Back off mum!

School work - Blackboard and an apple for the teacher!
@paula27661 (15811)
Australia
June 30, 2010 9:51pm CST
My daughter is third grade now and the homework along with the amount of it changing. The teacher has started giving the children assignments to or school projects as I call them. My daughter had to do one on someone successful that she admires. The idea of the project was to investigate how the person chosen achieved his or her success along with a little biographical history about the person. My child chose Taylor Swift and proceeded to download as much info on the girl that she could find which was great. My poor child made the mistake of asking for my help which I gladly gave her and she was happy until she had to put her little foot down and ask me to back off because instead of just assisting, I found myself doing it for her! When she told me to take a step back and allow her to do her own homework I did but I couldn’t help staying up last night and giving the assignment some final touches. The end result would be 70% my daughter and 30% me which is not bad because I was quite prepared to do the whole thing! What percentage do you put into your child’s school projects?
9 people like this
24 responses
@zandi458 (28102)
• Malaysia
1 Jul 10
Based on my observations the education system in Australia is systematic and very much family orientated type of education. I noticed that parents volunteer to teach students in their classes before the bell rings in the morning. They encouraged students to go for scientific expos as young as 6 years old. And I have the benefit to attend such expo with my nephew while am here. Such a great early educational exposure for the kids not adopted in my place. By helping kids in their school works, parents are directly involved in their children's educational progress which I think is very encouraging. I have all along put great emphasis on my children's education by personally monitoring their homeworks everyday. I am indeed proud of the final result as both my boys are successful in their chosen careers.
2 people like this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
1 Jul 10
We do have opportunity to be involved in class activities such as helping with the reading etc. When the kids are little such as kindergarten and pre-primary the mums and dads can do roster and spend the day in class with the children. I did it quite a few times and it was a great experience! Congratulations on your sons'succeess! Thanks for being here zandi, hope you're still enjoying Australia!
@kalav56 (11464)
• India
1 Jul 10
How sweet! I liked your daughter saying 'Mom; let me do it'. However, being the mothers we are I think this is the best compromise we would agree for.I would have done th e same if I were you.I particularly do not remember assisting my son in any project ; however, there was a project in 8/9th standard or so and it had something to do with physics and I naturally did not have anything to do with it. WHen he was young there were not any in his school.I just sat with him for his preparations for exam.
1 person likes this
@kalav56 (11464)
• India
1 Jul 10
You will Paula. Belive it , I prepared notes for him when he was about to appear for his professional examination[he finished this tough exam at the age of 21 where the pass rate is a measley 6 percent all over India and emerged a rank holder] because he had far to much on his plate like a simulataneous B.Com degree in a regular University program and a multitude of intercollegiate competitions where he won over many medals.He had fun participating in such competitions and that is why he took up a regular B.Com degree as opposed to a Distance /Correspondence education. My notes were not of very significant help but that was the least I could do for him at that stage. I can imagine you doing a similar thing for your daughter.God Bless her. Does she have Fine Arts like music or the like in her school?
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@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
1 Jul 10
She does music at school and she received the highest mark for it so I am very proud of her for that!
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
1 Jul 10
I couldn't help myself! I am going to back off though because I won't be helping my daughter in the long run if I do the work for her,even 30%! Exam time will be interesting, I can see me studying along with her! Thanks Kalav!
@SViswan (12051)
• India
24 Jul 10
lol..I understand exactly what you are saying. Though I wanted to give the minimum possible assistance, I tended to go overboard sometimes...especially with content and creativity. Now that we are homeschooling...there's no pressure at all....lol...he does his own project and we only give suggestions AFTER he has done the whole thing.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12051)
• India
17 Mar 11
It's wonderful when a child WANTS to do their work on their own...and asks for assistance when necessary. It helps them learn better because they are doing it. When we as parents HELP too much,as Paula pointed out...it doesn't help the child in the long run and they get used to expecting someone to HELP them out all the time.
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
24 Jul 10
It is difficult to back off at times but I have learned now that I am not helping my daughter in the long run by interfering too much so I have to be really strong and let her make her own mistakes and help only when she asks for it.Thanks for responding SViswan I appreciate it!
• Philippines
16 Mar 11
REally courageous and diligent child you have there paula. Some would want it for themselves. Some students would love the idea that someone would do schoolwork for them. I admire your child such attitude. God bless you!
