• Mon, Mar 24 - 6:00 pm ET

Parents Who Do Their Kids’ Homework For Them Are The Worst

Hill Campus Of Arts And SciencesI’m not doing my kid’s homework for him; it’s not going to happen. The parents who do this give the rest of us a bad name. Show-offs.

Forty-three percent of 778 parents who were recently surveyed by Ask.com admitted to doing their child’s homework for them. Thiry-eight percent of the homework done by parents is math. No one told me there would be math in parenting. I didn’t sign up for this.

My step daughter had some problems with her multiplication tables when she was in the fifth grade. She was doing the “I’m going to count every set of numbers” technique that so many kids do before they come to the realization that multiplication is all about memorizing those stupid tables. Once I was able to explain to her that it wasn’t that she wasn’t understanding it – it was just that she hadn’t memorized them yet, everything got easier for her. Then she came home with algebra homework. All I could say was, “You need to pay attention in class and ask questions.”

I don’t remember how the hell to do algebra. More importantly, I have no intention of learning it again. So what is going to happen when my kids come home and expect me to do their homework for them? They are going to be shit out of luck – and I think that’s a good thing.

I imagine it’s even harder for kids today to focus on homework, with the constant distraction of electronic devices and the sheer amount that they are being assigned. But as parents, I think it’s really important to step back and let our kids struggle a little; to learn to work on patience and focus. I bet in the majority of the cases of parents actually doing their kid’s homework for them, we are dealing with a lot of control freaks who can’t handle the idea of their kids getting something wrong. Letting kids struggle and fail is a big part of parenting and I think that applies to homework, too.

The fact that I would fail even more miserably at my child’s math homework than they would is probably going to work in both of our favors in the future. That’s what I keep reassuring myself, anyway.

Like I said, no one told me there would be math.

(photo: Getty Images)

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  • drinkpepsi

    LOL – One of your Mommyish writers not only admits to doing her daughter’s homework…she also brags about winning awards meant for grade-schoolers.

    (I’m sure everyone here can guess who I am talking about.)

    • CMJ

      I’m SHOCKED you’re commenting about Eckler. No wait, I am not.

    • Robotic Socks

      Beth! #HDY!

    • Bethany Ramos

      #outed

  • Angela

    I really have never met a parent that sets out to intentionally taking over homework. I think that there’s a fine line between ‘helping’ and ‘doing’. My mom was the kind that took over. Not so much for the day to day worksheets and such, but for the big projects. She was raised by parents who refused to help her at all. The problem was that all of her classmates had parents who did help and so she was always humiliated when her project was the worst one in the class. She didn’t want me to have the same experience so she overcompensated.

    • itpainsme2say

      Awe I feel so bad for your mom because I was the same way and I didn’t figure out the parents helped them until we were out of school so I always felt really substandard

    • Angela

      Which is ironic because I always felt like my mom took over my projects because she felt like my work wasn’t good enough. I think it’s a really tough balance to strike.

  • Kelly

    So 38% of parents admit to totally fucking over their own children. Nice. No wonder so many kids go to college and have to take remedial courses.

    • SarahJesness

      Nitpick: 43%.

    • Kelly

      Nitpick: Nope, I meant 38%. That’s the percentage of parents doing their kids math homework for them. That’s totally fucking them over.

      I don’t know what kind of homework the other 5% is doing. It could be art projects. I remember a ton of kids whose parents did their art projects for them. While it’s lame, I don’t think it’s totally fucking them over in life.

    • R Zhao

      The others could be doing their English homework for them. Wouldn’t that be just as detrimental as doing a child’s math homework?

      I think you are doing a kid a disservice no matter what the subject–even art. You are teaching them that they don’t have to do things for themselves. Forget the implications this has about college (if they even attend, not everyone does) but how this will affect them in the workforce.

    • Guets

      I remember in Kindergarten they sent home a tree drawing to be decorated. My mom had me do it and when I brought it back I saw all these insane trees and my friends told me their parents helped. I remember thinking “but they’re supposed to do it themselves” and being upset that theirs looked better than mine. Ridiculous if you can’t let your 5 year old draw on a damn tree by themselves.

