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Homework For Parents

Andrea Ramsay Speers - Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The older your child gets, the less involved you may become in their homework.  Or, then again, you may find yourself nagging and supervising more because less seems to be getting done.

Homework is a big issue for parents.  We can see the benefits of a sound education, even when our kids can't.  But we have to make sure that we don't take too much responsibility for the work itself -- while our kids may actually graduate if we do the bulk of their projects, they've missed out on the opportunity to actually learn anything.

Sometimes the reason everything gets left to the last minute is because your child really doesn't know how to plan and manage the work flow.  That would be a great opportunity for you to step in and offer some guidance.  The younger your kids are when you can instil these principles, the better, but it's never too late.  Gently remind your child how miserable she was the last time she had a big project and left it to the last minute, and offer to help set up a schedule to keep her on track and avoid the need for an all-nighter. 

Don't let yourself get sucked in to assuming too much responsibility for the project.  While of course we want our kids to do well in school, the real purpose of school is not to achieve a certain grade, but to develop critical thinking skills, planning skills, and personal responsibility.  In our societal zeal to emphasize the importance of an education, the real learning can easily be lost.

And a failing grade won't kill your child.  But it just might teach a more valuable lesson than any that you could have taught through your own efforts.

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Andrea Ramsay Speers • Psychotherapist & Parent Coach • Oakville Family Institute • 175 Glenashton Dr., Oakville ON • Tel.: 905-491-6949

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