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
1 Jul 10
hi paula I know that one only too well and my son is now 51. but the more you do for them although it may get a great grade its not helping them in the end to do it for themselves. I did about like you til I realize he had to learn to do this for himself so I eased off and maybe gave 5 percent and let him do the rest. sure his grades slipped a bit but as his self confidence grew he got excellent grades on his own.He hated doing book reports down in grade school but in the higher grades he was an A student.
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
1 Jul 10
I know that it is a habit I must not get into. I have to allow her to do all of her own work. She did get annoyed with me so I took that as a sign that I was overdoing it. I agree that she has to learn from her own mistakes in order to grow. Wise words, Hatley, thanks for the contribution, appreciate it!
@kukueye (1759)
• Malaysia
1 Jul 10
Well,my relatives do not actually help their children homeworks from school or tuition,usually they will ask they classmates for help but sometime will ask the adults to check they work for them for spelling mistakes and such.
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
kukueye, having classmates to help is a good idea because it will enrich everyone's learning as well as teach the kids how to work together.
@th52096 (469)
• Philippines
1 Jul 10
My mum or parents for that matter barely helped with assignments and projects.. I mostly did them on my own and a few help from my classmates.. Then I got a tutor during fifth grade due to grades dropping and she ended up doing projects while I assisted and I did most of the assignments but this time quite easier since my tutor helped.. :D
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
You sound like a hard worker and I am sure you learnt very well by doing the work yourself and asking for help when you felt you needed it. A tutor is a great idea and I would consider getting one if my daughter was having problems, so far so good but she is only in third grade! Thanks for taking the time to respond th52096, I appreciate it!
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
Great advice I will pass it on, keep up the great work!
@th52096 (469)
• Philippines
2 Jul 10
Hahaha, that sounds so flattering! Thanks! I'm still in High school though. =.=... Y'know what? I'll tell you the truth.. I don't study anymore unless the subject is really hard but during tests.. I do quite well.. Why? I listen to the discussion and ask questions enough to understand it.. :D So studying is quite necessary.. :D Like in my bio exam where my classmates studied there heads off.. I was able to place 6th out of the class even without studying.. Well, that's also cuz I like science so of course I'd do well in it.. Not to brag or anything.. =.= Just wanted you to tell your daughter to listen well during lessons and ask questions so she understands well. :D Happy MyLotting!
1 person likes this
@eileenleyva (27562)
• Philippines
16 Mar 11
paula, I am glad your daughter is brave enough to tell you that she has to do her homework by herself. I also wanted to help my daughters do their school work when they were in the preparatory years. The elder of the two, however, asked me if I could simply allow her to finish her projects and homework. If she needs my help, she would tell me. I stopped nosing when they are doing their homework after school. I would rely on the stories they narrate whenever we are eating or resting. It turned out that my daughters even excelled in school because they know their schoolwork by heart. Now that they are in college, they can be proud to say they earned all their merits all by themselves. Me, I made sure they had food and milk and soup!
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@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
16 Mar 11
Thar is a great way to do it. I am finding that my little one needs my help less and less these days and although it hurt a little at first, I am proud of the fact that she is growing up and she is sensible and smart. I 'interfere' only if I am asked to now and it seems to be working because she is doing well. It sounds as though you've done a fine jobs with your children. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond eileenleyva, I appreciate it!
1 person likes this
@eileenleyva (27562)
• Philippines
16 Mar 11
You are a good mother. I am sure your daughter will soar high!
@KrauseHome (36448)
• United States
16 Mar 11
Personally too many times a parent is wanting to step in and help, and too often a lot of kids will just let them and then it is obvious with the results that it was not the childs work as well. For your daughter to ask you to back off is a good thing and helped her to learn how to research it on her own. Actually that would be an interesting person to do some research on and I am sure you and her both learned a lot as well. Hope she got a Good grade from this.
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
17 Mar 11
She did very well and I am very proud of her; she is a sensible, smart well mannered nine years old! I sometimes marvel at how blessed I am to have her! I have learnt to back of since and when she asks for help and that is the only time I give it. Thanks for stopping by KrauseHome, appreciate the response!
