If you help your kids with their homework are you are giving them an unfair advantage or are you just being a parent?
I did my son’s homework for him last night. There was maths, a little spelling and a book to read. I didn’t do ALL of it, of course but I was there. I helped, I made suggestions. I even promised him a reward if he did a bit extra.
Tiger Mum? Maybe, but I don’t have a problem with that.
It seems though that others do have a problem with me helping my kids however. A series of “experts“ have recently come out saying that parents should stop assisting their kids at homework time.
Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Sydney and author of Reforming Homework, Richard Walker has told News Limited that parents need to “pull back.”
“If parents are over controlling and interfering then that really has a negative effect,” Professor Walker said.
“Some involvement is good for self-directed learning, but if they get too involved and the kid loses their autonomy then it becomes a problem. I think parents have to pull back.”
Well we’d all like that wouldn’t we?
But it’s just not as simple as it sounds.
My five-year old has just entered the world of sight words and dog-eared readers complete with gripping story lines like “I like blue ice cream”. He has news tasks to prepare and present, and maths programs to complete on the computer.
Given this is a kid who would blindly walk out the door naked if I didn’t remind him to put on some clothing, “leaving him to it” just isn’t an option.
His seven-year old brother has to be either handcuffed to the kitchen table – or sweetly bribed M&M by M&M – to fill in his homework sheets. By their sides, I sit gritting my teeth wearily working through each step with them. (Tiger Mums – hear me roar.)