Parents: How Much Homework Help…Is Too Much?
How much homework does your child normally have every day? For the oldest, who really knows…I can’t monitor her every move on her Chromebook while I am cooking. But I’d say maybe an hour and a half if she were really studying. For the two youngest about thirty minutes. When my oldest first started school I used to think I was lucky if she completed her homework in after care before I picked her up. By the time she reached third grade I learned that was a big mistake. I looked over her work when I got home to make sure it was done but I was clueless as to what skills she still needed to work on. Once I found out that my oldest needed extra help in math I sat down right beside her and helped her through each and every homework problem. BIG Mistake (number 2, in case you’re counting)! While I was helping her with every problem I was also helping her to develop a co-dependency. Before I even realized it my oldest developed the need to always look to her left or right for validation before she made a mark. Not a good habit to create when the teacher has twenty some odd other students to tend to. A recent study also makes me think I should have guided her with help at home and not sit right beside her. In the study 13 year old students were given questionnaires asking how often they did homework and how much time they spent on various subjects. They were also asked whether they did their homework alone or whether they had help and, if so, how often. Their academic performance in math and science was measured using a standardized test. The study found that:
- Students spent on average between one and two hours a day doing homework in all subjects.
- Students whose teacher systematically assigned homework scored nearly 50 points higher on the standardized test.
- Students who did their math homework on their own scored 54 points higher than those who asked for frequent or constant help.
- When it comes to adolescents with math and science homework, more isn’t necessarily better — an hour a day is optimal — but doing it alone and regularly produces the biggest knowledge gain
How do you help with homework?