@gabs8513 (48686)
• United Kingdom
14 Aug 10
Lol Paula that is just it when we get carried away My Children did most of their own with Friends, they used to sit together and do it between them, well my Son was actually bad for doing Homework (which I did not know at the time)lol So it was very rare I had to get involved as such but well done on you and your Daughter
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
15 Aug 10
I have learned to back off a little and only assist if she asks for help. She must make her own mistakes in order to learn. It is not good for her to hand in an assignment almost done totally buy mum! It is hard to step back but it is what my daughter wants and needs! Thanks for stopping by gabs!
@dawnald (85135)
• Shingle Springs, California
2 Jul 10
It depends on the child. Cary needs a lot more direction than the other two. But mostly it depends on how much help they want (but I won't do it for them) and how much help they need.
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
3 Jul 10
Yes I agree, it does depend on how much assistance the child needs. I won't be interfering as much from now on because her reaction to this last assignment has taught me she prefers to do the work herself and that's the way it should be. Thanks Dawn!
@elitess (5070)
• Ipswich, England
29 Nov 10
Heya Paula. I have no kids of my own ( i still consider myself a kid anyway ) but i believe that you should get involved if she needs it, but when she tells you to stop, it is quite obvious you are getting to involved :D The final touches are always a good way of contributing, and in general it is good to explain why you want to change a certain thing, and why you believe it would be better.
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
30 Nov 10
It's been a while since I started this discussion and I have learned to allow my daughter to do her own work and only help her as much as she wants me to! It's nearly the end of the school year, there are only three weeks to go and she's becoming more and more independent which is great but makes me feel as though she doesn't need me as much any more...
@sulynsi (2671)
• Canada
2 Jul 10
lol paula! This is funny, and so true! You are a great mum, just a little over eager. Its a little hard, when you have this drive to help your kids and ensure they do well in life. It is such a balancing act to know when to step in and when, as your daughter put it, to back off
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
Yes it a balance between being there to help and actually doing it for her! I realised when she asked me to back off that she needs to learn by doing the work herself so from now on I will assist without interfering! Thanks for responding sullins!
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
Iam so sorry sullins??? My spell checked changed your name! Thanks for responding sulynsi! Oops...
@Angelgirl16 (2171)
• United States
25 Jul 10
Hi Paula, I laughed out loud as I read your discussion. It is something that I can certainly speak clearly on. I work everyday with elementary students, and their parents. You are so right about the overload of homework given nowaday. Even during the summer break, they get projects that needs to be turned in to their next years teachers. I think it is too much. The projects are not just simple anymore, they are extravagant undertakings. You are fortunate to have such and independent daughter, who wanted to do her own project, her own way. Some projects that I have seen coming in from students had the parents' involvement written all over them, if you will. Instead of letting the child be as creative as he/she can be, the parent wants to do it for the child because they are looking for perfection. This kind of action from the parent(s) stifles the child ability to think creatively and to be independent in other areas of his life. I say, let them do their projects their way and if they want your help, give it to them. Otherwise, standby and be proud of however it turns out. They did their best.
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
26 Jul 10
You are absolutely right. It is good to help a child but to take over will not help him or her in the long run. My daughter was very proud of her project and received a good mark and I'm glad I stepped back and let her get on with it. Thanks so much for an excellent response Angel Girl!
@amrddy (215)
• Philippines
15 Aug 10
Hi paula27661 Ha ha ha I have done my share with my daughter's assignment. I think I helped her till she was in grade four and after that she was on her own. Although now she is in her 2nd year in high school she still sometimes ask for my help and opinion, otherwise she is on her own.
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@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
16 Aug 10
I have decided not to intervene unless she asks for it. I think she needs to make the occasional mistake in order to learn so difficult as it may be I am backing off unless I'm needed; she's happy with that because she enjoys feeling proud of her own work. Thanks for responding amrddy!
• Philippines
1 Jul 10
hello.. i am still single and without a child, but if such situation happens to me, i would only make myself available at the start and finish.. start - i shall make sure that my child is able to interpret the teacher's instructions carefully. end - check the child's work and offer opinions where needed but the child's decision should be final. in that way, the child is able to develop his natural ability by his self. of course, if my child will ask me questions, i would be more than willing to answer but otherwise, it would mean that my child thought that he is capable to enough to accomplish his assignment. to be able to have that manner of thinking is very crucial for me in my child's growth. wonder when will that be anyway :)
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@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
1 Jul 10
It sounds as though when the time comes you will make a wise parent! I agree with your strategy in regards to a child's homework, be there at the start and at the end...Children have to be able to make mistakes too or they will not learn properly...Thanks for responding h_consolacion!