    • Iwill Findu

      My mother use to help me with art projects, and by help I mean I did all the work and when I thought it was finished she would come and inform me it wasn’t, and that I needed to add something some were, she might even have ideas as to how to work it, or sometimes she would just drop more supplies beside me and walk off . But the original idea was always my own. It was kinda fun to get her input, and I think she liked helping me bring my crazy ideas to life. Wish I had some photos of some of the stuff we had done together.

  • thisshortenough

    Bet they do the art projects and stuff for their kids and are the reason that the standards are so ridiculously high so that even if a kid puts their best effort in they can’t possibly win

    • Williwaw

      I have definitely seen some science fair projects that could not possibly have been done by the child who claimed to have done them.

  • Emily A.

    When I was teaching (high school seniors) I had a student come in for a test and show me his study guides… and reading notes… and outlines… that his mom made. As I told him, “I’m sure she knows this stuff inside and out.” He did not fare well on tests.

  • Jessifer

    A few of my friends teach at the college/university level and even they encounter these problems. One of them told me that a student was handing in these Spanish Lit essays that were written without a single grammar mistake when the student herself could barely string a coherent sentence together on a test. Turned out her mother was Hispanic and was writing her essays for her. He gave her a “D”, because even the excellent grammar couldn’t make up for the shitty literary analysis in any event. Guess her mother should have read the novels more carefully! lol

    • K.

      I once took a kid to academic committee for an egregious case of plagiarism–and this was at a school where a first offense meant absolutely zero lasting punishments if the student agreed to take some sort of academic integrity course (like academic traffic school, I guess)–and the guy brought his father, a lawyer, to the hearing to speak on his behalf.

      Seriously??

    • Jessifer

      Yeah, that’s why he never bothered making a complaint against her. Nowadays, unless you bust into their house and catch the mother hunched over the kitchen table writing the assignment, you can’t really “prove” anything 100% so there’s no point in sticking your neck out and risk being sued.

    • pixie

      There was a girl in the class I TAed last semester who plagiarized on her first paper. The prof felt bad, gave her the benefit of the doubt that she was still learning (first years, but even I knew better than to plagiarize anything in 9th grade), and spoke to the student privately, who seemed to understand that it’s a huge no-no. The prof had to report it, but the student didn’t get in too much trouble that time. She did the EXACT SAME THING on her second paper. She failed the class and got a zero on both assignments, and possibly in the class. And it wasn’t just like a line or two plagiarized, it was whole huge sections just copied and pasted from another source without citing it.

      SMH

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      I had a college student who kept doing that. Each paper got progressively more plagiarized, and I gave her a zero for each one. Yet, still, on the next, she did it again. It wasn’t like the little mistakes where they just don’t do it quite right and I’m picky. It was like verbatim wikipedia. I finally just dropped her from the course.

    • pixie

      Yeah, in both the schools I’ve been to, plagiarism is a HUGE no-no. It’s impossible to get a zero on anything, including if you never show up for class, never do assignments, and never do tests, EXCEPT if you plagiarize. Technically the school can expel you on one incident, though most profs are more forgiving. But still…it just baffles my mind.

    • Guets

      All the schools I’ve been to (as far as college) have had a no tolerance policy. As in, I will run this paper through the system and it will tell me what % is directly from the internet. If it is above this % you’re kicked out and done.

    • pixie

      Yeah, I’ve heard of some schools doing that. They don’t do that at either of the schools I’m at/been to, though.

    • Ginny

      My dad had a student hand in a paper copied and pasted from wikipedia. The kid didn’t even have the foresight to remove the footnote citations. Turns out another teacher had helped him do the paper and told him that copying it like that was fine. No one would notice and even if they did, there was nothing wrong with it. *face-palm*

    • pixie

      Wha? Bah? Huh? A teacher told him that? I hope the teacher got some serious talking to.

      When I was in high school, for some ceremony or concert night thing that I had to play at for band there was a public speaker who everyone just gushed about how brilliant he was (according to my parents he was really fucking boring and he caused the even to be way longer than it was supposed to). A year or so later there’s this huge thing in the newspapers about how this guy plagiarized pretty well EVERYTHING he ever did and was fired from his position at one of the nearby universities and his reputation was ruined.

    • Guets

      Idk why but everytime I hear of a parent/lawyer stepping in for their kid all I can think is that if you’ve gotten that far in life you should be able to step back and look at what a crapbag kid you have and let them deal with consequences. You should also be embarrased showing up there to “defend” your kid.

