How to Help Your Child Succeed at School
Every parent wants to see her child succeed at school but it’s hard to know how much to help kids with homework. Sometimes parental help can undermine kids’ progress.
Homework can cause stress in the home because of parental desires for their children to do well and kids feeling overwhelmed by demands placed on them. The friction that homework can cause between parents and their children might outweigh its potential benefits, according to a review of worldwide research by the Institute of Education in London. Following is some guidance on how best to help.
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How Much Should Parents Help Kids With Homework?
Primary school children are generally given homework that encourages if not necessitates adult involvement, such as reading aloud. But after age 11, how involved should parents be? Should you still offer your child some help on essays when they are in high school or even in college?
Experts caution that too much involvement can undermine children’s confidence and make it hard for them to work independently later on.
Although some researchers report that parental involvement with homework can lead to better grades, others cite instances when parental assistance can be detrimental. On a practical level, parents may not understand modern teaching methods and end up confusing youngsters even more.
On an emotional level, parents’ desire for their kids to do well can translate to unnecessary anxiety for children. Study skills experts say adult help should be a positive kind that doesn’t pressure children and most certainly not a doing-it-for-them “help” that sabotages the learning process.
“The best help parents can give is to make it clear that they value education, of which homework is an important element,” says Dr. Susan Hallam, lecturer at the Institute of Education in London. “Providing a quiet environment and generating discussion about homework topics are peripheral ways parents can make homework positive.”
Teenagers and Homework: Handle With Care
As children enter their teen years, many experts recommend only helping when kids ask. Most teens are trying to exert independence so if parents interfere, they risk making the kids angry, obviously not a healthy condition for productive homework. Parents are particularly likely to assist children when they are having difficulty which means they are stepping into a situation where children already feel frustrated. Sure thing, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care about your child’s performance at all. You just shouldn’t be too obtrusive in wanting to help and be ready to come as a last minute essay writing service for your child. But only if they ask you to do it.
Stress is likely to be greatest in households where there is pressure to succeed. When parents are anxious to get their children into limited places at the “best” schools, it’s easy to lose sight of the purpose of homework which ultimately is to promote independent learning.
Parents should concentrate on learning, not performance. “While it’s easy to be consumed by the desire for your child to be at the top of the class – or not at the bottom – the focus should be on assisting children with learning academic material,” says psychologist Dr. Eva Pomerantz from her office at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.
So in case your child has some issue with a specific subject, you shouldn’t force them to get A+ on it just for the sake of the grade. It would be better to find a fast essay writing service that will help with urgent homework assignments while your child will have enough time to figure the important thing out and understand the subject by themselves.
Are You Helping With Homework or Taking Over?
Dr. Pomerantz and other researchers at the University of Illinois found that when parents are too controlling, struggling children actually begin to do more poorly in school. Controlling behavior includes doing children’s schoolwork for them, telling them how to study, and using punishment if homework is not done effectively. “It is better that parents help make children autonomous by asking leading questions that move them toward the answers,” says Dr. Pomerantz, who conducts research on parental involvement in children’s schooling.
If things are getting too heated at home, it’s worth checking out after-school homework clubs where children can work at school with the added benefit of school resources and no arguments.