure and cross road is more better than those degrees earned. I homeworks are to compensated with practical works that might be not a burden, home works to face the world and its problems.
@SHAMRACK (8384)
• India
22 Feb 08
let learning be fun - fun to learn and do homework
hi,
@SViswan (12072)
• India
12 Mar 08
Even projects to understand practical aspects are termed as homework. Nowadays homework is not the regular...write everything in the notebook as we had when we were younger.
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
9 Feb 08
hi sviswan! ^__^ well, i don't have any kids but in the future i will. when that time comes and they reach the age that they are going to school, i will definitely help them with their homework whenever they have one. i just think that parents has a major role in the studies of their kids. not only that they can help answering the homework per se, but they can teach their kids on how to be patient in answering a homework, teach them how to be resourceful on where and how to get the answers, and sort of build their confidence since finishing their homework means being prepared for the next class. ^__^
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
10 Feb 08
Wow! You are well-prepared for someone who doesn't have kids..lol I was like you when I was younger and everytime I saw a situation, I would decide what was the best way to go about things so that it doesn't happen to my kids. I must say that I've been successful with my older son...don't know if it's all tht thinking I did as a young girl...lol
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
11 Feb 08
me too. whenever i see a situation at home and something is wrong there, i would remember it and think of a way to prevent it from happening to me in the future with my own kids and also think of ways to better raise the kids and have a good relationship with them. ^__^ i just don't know if i would really be able to do it. as of now, i'm afraid of responsibilities that's why having kids is still not on my plans yet. ^__^
@llldj51 (39)
6 Mar 08
Sitting down as a parent whilst your children do there homework is very important in my belief. On the other hand though "How many parents actually have the time to do this?" I have 3 children, 2 that go to school and a toddler. I don't have the time to sit down for hours with my 2 children whilst they do there homework. I am basically trying to keep the younger one happy and out of there way, as to not distract them, and then help them when it's needed.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
12 Mar 08
Most people take the time to be around if the child needs help. Not everyone has the time to spend hours together with the children...some of them (as you can see by the responses) check the work after it is done and then help when necessary. I have a little one too....so my older one does independant work and then I check his work and help him when the little one is sleeping.
@bellaofchaos (11550)
• United States
22 Feb 08
OK this is how it works I have 4 out of 5 of my kids in school one doesn't get homework yet because she is in pre k and the other 3 do. LOL!! They all come home and I make them sit at the dinning room table and do their homework if the need help I'm at the computer desk not far from them ...I then procede to help them. Before their homework can be deemed as done I check over everyones homework if I find some wrong answers I sit down go over them and help the work it out to get the right answers.. That way I don't have to be on top of them and they get their space and can feel that they are very capable of doing their homework on their own but know mommy will help and be there to explain anything that they need. LOL!! I find that a parents involvement is very important that is why I always check everything they do so that if there are mistakes I can help show them and help them to work it out and learn how to do it properly.. Have a nice one.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
12 Mar 08
That sounds like a perfect balance of being there for them as well as letting them do independant work! Keep up the good work!
• Philippines
22 Feb 08
my son is already 9 years old and in his third grade. when he comes home from the school i immediately asked him if there were homeworks to be done or things that need to bring to the school. when he say yes, i let him do it after taking dinner so that his brain will function more and is already rested. after which i will check if it is finished. my son never hesitate to ask me if he cant do his homework or he needs help. but sometimes i felt guilty when unavoidable circumstance came and i forgot to ask or check at least his homeworks. Parents involvement are very important in my opinion, because it builds bonding with quality time, ask him or let your child tell stories what had happened in the school the whole day.it makes us more closer to our kids.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
12 Mar 08
If it's a regular thing at home...once in a while not being able to do it can be excused.