  • libraryofbird

    Any parents want to do my homework?

  • SarahJesness

    Ugh, maybe this is yet another reason a lot of students barely know the basics when they go to college.

  • Larkin

    Oh man. My niece has been raised by my MIL, and she totally does this. However, I’m sure that she would argue she doesn’t… because technically my niece writes down all the answers. But I’ve seen them work on homework “together,” and basically my MIL just feeds her the answers. Weirdly, she seems convinced that my niece is brilliant and doing it all herself, and that she’s just helping. Then gets upset that other people won’t “help” her with her homework if she’s with someone else.

    I say a nine-year-old should (generally, with some obvious exceptions) be able to get through homework on their own. If they are confused or have questions after doing it themselves, totally find Mom/Dad and ask for clarification. But sitting next to your kid every time they do homework and immediately correcting them if they do something wrong doesn’t help anybody learn anything.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      thank you!
      My stepkids mother does this…
      Or it’s constant excuses. We’ve been told the 10 year old really needs to work hard on her English spellings, she missed a lot of school last year due to two operations.
      When she texts me simple things like-

      Hi XXXX
      wot are you wotching.

      I’ll reply like this Hi (Kids name)
      I am blah blah blah (whatever I’m doing)

      Also baby, it’s *what and *watching

      Once you do it a few times she automatically makes the corrections herself, but her mother gets on to her dad saying I am “crushing her self-esteem” and that she is “undiagnosed dyslexic” (she’s not dyslexic, just needs to catch up)

      VERY hard to know what to do in this situation, especially considering the teachers have TOLD us to always correct her spelling in ANYTHING right away, to encourage her to know what is the right way.

    • Larkin

      I don’t see why you wouldn’t correct the spelling of a child with dyslexia even if that WERE the case. It’s not like you should just go, “Well, she’s dyslexic, nothing to be done” and give up. Not to mention, if she legitimately thinks this child has a learning disability, why hasn’t she taken her to the doctor to get diagnosed?

    • G.S.

      “It’s not like you should just go, “Well, she’s dyslexic, nothing to be done” and give up.”

      SO MUCH THIS. I’m 100% convinced that letting/having a kid with a learning disability just sit in the corner and eat paste is just as abusive as denying a kid with physical injuries physiotherapy. I mean, if a kid didn’t have use of his legs, everyone would agree that writing him off as bedridden for life (instead of getting him a wheelchair and teaching him to be as self-sufficient as possible) would make you a horrible, abusive person. So why is it deemed socially acceptable to say, “Oh, Johnny has ADD/Dyslexia/Autism/Whatever, so he’s a lost cause and there’s really no point in holding him accountable for anything, or trying to get actual improvement/change out of him.”

      And 100% agree with her taking the girl to a professional if she thinks she has a learning disability. And I really, really hope that she isn’t the kind of parent who thinks that having a learning disability makes her kid more of a special snowflake to martyr over (because, “My kid’s severely disadvantaged and might not get far in life! Feel sympathy for our plight and tell me how much of an awesome parent I am for trying to raise her!” Not at all saying that the majority of parents with learning disabled kids are like that, far from it, but there are some who are), and that’s the reason she hasn’t had it checked out for real yet.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      EXACTLY!
      Sadly (I have nothing but respect for their mother, she IS their mother, and that is a bond I will NEVER have with them)
      but she is a bit of a hypochondriac.
      I’m not even joking, all the kids have to do is say they have a headache (always on a Monday morning before school) and straight away she’s on the phone to us “She must have a concussion from when she fell last week.”

      Or my personal favourite- when the 10 year old get her period and I tried explaining to the mother why I had to have the chat with the 10 year old (she got it in our house, on my watch and her mother didn’t answer the phone for hours, child was freaking out. She’s TEN!)
      When I explained to their mom she said O it can’t be her period, she’s too young, I bet it’s a stomach ulcer or internal bleeding from her SCHOOLBAG! IT’S TOO HEAVY!

