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Study shows that helping children with homework is detrimental

(39 Posts)
Mishap Mon 31-Mar-14 14:05:10

Interesting American study has come to this conclusion. It challenges the idea that parents should be asked to be partners in their children's education and advocates the approach of previous generations who "concentrated on getting children to school on time, fed, dressed and ready to learn."

In other words: let the teachers do their job in school, where learning is the objective; and let the parents concentrate on creating a happy family environment for their children to grow up in. Sounds just the ticket to me.

thatbags Mon 31-Mar-14 14:17:23

Me too. Happy home environment for the children to grow and play in.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 31-Mar-14 14:19:44

Sounds like complete shrugging off of responsibility onto someone else.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 31-Mar-14 14:21:14

So much easier to open the back door and shove kids out into the garden. Or up to their bedroom and their screens.

Soutra Mon 31-Mar-14 14:24:55

Glad to say my parents never helped me - quite capable of making my own mistakes thank you!

Soutra Mon 31-Mar-14 14:26:04

Meant to add that I agree wholeheartedly!!

gillybob Mon 31-Mar-14 14:41:36

Oh I don't know. I thinks some homework is very good and some is pretty rubbish too. My eldest GD's (8) gets two sets of homework per week , not including reading (although she is a free reader so no set reading book). One piece is numeracy and one literacy. Last weeks numeracy was (in her words) far too easy. It was halving and doubling numbers. Her literacy was keeping a weekend diary starting on Saturday morning when you wake up and finishing on Sunday night when you go to bed. As usual she had done so many things over the weekend that her "weekend diary" was almost a short story. Nevertheless it earned her a much sought after housepoint !

Some homework she gets is badly thought out and often complete with teachers spelling mistakes and very bad photocopying.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 31-Mar-14 14:53:49

Yes - my Dd finds that - teachers' spelling mistakes. And rubbish grammar.

J52 Mon 31-Mar-14 15:12:47

Nothing beats spending time with children, teaching them about interesting things around them. This can easily include language skills, science and maths.
Two hours spent with GD aged 4 yesterday included a playing a maths concept game, planting seeds, walking around the garden observing bugs, frogs, birds and discussing each. Also having milk and cookie outside, but going in incase the birds were hungry and would want some!
Now, Granny must get back to her distance learning homework!

FlicketyB Mon 31-Mar-14 15:34:22

What is 'help'? I rarely if ever directly helped my children with their homework but I was always willing to discuss any problem they had with homework to help them work out the solution by themselves.

And like J52 we did lots of activities and visited places that encouraged their interests and supported their learning. In other words what most parents do.

rosesarered Mon 31-Mar-14 15:43:00

Same here FlicketyBThey rarely asked for help anyway, but DH dealt with any maths probs and I helped with other subjects if they really needed it.Once they were into the A level subjects they just got on with it [thankfully!]

rosesarered Mon 31-Mar-14 15:44:59

When I was at school, I never thought of asking Mum for advice and none was ever forthcoming! I think a bit of help [especially to clarify the question] can be a good thing but no more really, otherwise the teacher thinks the child understands more than they really do.

Lilygran Mon 31-Mar-14 16:04:29

If you find that the child hasn't understood the topic, or what they are supposed to do, surely you go through it with them and try to find out what's wrong? I wonder if the research referred to was actually about parents doing the child's homework?

Aka Mon 31-Mar-14 16:23:34

Reference please.

Mamie Mon 31-Mar-14 16:33:50

Yes I immediately thought "detrimental to what?". Progress? Exam results? Happiness? Family harmony? Television time?
Not sure about how far back in previous generations they are going. I remember supporting mine through GCSE and A level projects. My OH says his father used to do his French homework for him..... hmm

Mishap Mon 31-Mar-14 16:36:34

That's it folks - you have to pay if you want the whole article!

There are lots of bits of interesting research if you "effectivenes of homework" or something similar.

Mishap Mon 31-Mar-14 17:47:17

Google is the word missing from the previous post!

Aka Mon 31-Mar-14 18:31:25


annodomini Mon 31-Mar-14 18:35:16

Is this the moment to confess that I help DS2, aged 41, with his assignments for OU French course? .... (creeps into corner, hanging head in shame)

Mishap Mon 31-Mar-14 18:53:26

Tsk! tsk!

Iam64 Mon 31-Mar-14 19:11:45

Don't hide in the corner Anno. I was still helping with homework when my 25 year old was doing on line work for her post grad course. I didn't do it, of course, but we talked about it to help focus on the stuff that really had to be understood.
I don't think little ones should get homework. I know we've discussed that endlessly, but I do believe down time, relaxing with parents is as important. I'd support reading books, and spelling tests on Friday, but not projects for example. So difficult for parents with limited resources, and unfair on their children.

annodomini Mon 31-Mar-14 19:35:53

At 17, I 'helped' sister with Latin homework. I'm sure the teacher knew whose hand was in it. However, sister shocked us both by scoring very well in her Latin exam with no help from me at all.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 31-Mar-14 20:11:00

My dad (a doctor) once did helped me with my biology homework. I got a C. And the teacher was one of his patients...

Greenfinch Mon 31-Mar-14 20:50:18

A long time ago when I used to teach RE the father of one of my students was a psychiatrist at Broadmoor. All her pieces of homework used to come with a psychological explanation which was very interesting but was obviously not her own work. For example in the miracle where Jesus healed Peter's mother-in -law it was explained that she was suffering from depression because her SiL had left home to follow Jesus and she was worried how they would cope but when she came face to face with Jesus she recognised his charisma and began to understand him so much so that she was able to rise from her bed and carry on with her life. I quite liked the explanation but it was hardly the work of an 11year old.

Greenfinch Mon 31-Mar-14 20:54:34

My two sons both did Economics at A Level two years apart with the same teacher. The elder one got an A for an essay he did. Two years later he "helped" his brother by giving him the essay to copy. Strangely,DS2 only got a C. Astute teacher no doubt grin