Homework Help – How much?

rick-ackerlyEvery year the same question comes up: How much homework help do I offer my child?

What I’ve noticed is that almost all parents who ask this question have 3 things in common:

  1. They don’t have a strategy. (At least not a strategy that provides direction and a goal.)
  2. They have big fat, false fears about what will happen if their child does not turn in homework! (Stay back a grade, flunk out of college, lose scholarship opportunities, become a slacker, etc.)
  3. They sense this could be a growing problem, which is why they want to nip it in the bud. (They don’t like the idea of being the homework police and I don’t blame them).

The Truth is

The homework is not your problem and the only one who can learn to “fix” homework issues is your child. The teacher is who your child can turn to for homework help.

Rick Ackerly, a 45-year veteran and thought leader in the field of Education says (about homework help),

“When you care about it more than your child, it absolves the child of responsibility.”

In his recent post (a title inspired by the wise words of a 7 year old), Overparenting? Why Do Grownups Have to Take Over? he guides parents  through various feelings and beliefs they have about homework help. He also shares a story that I believe will hit home for the majority of our readers who are still struggling with their over-parenting tendencies. In the post, he says to a couple of well-meaning parents,

“Right now, (your son) doesn’t have to do any learning, because you are doing all the work. Your anxiety is a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Up Next: What I said to my children’s teachers that made everything a win-win-win for the kids, the teachers and myself!


6 thoughts on “Homework Help – How much?

  1. “I pledge to stay off our school district PARENTLINK until I am invited by my child!” (On-line grade tracking program)
    The universe is speaking. I just listened to the archived Podcast you had with Rick
    ….and your blog post comes through hours later.

    I firmly believe that the homework was “more important to me than my kids”…and the result…Homework Wars.

    I’m duct taping my hands (to check) and my eyes (to look). The relationship is between my kids and their teachers and get to be a bystander/cheerleader!

    1. Hi Mary, My name is Jennifer and I am Vicki’s business partner. We love your responses, posts, commitment and insight. Keep the updates coming! Welcome to the family.

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