      *Facepalm*

  • Alicia Kiner

    I don’t do their homework for my kids. And I know they have classmates whose parents do because they’ve both asked why I can’t do it for them. I do check it over and have them fix their mistakes. This way I can see where they’re struggling.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    I’m not going to do any homework. Sink or swim, my son. I never had my parents help me with my homework. I just did it and that was that. If I struggled with the material, my teachers could then see that and then I’d get help.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      From a teacher’s standpoint: thanks! I hate when I can tell parents have had too much of a hand in it. Answering questions, okay, that’s cool. But doing the work, awwww hell no. But I will admit that the very few times it’s happened in my class I got great glee out of finding a ton of errors in it.

    • whiteroses

      I once had a mother question the grade I gave her 19 year old son. Turns out she’d been doing all his major papers- “we thought that this assignment was too difficult for us”. His grade was lowered because of the in-class work I gave.

      I looked at my boss and said, “She does realize that this is a basic, entry-level class and he has to take at least two more for his major, right?”

      When you’re still doing your kids’ homework as a freshman in college, something’s not right.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Facepalm. I don’t even know what to do with all the stupidity of that. Good lord. The “we/us” makes me shudder.

    • Whatwhatque

      I work at a community college library and sometimes get parents trying to research their child’s assignments for them. If the child is present (sometimes the parent comes alone, without the kid!) I try to say, as politely as possible, that I need to speak to the person who’s assignment it is so I can help them learn to research. It’s truly absurd that I would ever need to say that!

    • K.

      My parents never helped me either.

      I don’t quite ‘get’ why parents help their kids with homework. Like, why?

    • Alex Lee

      I step in when a homework assignment causes them to hit a wall of frustration. Because, that’s what learning sometimes leads to.

      Having the kid just stare at the page in frustration isn’t helping anyone, so sometimes they just need a suggestion or guidance on how to solve a problem or a different way of thinking.

    • K.

      I can’t remember a single time my parents helped me with my homework–frustrated or not. And my mother usually said, “Well, it’s your responsibility and it’s due tomorrow, so you need to figure out how to get it done.”

      I’m not saying that either technique is superior, parenting-wise, but coming from that kind of background, it strikes me as odd that parents don’t seem to think their kids can’t handle frustration and discomfort academically or envision homework as performance assessment rather than process (which admittedly, depends on the sort of school your kid attends). I sometimes propose the question myself: so what happens if you DON’T help your kid and s/he goes into school with a page of empty math equations and a really discouraged outlook? Hopefully, a good teacher can use that event as information and know to work with the student to diagnose what the problem is, use different pedagogical strategies, and offer creative working solutions for that kid. That is, ideally, why homework is assigned–it’s part of the way we can assess how well a student understands the information before moving on. One of my teachers used to say that it was okay if we couldn’t finish an assignment, but if we couldn’t, we had to explain to her specifically what we found difficult and where we thought we were having trouble–that was in lot of ways more valuable as a learning exercise than finishing.

      I’m also speaking as a teacher. I teach older students (mostly HS, a few MS classes), and I’m always struck by a) how terrified they are to fail and b) how resistant they are to BEING frustrated. I get a lot of “But I don’t understand!!” when it usually means “You’re not telling me what to do!!” It’s often the kids that are the MOST resistant to failure and frustration whose parents call me to tell me xyz assignment is surely above their kid’s level. My response is that it probably is–and that’s the point. I teach special writing classes as well which involve me being present while the students are in the process of writing and although I do give them a little nudge when I can see they’re toast, I also have an unspoken rule that I don’t answer questions until I see at least 3 sentences have been written. My job for that sort of class isn’t so much to get them to achieve, but to get them to practice independently. I think homework should be the same way.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      My God, that last paragraph, I would like 1000 times if I could. They are so used to being spoon fed the answer that they are nearly unable to think for themselves. My sixth graders do a lot of small activities where I don’t care if they’re right or wrong, so long as they have an answer they thought about. The first 10 or so times we do it, their minds just can’t wrap around the idea that I care more that they’re trying than that they’re right.

    • whiteroses

      My parents would buy me supplies, make suggestions, and check my homework to make sure I finished it. That was the extent of their homework help.

  • itpainsme2say

    I was ace at geometry and decent at trig. The keyword is was because the way they teach nowadays it goes in the ear stays long enough to be put on paper and then drains out the other ear. I’m not even done with school (collage) so I can’t even imagine how hard it is for parents who went school more that five years ago and now have to recall it all.