• India
20 Feb 08
Well Sandhya, when my child started studying, I used to sit beside him all the time and guide him personally. Then when he was around 5 / 6 yrs, I started giving him some freedom. Like I would give him a lesson to do and roam around the house doing some work. I wanted him to start and enjoy doing things on his own. But I was just a call away. I am still following this model, specially with revision exercises and maths. However, of late I have seen him become very unmindful, rude and sulking. He is doing nothing, chewing the pencil maybe and when I come into the room, he is suddenly behaving as if he is studying very hard. I have not yet confronted him (I don’t like confrontation), but I think I will go back to sitting besides him all the time. At 8½ yrs, he is still a child and needs the mother’s touch. PS: Day after tomorrow is the wedding, so I will be off Mylot for some days at least and will not be able to go thru your response immediately. Sudipta
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
22 Feb 08
No problem! Have fun at the wedding:) I think you should talk to him (not a confrontation). Probably he finds the topic boring or not interesting. Or on the other hand it's too easy and he feels that he doesn't need to waste his time on that. Once you find the answers, you can guide him in the right direction. If it's boring...maybe you can make it a little interesting before he can start on the homework or if it's a regular thing, you can talk to the teacher how it isn't holding his interest. If it's too easy, you might need to give him more challenging work. Right now, my son is home with a fractured leg...and I am the one helping him with his studies...and I find that he likes challenges and doing things his classmates are not. So, I'm focussing on that along with trying to keep in mind that he needs the basics and needs to understand the concepts. At 8.5, your child needs the mother to guide him on how effective studying can be done alone....and how to come to you for help when it is needed. You will need to help him focus on his strengths and weaknesses and what is the best way for him to study.
• United States
12 Feb 08
My daughter (who is 7 and in 2nd grade) usually does her homework in my dad's room where she has a little desk and her siblings can't bother her. She usually has him check it and asks him for help. Her preference. Even if he isn't home she does her homework up there then has me check it. My son is 6 and in Kindergarten and only has homework once a week. he does it in the dining room. All he has to do is draw pictures of things that start with the letter of the week so I call out things I can think of and he decides if he wants to draw them or not. I prefer to let them do their homework on their own and if they need help I help them. I check it and if it looks like they are struggling we'll go over it. I know as a kid I HATED having people hang over me when I did my work, whether it was my parents or teachers. HATED, HATED, Hated it. It made me so self conscience. I always ended up getting way more wrong when people were watching me do my work. My thought was if I needed help I would ask. Having people stare at me or watch me as I wrote made me nervous. I think parental involvement is dependent on the child. Some kids need more supervision then others. My 4yo is in preschool and has to do a worksheet for each day she goes and she draws all over it and makes a mess of her paper if no one watches her (she's going to be my homework troublemaker). My oldest is pretty self-sufficient and very smart. Most of her work is too easy for her, except her math but she usually figures it out on her own. I don't remember ever asking my parents for help with homework past the 5th grade. By then I had passed my mom's level of comfortable knowledge. She didn't feel qualified to help me anymore.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
14 Feb 08
I never liked anyone hovering over me either...even when I was giving exams. It made me very conscious and I couldn't think straight.
@4mymak (1796)
• Malaysia
12 Feb 08
well... since i am working... normally, the children would do their homework on the kitchen table while i am preparing dinner... i do like to sit with them while they do their homework... mostly because... i need to make sure they REALLY DO it - =( it gets less harder as they get older, and understand that they need to finish their schoolwork, for the Year-1 (Primary One)... who still prefers to watch the Cartoon Network rather than finish her schoolwork.. i really need to sit down and watch her till she finishes... i dun give answers to their work.. rather,.. i'd tell them how/where to find it... i think it is important for them to see that i am serious about their schoolwork.. for them to take it seriously as well...
• India
20 Feb 08
same here and its convenient too. But of late, I have seen my son become very unmindful…he is staring blankly or maybe chewing his pencil while I am stirring something and then suddenly when I see him, he hurriedly bends his head over the books. I can make out that he was thinking of something else. This has really got my worrying. Are your kids never inattentive? If so, how do you cope with that? I really need some solid advise as I think I will have to go back to sitting beside him all the time and then when will I prepare dinner? I am working fulltime too!
