Last week at a gathering over tea, we ladies (around 10) were gossiping on various subjects. The mood was light and the mint tea refreshing. But slowly the conversation started to heat up and I saw ladies all trying to speak at once. And what was the debate on? “Homework”. Most of them admitted that they help their kids do homework and two said that they themselves research on the topic and spoon feed their kids. I was not shocked but amazed at this.
I never do my child’s work; neither do I check what they have done. Yes, I give them a guideline or explain what has to be done but never how it is to be done. Children get mad at me for not helping them, but I know that’s temporary and it will benefit them in the long learn. If I help them, it will dissolve the purpose of homework.
Why is a home assignments or homework given? Is it given to access the knowledge of the parent/s or of the child? That is my question to you. Now you may ask, Nidhi what about time pressures, grades and maintaining work –family balance. Is it not easier to tell them how to do and save on time and energy? I know some parents who research on google for the child and give them prints and the child is asked to copy paste. Today I want to answer them back
- If you do your child’s homework, how will the teacher understand how much your child has understood? Now think, according to the teacher your child is a pro and has understood the topic and hence he/she will pay attention in explaining other kids and not yours. But in reality your child knows none and is left clueless until the end of topic. So who is the looser? Your child, right!
- You think by helping your child his/her grades will improve? Yes, sure. But only in his/her homework assessment. But what happens in class? The child is still clueless. The child fails to demonstrate the same expertise in class and leaves the teacher confused.
- Now sometime you pitch in because of too much homework and for the sake of getting everything completed on time you volunteer to do. Happens! But does this happen only once a week? NO. Homework is a continuous process. It prepares the child to handle deadlines from an early age. But if your child has no taste of pressure he/she may collapse at a stage more harmful than today.
- Moreover, when you do your child’s homework you send him/her a message that he/she is incapable of doing it on their own. You raise this doubt in your child’s mind which shakes their confidence and questions their own capability.
- You make them dependent on you. While you might boost of being most important to your kids but at what cost? When a child is not trusted and given responsibility to do his/her own work, their brain remains underutilized and they remain unaware of their own potential. Instead of taking risks they become risk averse.
On the contrary when you don’t do your child’s homework:
- The teacher gages his/her right understanding and takes extra effort to explain and clarify their doubts and rectify mistakes in class. The teacher gives attention to the child making sure any new topic is well understood to all in class.
- The child becomes independent and understands the value of time. Your child becomes a pro at time management which is the biggest problem of the modern generation.
- They learn to match deadlines and handle pressure from a tender age which will help them in the long run. It makes them organised and presentable to the outside world. It makes them confident and well informed about the topic in question.
- They understand responsibility and use their maximum potential to solve problems. They learn how to research by themselves making them tech savvy and gadget friendly.
- It magnifies thinking skills. And they think they prosper and grow. It nurtures curiosity building in the quest to know more and to learn more. And once the child is bitten by this bug, the sky is the limit.
- A well-read child is always a bright child. When children do their own work, they read a lot hence broadening their horizons and making them more knowledgeable.
“It’s better to let your child cry than to rob his/her intelligence. Serve him the ingredients and not the meal and spoon feeding, no chance.”
Instead what you should do:
- Write a letter to the teacher explaining that the homework is too tough for your child or that he/she has not understood the concept.
- Meet the teacher and express your concerns and mutually decide on how to bring your child to the grade level not worrying too much about numbers.
- Explain to your child the importance of homework.
- Encourage your child to ask questions in class and clear his/her doubts which will aid him/her in home work.
Tell your child not to worry about grades or marks instead focus on understanding the concepts.
Are you ready to control your emotions and not get tempted to finish homework for your child? I am. Do let me know if you have something to add to this. Unlike “My daddy strongest” lets propagate “Read – understand – reply”.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Happiness and Sunshine