    • pixie

      Plus curriculum changing the way something was taught.
      My parents were taught certain things (like in math) very different ways than I was. Also, my mom is like a human calculator. I was pretty decent at math, but man that woman is impressive with her skills.

    • itpainsme2say

      Ya now the kids all learn the japanese and I think german tricks to long divide, factor, etc. So parents are all like Butterfly, Box and whisker are your teachers high because I’ve never heard of this? I fear my future children’s homework.

    • Natasha B

      Goodness yes. When our 4th grader was doing long division and all that crap, it was soooo different, I was like wtf?! Now they’re onto algebra and such, so I can at least check it over (and she corrects her mistakes-we don’t give answers). Her school offers a few nights of tutoring for parents once the kids hit 5th, so we can relearn math they way they are. I have a Bachelors. I ain’t going back!

  • Katherine Handcock

    It’s a tricky balance to strike, helping kids understand a concept without doing for them. My dad was sneaky…on the occasions I did have trouble with a math concept, he’d ask me which questions I was supposed to do for homework and demonstrate with one of the other ones ;-)

    As for algebra, I maintain that if we started kids’ math classes with 1+1=X instead of 1+1=[blank space] algebra would not be so scary! Half of what confuses kids when they first get to it is the whole “throwing letters into math” thing, and then they associate letters in the equation with hard and confusing.

    • pixie

      Yeah, I remember when I started algebra in grade 7. I thought I was the shit at math before until I saw the letters thrown in. Then I was all like “WTF IS THIS!?”
      I got it after it was explained, but it threw me for a loop at first. :P

    • C.J.

      My younger one is participating in a public speaking contest right now. She is in the third round. One of the older kids from a different school wrote her speech about math and had a paragraph about algebra. I have heard her compete it twice now and cracked up laughing both times (it was meant to be funny). I don’t remember starting to learn algebra it was too long ago but it was interesting to hear a high school students point of view about it.

    • pixie

      Ha. I haven’t done math since grade 11, so while I’d probably have some idea what she was talking about but most of it would boggle my mind. I enjoy the idea of being able to figure out complex math equations, but it’s been far too long! And hearing a kid in high school’s opinion of math would probably be hilarious.

    • C.J.

      It was hilarious, she did a great job. I don’t know the girl personally but I hope she wins her age division. It was obvious she worked really hard on it.

    • Laura

      My mom was the most annoying when I needed math help. She’d explain the math to me, go through the homework, and then make me do extra work to make sure I really understood. It was actually really great of her, especially since she often had to teach herself to do it first, but as a kid I hated it.

    • Ginny

      That’s like the teacher figuring out the answers to the even problems are in the back of the book so she only assigns the odds. Tricky.

  • Kay_Sue

    I applaud my dad for never actually giving in and doing the homework for me. He majored in math, minored in education, and intended to be a math teacher until fate had other plans for him. He was (looking back) a fantastic tutor…but I was so stubborn that I knew better that I refused to listen until one day it all clicked in Algebra II. You should have seen his face when I went, “I get it, you were right!” after, you know, six or seven years of fighting with him over it.

    I’m sure there were a lot of times that he would rather have just done the homework than sit and fight it out with me. I sure as hell know there were many, may times that it would have been easier and a million times less stressful for him.

  • keelhaulrose

    I did that shit once. If I wanted to do more homework I’d get my lazy ass back in college.
    I help my daughter, but I’ll never give an answer.

  • cabinfever

    I’m genuinely interested in re-learning a lot of the basic things from school that I’ve forgotten (especially math!). My sneaky plan, if my girls will play along, is to sit in every once in a while and let them teach me what they’ve learned.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Brilliant, because you learn best by teaching it to others, so that’s super great for them (and you’re not giving them any answers).

    • koolchicken

      That’s actually a really good idea. More people should be doing this. In fact, why isn’t this just the way things are done?

  • sappho99336

    According to new research, helping kids with their homework doesn’t lead to higher academic achievement anyway: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/and-dont-help-your-kids-with-their-homework/358636/

    In some cases, it can even lower the kids’ achievement, because the parent has forgotten or never understood the material.

    A couple of things that do help: reading out loud with kids and talking with teenagers about college plans.

