Do you do your child's homework? Find out why you shouldn't!
If you do your child's homework, read this article to find out why you shouldn't be.
Childhood goes by so fast so helping your kids make the most of it is a must. But if their evenings are all about math, science and history, is there really time for any fun?
The truth is having too much homework can be a burden for both the child and the parent. And if you do your child’s homework for her on a regular basis, there’s really something wrong with the picture!
What parents think
Children have different levels of understanding and paces of working, so while some kids get their work done quickly, others spend hours poring over their books, and often have to take tuition outside of school.
Similarly, parents have differing views towards how they deal with homework.
Doris Chan, who has a 5-year-old son, helps him get through his work. “I try to teach him how to think and get his answers. It takes bucketfuls of patience,” she says.
Others, like Nani Juriati, have a more relaxed approach towards homework and just checks everything once her child has finished doing homework.
Too much to handle
However, when you feel like you have to do your child’s homework for them, this is a sign that the pressure being put on your child is too much. Some parents want to relieve their kids of that pressure by doing their work for them — which isn’t a good thing, of course.
“I do my child’s homework,” says Jenny Tan. “It’s mainly my fault for not building her fundamentals, but it’s also because I want her to enjoy her childhood to the maximum.”
However, we all know that when a parent does the assigned homework for their child, it does not benefit anyone, and the child’s education could be negatively affected.
Nonetheless, some parents still claim that the workload is too much for their child to handle and must be completed, so they feel the need to intervene. Nasz Hussin says, “Sometimes the questions are so hard I secretly turn to Mr. Google.”
From a teacher’s point of view
Pamela Gordon, a private tutor and former teacher at St. Anthony’s Primary School, says, “Parents should never do the homework for their kids. It’s no use getting all the answers right when the child has learnt nothing. Homework is meant to reflect how much the child has understood the lesson in class.”
To help with homework issues, some schools have implemented a system where teachers write down how much homework a child has been assigned. Other teachers then know how much the kids have left to do for the next day.
Learning is important — however, burdening a child with an unrealistic amount of homework leaves some parents feeling that there’s no other choice but to ‘help’ their kids out.
So, if you find yourself regularly finishing your kid’s homework, remember:
1. They aren’t learning anything from it, and their education as well as your money is going to waste.
2. Something needs to be said about how much homework kids are being burdened with.
3. The key is establishing a balance for them.
A certain amount of homework is necessary, especially to keep your kids prepared for the gradual increase in the workload that will occur as they grow older.
However, as a parent you must supervise your child’s studies and even if your child has much to do, give them a little free time to shape their personalities with hobbies, playtime and lots of fun.
You might also want to speak to your child’s teachers and let them know that the workload is too much. Also, try and get other parents’ opinions — if lots of parents feel the same way you do, bring up the issue.
If it is only your child who is having homework problems though, don’t be upset about telling the school that he/she can’t cope with the work and needs more attention.
The most important thing to remember in a situation such as this is not to pressure the child too much, as he/she is probably dealing with enough pressure at school. Your child is never going to be 5, 6 or 7 again, so make sure they are not only learning but also, and more importantly, having the time of their lives.
Source: The Straits Times (September 26th 2011) – Homing in on homework