Dear CC!: Why do parents do their kids’ homework?

Homework ReviewDear CC!,

Teachers do not assign homework to make students stress out, push parents over the edge, or ruin precious quality family time. Teachers assign homework to reinforce concepts taught in the classroom, provide meaningful practice, and help students master newly taught skills.

Why, then, do I have so many parents doing their kid’s homework for them?

And secondly, how do I get across to my students’ parents that the homework I assign is not just busy work?

Yours truly,

Tired of Correcting Parents’ Homework

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Dear Tired,

We need to understand that parents are much busier in 2011 than when you and I were growing up. More parents work outside the home, and kids have much busier schedules than ever before. There is more pressure on them to do extracurricular activities, take Advanced Placement classes, and apply to top colleges.

All these factors lead to wanting to do well but not having enough time to do well. It’s much easier for parents to do the project for their children once they have gone to bed and justify it by telling themselves it was busy work. It’s much easier for some reason to schedule soccer practice than flash card practice.

Parents need to understand that, by doing their children’s homework for them, they may be sending the message that what their teacher has asked them to do is not all that important. Parents should also think about the behaviors they’re modeling for their children. If you do their homework for them, aren’t you showing a lack of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, and fairness?

Perhaps you can send a letter home to parents in the beginning of the year that explains the purpose of homework and the need for students to do their own work. (For more on how the Six Pillars and the T.E.A.M. approach relate to parents, check out these Tips for Parents.)

Teachers also have responsibilities. They must make sure they send home meaningful work that reinforces what has been taught in class. They should also work in extra time for assignments to be due, allowing for busy schedules.

Homework can be extremely valuable if it helps a child master a skill and learn responsibility. If it’s fun, too, that’s even better.

The CC! National Office

2 replies
  1. Heather
    Heather says:

    This is so true and it really hit home for me. When I was in school I remember times that my mom “helped” by finishing a project for me, I never really thought about the message it sent. Parents really need to think about the behavior that they are modeling and what it teaches their kids. Really great article!

    Reply
  2. jill
    jill says:

    I know someone that over schedules their kid. Over brags about them. Baisicly lies about how smart they are, how good of an athelet they are. All the while the kid is over wieght and she does half his homework for him.

    Reply

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