  • EmmaFromÉire

    It makes me FURIOUS that parents do their kids’ maths homework. To be frank, your high school grads are not on par with the level of other students. All of the american students in my course were light years behind their Irish and English counterparts. Don’t put your kids at more of a disadvantage.

  • junglecrazd1

    failure is the greatest teacher. students need to find their own path through hard work and curiosity. good parenting is allowing a child to make a mistake and guiding them toward a solution, not providing the solution gratis.

  • C.J.

    If they don’t understand something I will explain it to them but I won’t do it for them. I don’t really help them with homework anymore. At 8 and 11 the should and do complete their homework independently. If they ask me to check their homework I do but they usually only ask if they are not sure about something. If they need help with getting supplies or printing stuff for a project I do that. It is up to them to be responsible for their homework and be accountable if they don’t do it. They have to write their homework in their agenda’s at school so there is no reason to forget. Parents have to sign the agenda’s every night. I read it in case there is anything I need to know and sign it but I don’t make sure they do the homework. We don’t fight about doing homework and they have never handed anything in late. They both get good grades. I think a lot of parents are too involved with homework. I have heard friends have screaming matches with their kids about homework or give up and do it themselves. I’m not doing that, it teaches the kids nothing.

    • Guets

      I just can’t even imagine what would possess someone to get in a fight with a kid over homework and then actually go the next step and do it. If my mother ever did that I would know immediately that she was my b**ch. They don’t do it, they have to go to school the next day being embarassed, get in trouble with the teacher and get crap grades.

    • C.J.

      Yep, they also know I won’t write notes to the teacher with an excuse as to why they didn’t do their homework. I know people who do that too. Needless to say it is always the same people doing this. Once it happens once the kid knows they can get away with it.

    • Guets

      They must have lax teachers. Mine wouldn’t accept a note or late homework for ANY reason. The only thing my mom would let me get away with was staying home too much. I got sick often or I just didn’t want to go because I was exhausted from school + extracurriculars. I still maintained my grades but one of my teachers pulled me aside to tell me I needed to straighten up and show up.

  • Justme

    First of all, there are tons of great (free) websites out there to help kids with all levels of math – the Khan Academy is the one that comes to mind and you can also check out Dr. Burger videos. I direct my own students to those sites because sometimes it’s just the way I explain it that doesn’t make sense – they need to hear it a different way in order to understand the material.

    Secondly, I’m not sure if this is the BEST mindset to have as a teacher, but my philosophy for those REALLY frustrating, terrible students (it’s usually behavioral) is this: I have to deal with the effects of those people’s poor parenting for one year…those parents have to deal with the effects of their poor parenting for the rest of their lives. Whether it’s making sure their child never feels disappointment or failure…or lightening their academic load by doing homework for them, their mistakes will someday catch up with them and they will be the ones dealing with a 30-year-old man-child living in their basement.

    I’ve also found that most of the time when a parent vehemently disagrees with my grading of their child’s project or paper….it’s because the parent did the work themselves and feel they should have earned a higher grade.

  • Paul White

    If I helped with math past about 6th or 7th grade, my son would fail the homework AND the test.

    • Natasha B

      Our district actually offers a few hours of tutoring for the parents, so we can help with math, or at least comprehend what our kids is doing. Crazy.

    • koolchicken

      Sorry but that’s freaking ridiculous. Sounds to me like they would do better devoting that time to the students. It’s not the parents job to teach these kids math. Some math yes, but not all of it. If it were we wouldn’t have things like teachers and school.

    • Guest

      lmao. This is what I was thinking- a tutor for the kids to help them with math…makes sense…wtf the parents? Hell naw. You couldn’t pay me to do that class.

    • koolchicken

      It’s stupid beyond words. Talk about districts wasting resources. Get the kids the help they need. Don’t waste it on the parents who aren’t trying to get into college next year. If parents want a brush up for their own benefit they can pay a tutor.

    • whiteroses

      This. If my son expects help with geometry when he’s older, he’s SOL. I barely passed Algebra, which is why I didn’t even try to become a math teacher.