• United States
10 Feb 08
I am fortunate, my son is 9 and does his own homework, without my help and I just have to review it for errors. My stepson has a learning disability and we have to sit and do it with him. Sometimes it seems like we are doing the homework and he is just copying down what we tell him to. Seems ridiculous to me, but his LD teachers tell us keep on keeping on, so we do...
• India
20 Feb 08
your stepson is really lucky to have a caring parent as you.
@kellys3ps (3728)
• United States
10 Feb 08
I believe that too many parents are too involved in their children's homework. They do it for them, instead of allowing the child to learn from their mistakes. We help our children if they have a question, or are unclear about something, but for the most part, they are responsible for their own work.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
14 Feb 08
That's the best way to go about it...and I don't agree with parent's doing their kid's homework for them.
• United States
9 Feb 08
Very important when raising my children that was the first thing they did when they got home. This went on for years then one day my son said to me Mom if i keep my grades up can i do my homework when i want to? So i gave him until report card time to prove it to me and do you know his grades went up. I was lucky now my boy has graduated for Florida state and has a darn good job.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
10 Feb 08
That's great and you are lucky to have an independant son...and he proved to you that he works better on his own.
• United States
9 Feb 08
Well, I have five kids, and four of them are in school, so I have to split my attentions during homework time. My oldest is 12, so while I am in the same room as he is, I let him do his work and am available for questions. Same with the 10 yr old. Now the 6 and 8 yr olds are another story. They won't actually do the work, unless I am right there. So the three of us sit at the dining table until they are finished. I typically do this with each child until they reach the fourth grade, which is when they know that mom expects them to act responsibly and complete their homework assignments. That being said, I still help all of them study for their tests. I fully believe that a child will be more successful in school if their parents are involved.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
10 Feb 08
You have a fine routine worked out there and I'm sure the older ones are an example to the younger ones and they might be able to help the younger ones as they grow older.
@patgalca (14309)
• Orangeville, Ontario
9 Feb 08
Since you didn't mention an age group, I will say that I do not sit down with my children when they do their homework. Of course I have a grade 9 student and a grade 6 student. When they were smaller I would sit down with them, but mostly I let them come to me when they need help, otherwise they are on their own. I mean really, when they get to those higher grades, EVEN I don't know the answers to the questions, especially math. It is totally foreign to me. My 14 year old did ask me for help with high school English the first month. It was all very new to her. I did help her out but told her she had to learn to do it herself, just like problems with courses and uniforms and stuff. Mommy is no longer there to hold her hand. She is a young adult and has to learn how to handle things on her own. I WILL step in only when necessary. And of course she will always find an ear in me. As for my 11 year old, I have made it clear to her teacher that I cannot help her in most cases and the teacher agrees that it is up to the student to make an attempt and if they have difficulty to ask the teacher for help. But we are always asked to sign assignments and tests so I am fully aware of my children's progress.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
10 Feb 08
I didn't mention an age group because it wasn't a solution that I wanted:) All age groups welcome! My son is 7 and I am indirectly involved in his work. If I know he's learning multiplication in school, I try to bring practical aspects to his notice when I can. And anyways, I want to get him to be independant at an early age. I don't want to be sitting with him when he reaches high school (which I've seen most parents tend to do). But since he is young, besides the school assignments and projects, we are able to do some of our own (where I actively help him and teach him how to go about doing it) which helps to re-inforce concepts and my son also learns how to research and gather his facts without much help. He also learns how to identify where he is truly stuck and needs to come to an adult for help.
@GardenGerty (98106)
• United States
9 Feb 08
As an educator I will say that it is important you know what homework your child has, but that you make them responsible for doing it. If they do not understand it, but you do, help them, but be sure to let their teacher know that they needed help to do it. If you honestly feel that it is beyond them, or that there is too much, be prepared to discuss this with the teacher. Reasonably and coherently. Tell them why it is too much or that they cannot understand it.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
10 Feb 08
Being an educator, I think on the same lines and I always send a note when I have tutor my son because he hasn't understood the topic well enough. I never help him to do his homework...but I help him to figure it out himself.