It can be tough to know when to step in and help with homework and when to just stay out of it. On the one hand, you want to ensure your kids are doing their best and getting the help they need. But on the other hand, you don’t want to do too much, or else they’ll never learn how to do things independently. So what’s the right balance? Here’s a look at some key differences between help and interference regarding homework.
For students, homework can be a dreaded part of the school day. It is often seen as a time-consuming and tedious task that requires hours of focus and concentration. For parents, homework can be a source of stress and frustration. They want to help their child succeed, but they may not know how to provide support best. Parents need to remember that there is a difference between help and interference when it comes to homework. Helping your child with homework shows that you are interested in their education and want to see them succeed. However, too much interference can be detrimental. Finding a balance between providing assistance and allowing your child to work independently is essential.
As a teacher, I often see parents doing their child’s homework or turning homework time into painful hour-long sessions where they struggle to explain mathematics to their child. This would be considered interfering with their homework.
While you may think you don’t interfere with your child’s studies, it is more common than you know. For example, your child comes home from school and sits down to do their homework. After only a few minutes, you hear “I don’t get it,” and you feel the urge to step in. You hate to see your child struggle, and you also don’t want to spend your entire evening working on it with them.
Many parents play “teacher” in the evening, ensuring their child goes to school the next day with a paper full of correct answers. While this may seem like you are helping your child, you may be hindering their progress..
Solving Problems With Resources
It will benefit your child much more if they try and solve the problems using resources like a notebook, the internet or even by calling a peer and working it through with them. Believe it or not, many teachers would prefer if a child came to class with an empty homework sheet rather than a perfect paper done by a parent. When a child struggles, it is important that the teacher knows about it so they can offer additional help.
If your child is in grades K-2 and comes to you with homework they have tried to work through but still don’t understand, try attaching a small note onto the homework for the teacher explaining what was causing the challenge. If the child is in grades 3 – 5, have them write a note to their teacher explaining their struggle. This can help a teacher see where they are running into problems, helping to ensure they don’t fall under the radar.
Learning From Mistakes
One of the most important things that students need to learn in order to be successful is how to deal with challenges and learn from their mistakes. Homework, for example, can be an excellent opportunity for students to learn how to persevere and problem-solve. But it can also be frustrating, especially if a student doesn’t understand the material. That’s where parents come in.
By stepping back and allowing your child to make mistakes, you’re helping them become more independent and resourceful. Encourage them to look at their mistakes and try to work through where they went wrong. By learning how to work through their mistakes you are giving them an essential skill they will need to succeed.
Create A Learning Environment
While some educators do not believe in giving students homework, others expect their students to spend a couple of hours every evening studying. If your child is expected to accomplish homework, you can help by making sure you don’t interfere.
Creating an environment that is best for learning can also be helpful for students who struggle with homework. Remind your child to take short breaks and encourage them to move around. Remove all distractions, including electronics, and have a dedicated area where they can make their own.
By creating a space for your child to do their homework and helping them get the resources they need to understand the task, you are setting them up for a more independent learning style. If your child asks for help, remember to help rather than interfere and don’t be afraid to send them back to school with unfinished work. As long as the teacher can see they made an effort to understand the material, they can give them the help needed to advance.
If you are unsure of how to help your child with homework, talk to their teacher. They will be able to give you guidance on what type of support is appropriate.
At Dropkick Math, we believe relationships are the primary key to learning success. Our trained instructors will help build a parent’s mathematics capacity so they can adequately support their child’s journey in elementary math. Success is achieved by learning together!
As part of our math help services, we bring parents/caregivers into the learning process to ensure helpful guidance. We understand that math has changed since they were in school, so we include them in the classes to help children with their studies.
Dropkick Math is more than just an online math tutor. We have dedicated our math intervention program to help your child reach their potential in math. By providing support in learning the building blocks of mathematics and engaging through fun and exciting games, your child will begin to thrive.
For more information on our programs and to learn if they are the right fit for your child, visit our website today!