  • Natasha B

    We ‘help’ but we don’t give answers. Our 4th grader is a voracious reader, but when it comes to writing a book report, it’s like one sentence, so we ask her questions to help draw out details-and she writes the paper. We help with grammar, but she does the correcting. Hubs checks her math, and then she corrects it-if she’s struggling, he works with her. He’s good at that-I lack patience :(

    • Jill

      I will proof read for my kids (I do it for my husband all the time) but I won’t do math. I feel like the world in general could use more proofreading. Luckily my husband is a freak of nature when it comes to schooling so I’m making him help with all of the other stuff.

  • koolchicken

    Okay see, not only am I not willing to ever do my kids homework, I’m not so keen on him doing it. I think the after school hours are fantastic for so many things. Extra help with a difficult subject for instance. An extra curricular that will enhance his ability to learn in the classroom such as music. But what the after school hours are not for (so far as I’m concerned) are him doing hours of busy work. Or even worse, me doing busy work so he has time to be a kid.

    I did my time, I’m out. No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks…

    • Paul White

      yeah. I know the general rule of thumb is 10 minutes per grade level per night, but I can’t fathom doing 2 *hours* of homework by the time someone’s a high school senior. Between the bus ride, a job, chores, etc…WHEN? I worked in high school and I would (2-3 nights a week) work from 4-9pm (after getting out of school at 3:30)…

      EDIT: I’m all for a little homework, but it seems nuts to me to expect an additional 1.5 hours or more a night.

    • koolchicken

      From what I understand that whole ten minutes per grade level is gone. Not that it was okay to begin with. An hour a day for an 11 year old? No wonder we have an obesity epidemic.

      I think the time after school could be better spent on things beyond homework (which is mostly just worksheets and other busy work from what I’ve been hearing). And I’m not willing to do it for my kid for a variety of reasons. If my kid starts getting stuff like that I’ll take him out of the school because clearly it’s not a good learning environment.

    • Guest

      I’ve heard way more than the ten minutes nowadays. I still have no idea how I did extracurriculars and homework other than I stayed up late, half assed it, and had my friends do some of it for me.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    I’ve had more tantrums thrown because the 10 year old expects me to do her homework for her.
    She had Irish vocabulary to learn, easy enough stuff, it was revising colours and numbers after the long Paddy’s Day weekend.
    It got to the stage where I just said well I can’t learn them for you!
    She wanted me to write a note to her teacher saying she shouldn’t have to learn them, I refused.

    At the end of the day, I’m the only one who CAN help her as her father doesn’t speak/know Irish as he is not Irish.

    I do believe in showing by example- if she has ten maths problems, I’ll SHOW HER how to do the first, make up my own, and let her practice and see how she does. Then I check them and if she gets any wrong, she re-does it.

    • pixie

      Have you thought of dropping Irish into every day situations? Like if you need a specific colour pen, say the colour name in Irish to see if she can figure it out? Or that you need X number of eggs to make a cake. It might be easier for her than sitting there and memorizing. :)

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      lol I actually do this all the time, my father is a very traditional Irish speaker, I am passable at best, but I do chat to the kids in Irish.
      Her teacher recommended we start teaching her words in another language, so she can hear the huge difference and let the vocab “click” in her mind, so I’ll say it in Irish and ask does she want to know the German word too.
      She writes it down in a little notebook and it somehow actually helps her to remember the words!

      I asked her what colour my mixing bowl was in Irish and she couldn’t remember.
      I said OK What about the German word? Straight away her eyes lit up and she said, OH! It’s GELB in German so it’s BuĂ­ in Irish!

      Straight away her mind clicked over. It’s slow but seems to be working *fingers crossed*

    • pixie

      That’s great!
      And German’s actually a good one because it’s close enough to english to not be too difficult, but is still different enough for there to be a noticeable difference.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      That’s exactly why I chose German haha, it’s so different to Irish!

  • rrlo

    Doing your kids homework is a terrible idea but helping with homework surely can’t be a bad thing. By helping I mean reviewing broad concepts, teaching tips and tricks, helping with planning of how to get a major project done, suggesting resources.

  • Jezebeelzebub

    *SIGH* I’ve done it. There- I said it. I have done it when the poor kid cain’t take no more… I’m sure her teacher probably knows when I have made the attempt because I don’t get that new-fangled math bullshit. I felt guilty for about 6 seconds, but then the kid was like “does this mean we can watch Star Trek on Netflix?” and I was all “YES IT DOES, BABY.” Priorities, amirite?

    World’s Okay-est Mom, right over here.