• Philippines
3 Jul 10
wow : ) that sounds very encouraging : ) i am currently single and that also means i am not in a relationship now. but hoping to have one someday. it is not my top priority at the moment so i can get my mind off of it sometimes.. : ) you are very much welcome ms. paula : )
@AmbiePam (86043)
• United States
2 Jul 10
Hey, that's a good kid! My parents never helped me with my school projects, and if they had, I probably would not have been as studious as your daughter! I'd probably have relished them taking over for me. Her project sounds fun.
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
It was a fairly easy one because she is only eight. It was nice that the children could choose who they wanted to do the project about. She loves Taylor Swift and that is part of the reason she really wanted to do it all herself. She loves to learn and I pray that attitude continues by the time she gets to high school! Thanks for being here Pam!
@eshaan (6188)
• India
2 Jul 10
actually it should be 0% paula...but it happens that teachers give the work which is not in the limits of a child to do....so till your child is under 10, you have to help and as they grow up the percentage goes on lowering....in the KG's ...my kids were given only poem to write on a chart, but that too i found so messy that i used to draw rough lines for them...then assist them in writing....i used to tell them to write with pencils and when it was alright i used to tell them to make it final with sketch pens...but you can't do anything...after all you have to teach them slowly to be perfect....
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
You are right and I am wiser now since my daughter asked me to back off! I will allow her to do the work herself from now on and help only when she asks for it. I don't think I would be doing her any favours in the long run if I take over too much! Thanks for stopping by eshaan!
@ANTIQUELADY (36440)
• United States
1 Jul 10
Good morning Paula, good for your daughter wanting to do it herself.That's what she needed to do. Children need to do that & mom's do need to back off altho i know u meant well. I admire her for being that way. U have done a good job w/her .My kids are grown but my grandson will start to school this year & i hope he shares some of his projects w/me.
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@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
I have learned to let her do the work for herself or she will not learn as it is only by making mistakes that she will develop. I will always help her of course and be involved in what she is doing, just not so much! Hope you have special times with your grandson ANTIQUELADY, thanks for responding!
@savypat (20216)
• United States
1 Jul 10
Paula, time to back off. Just be thankful that she feels confident enough to do her own thing. And leave it alone unless your help is requested then only to what is needed. You want her to be a success, that means she needs to learn how to do that, there will be up and downs but that is how we learn. Be very proud that she wants to do it herself and don't step on her toes. Even if her grade is not always the best, we usually learn much more from out mistakes. Blessings Mother. From a Grandma.
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@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
Thanks Pat for the very wise advice. I agree with you. My parents always expected me to do everything perfectly and if I got a B they would frown because it wasn't an A; I tell you it didn't do my confidence any good! I don't want my daughter to experience that and I am going to take a step back and allow her to accomplish things on her own. Thanks again Grandma!
@cynthiann (18602)
• Jamaica
1 Jul 10
In my days with my children at school there was a library and no computers so it would take a great deal of time. Yes, I did help, but basically they did it on their own. Being a teacher I had to resist the tendency of taking over but would help them to select the information but they did it on their own. I have a son with learning disabilities and he had to be encouraged so very much as he had a tendency (still does) to easily give up.Now a days e is very proud of the ability of his son who is just five and is reading very well.
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@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
I would imagine being a teacher would make it really difficult to back off and allow the child to make his or her own mistakes which is an important part of learning and growing. I want to help her and encourage her without crossing the line and I think she will let me know when I do! Thanks for your great response cynthiann!
@VANILLAREY (1470)
• India
1 Jul 10
I guess I would also do the same when I am a parent and face the above scenario. You need not back off completely. You can still supervise to check she does not make mistakes. Also let her come up with ideas.
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@paula27661 (15811)
• Australia
2 Jul 10
Yes, she is proud of her work when she's finished it and I don't want to take that away from her so I will always be there to assist but I won't intervene too much, I've learnt not to do too much for her or I will stop her from learning from her mistakes and that is part of growing...Thanks VANILLAREY!