5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Do Homework With Your Child

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A Brief History

By the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, the consensus in American education was overwhelmingly in favor of issuing homework to students of all grade levels.  The temptation to help your children, to make them stronger or smarter may end up with the kids losing their interests to the project and tasks. Many parents believe that if you do not control the process of ‘doing homework’, the child will study poorly; however, researchers from the University of Austin and Duke (USA) have shown that this is not the case, especially when you want to develop positive relationships in school.

Additionally, new studies show that the involvement of moms and dads in the learning process influences grades. It turned out that parental help in junior grades is useless, and in high school, it negatively influences the results of examination tests. Yes, it is not a great choice for arguing why kids should not have homework, but let us check out why the child should be responsible for their projects and assignments, but not their parents.

Digging Deeper

1. The child loses the motivation to learn

A boy doing his homework.  Photograph by NeoMeesje.

According to the research, when parents are involved in homework, children do not want to learn the material and lose all the benefits of homework. Those children whose parents are sitting next to them have the lowest motivation, and one of the reasons for such an attitude is that lots of parents make assignments for kids. In contrary, those children who are not pressed by their parents, learn more willingly.

2. Parents are losing control

Hearing the Homework; Yrjö Ollila

You can help only if the child asks you about it. In this case, explain to your child all the unclear information, but do not do the task instead of the kid. If a child cannot cope with the homework and you do want to lose your control here, it is better to not force the kid to do the task but “join” and support their emotions:

  • Accept the child’s right when they want no homework or retell a paragraph from a boring book.
  • Ask custom writer to describe in details how they cope with similar issues and complex tasks.
  • Help to deal with a source of frustration by advising constructive ways.
  • Teach to solve similar difficult assignments and unpleasant things in the future.

3. The child does not learn how to be responsible

Japanese students doing homework, c. 1915.  Elstner Hilton took this photo in Japan between 1914 and 1918.

Forcing a child to sit down quietly and learning subjects, supervising their homework and punishing for poor grades, taking responsibility for the studies and, therefore, destroying their chances of learning how to be responsible are not the best option. While you are standing over them, controlling all the processes, you teach them how to avoid responsibility.

According to psychologists, raising a child this way will do a disservice as in the adult life, instead of rewards and punishments, they will face the natural consequences of their actions. Let the consequences come. The ability to answer for their actions, discover their own strength are more important than the ability to carry out other people’s demands.

4. Relationships between parents and children get worse

Sprinter Miriam Siderenski running alongside her daughter.  Photograph by Yossef Orion.

Psychologists advise to build a trusting relationship with their children and spend quality time together. You can read aloud, discuss what is happening in science and in the world, find new interesting activities. If you are screaming at your kid, ask yourself what is the reason for such a categorical attitude. In a family where is a scandal, children may feel abandoned, regardless of their success and failures in school. Love is more important than good marks.

5. Misunderstanding of the material

A person doing geometry homework.  Photograph by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos.

The school program is quite difficult and it can be challenging for a child. If the child does not understand the essence of the lesson, consequently it is difficult to do the homework, as a result – loss of interest in the subject.

So, how to solve this issue? In any case, you can not do homework instead of the child. If we are talking about primary school, then parents should try to explain the working material at home, in a relaxed atmosphere.

Conclusion

Girl in her room doing her homework, The Netherlands, 1964-1974.  Photograph from the Nationaal Archief.

If your child does not understand something, you need to find out the reason. You can offer your help but first, you can give your child a try by encouraging to solve the task on their own. You can experiment with apps or additional tools and simply be more creative when explaining the material. Therefore, it would be easier to describe the tasks. Shouting or beating children for misunderstanding is unacceptable. In order to get on the same wave and explain the material, it is better to find the free time or take a day-off, when you are not in a hurry or nervous. Thus, you can calmly communicate and describe the material if needed.

Question for students (and subscribers): Should you do homework with your child?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Kelly, Kate and Anne Zeman.  Everything You Need to Know about American History Homework: 4th to 6th Grades.  Scholastic Reference, 2005.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by woodleywonderworks of a home work routine, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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About Author

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Jeff is an experienced writer, columnist, and psychotherapist. He has years of experience understanding children behavior, and how they can perform well throughout their study career. Jeff participates in the professional development of the education sector.