Do kids have too much homework?

5 Oct

According to a recent article, parents should not be overly involved with the homework that their children are expected to complete each night. The question posed was whether or not the expectation of parents helping with their kid’s school work was contributing to this epidemic of helicopter parenting.  Whatever.  Mr. Ackerly responds that parents can assist from afar but that essentially teachers shouldn’t place the onus of assistance on us when they give too much homework.

5 tips to help teens manage homework stress on Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad


Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen in the real world.  At the high school level, the teachers stand in front of the kid, give the lesson and then all other work is left to the child’s devices.  Extra help isn’t offered, there isn’t time during the class for individual questions, and textbooks aren’t allowed to come home.  So if my kid is stuck on the lesson, who do you suppose she has to ask?  That’s right, the parent.

In elementary school, we found the teachers to be a bit more open to offering after school help if needed, but I certainly don’t want my third grader left alone without other children/adults around.  And if they happen to be cared for after school by a local facility or nanny, they don’t have transportation after the initial release of school.  So a parent has to be with them anyway and quite frankly, at that age, most parents can figure out the assignments so teachers aren’t needed as much.  High school homework is much more difficult and thus, tutoring may be necessary.

At our local school, tutoring, if you can get it, is provided during the detention hall.  What?  Picture this scenario, your child finally works up the courage to ask for help and then has to sit through an hour with the school thugs trouble makers.  Not sure what the educators were thinking, but my guess is that they couldn’t get anyone else to stay after school for educational purposes…and since it’s mandated that the offer detention to troubled children; they get to knock out two birds with one stone.  Sad but true.

Since Beloved is taking online classes this year, the expectation is definitely on participation from parents.  I am even given the title of “learning coach”.  All assignments that she completes are automatically sent to my account to review and mark, then I forward to the teacher to grade.  We are forced to be the middle man.  I don’t have a problem with this.  We need to stop relegating tasks outside of our comfort zone to other people.  I am re-learning Algebra and have to spend time discussing it with Beloved.  We are lucky in that these online school teachers are assessable and free tutoring is offered; I just don’t think this has to be my get out of jail free ticket.

Parents, stay involved, help your children with tasks that “should” be others jobs to teach, revel in the extra time that you get to spend with them.  I see nothing wrong with creating more helicopter parents [through too much homework or anything else] if ultimately the end result is more time with my girl.  I wish to be her biggest influence and if I’m not with her, how can I accomplish this? 

Hovering high and low, Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

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