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#1 of 39 Old 10-14-2013, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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 There is a lot of discussion on my FB page, jokes and not so much about parents doing their kids' homework. That got me wondering about some of those (imo) grey areas when it comes to helping a child complete work. I'm focused mainly on the middle-school years because that seems an age ripe for parent involvement that perhaps goes too far.  

 

Here are a few things that I do on occasion and I'd like to hear opinions on whether you think these are appropriate ways to help a child complete their work.  

 

First let me say that my DC's school does encourage parents to help with HW. I know about and admire the philosophy of letting kids find their own way at this age but I don't think that is the philosophy at this particular school. I also want to say that part of DC's HW is a blog that we can read. It's pretty clear from the blog that some kids are getting far more help (some answers seem very "parent led") than what we are currently doing with DC. 

 

Here are some of the things I do on occasion (and would do more of if I were clear about how appropriate this sort of help is). 

 

  • Sometimes I sense that DC is full of ideas and feeling creative and productive but she is a SLOW typer and I will occasionally type and format her thoughts for her. The pros of this are it is neat (which she likes) and she is able to do the creative, expressive work without being hindered by her typing ability. I can also help her think about clarity and the process of thinking and expressing ideas. The cons are that she obviously isn't becoming a better typer, there is some spelling errors that she would make (actually, a lot - her teachers can probably tell that someone typed or heavily edited because DC's grammar is not great).  
  • When DC is tired but needs or wants to work on a research based assignment I will read to her. For instance she had to do something on Earth science yesterday and I just went through some articles related to the subject and read to her for a while. I didn't feed her the answer (and she came up with a good answer all on her own without leading from me but it was me reading the material - not her). 
  • When DC has a project that is completed on a software program like Publisher (her group chose to use this) I will often need to help DC understand the inner workings of that program. I find Publisher a little frustrating (moving text, formatting text boxes and etc).  DC isn't being given direct instruction on these programs (the kids in her group chose it - not the teacher) so it can be frustrating to work on these programs - the work itself is "easy" but it's the formatting that is frustrating. I have been teaching Publisher to DC but in doing that I wonder if I'm not helping her "race through" the process, which maybe includes suffering through some of these programs...?  I don't really know. 

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts, what you do, if you're a teacher what you think about this sort of help. Other suggestions for how to help and etc. 


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#2 of 39 Old 10-14-2013, 09:07 AM
 
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Personally, I believe in a very hands-off approach to homework. We are there if they need us but I can count on 1 hand the times I was involved in my kids homework (now 8th and 12th grade.) True, sometimes their projects weren't as pretty and sometimes they made mistakes and got a lower grade but they've grown into highly independent students who are grateful for the space we've given them.

 

What you described, might be appropriate for a young child in the early grades but from your siggie, it looks like she's 12? Is that right? If so, she's too old for you to be typing her papers and reading for her. Yes, she needs to suffer through the programs and figure them out. It can be painful to watch but believe me, you DO NOT want to be one of those parents whose children are still depending on you for homework help in high school and college. It really blows my mind how many teens have parents still doing their research for them. I have a friend who still types and reminds her college son in a different city about when papers are due. One of DD's friend's mother wrote her daughter's college essay. The idea that you will wean your child off your help is nice but often, it doesn't happen because it's just so much easier and faster to be involved and do it yourself. It also rarely happens soon enough and homework dependence becomes an accepted routine for the whole family.

 

Absolutely, in 1st and 2nd grade, taking dictation, reading some difficult passages, working through a program with them... totally appropriate. However, 12 is normally middle school and, in my opinion, it's not appropriate to be that involved unless there is some learning disability.


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#3 of 39 Old 10-14-2013, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Perhaps it would be helpful to know that DC attended a school for grades 1-5 where there was no homework so this is our first venture into the world of substantial home-study. So, for us, the idea that it is appropriate to help a 1st grader with HW isn't really something I can relate to - because DC never had HW before now. 

 

Also, her previous school did not use technology or computers for education...so I feel a little like DC is "behind" some when it comes to things like typing, searching the internet and etc. 

 

I suppose I could talk to the school about how much involvement should come from a family with a child in DC's situation...but did want to point out that this isn't like a pattern of me helping her in this way for a long period of time. 

 

Still, thanks for the input. Whatever we decide I'll be sure to be aware that there are mothers out there doing their children's college level work - it's hard to imagine!  


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#4 of 39 Old 10-14-2013, 09:33 AM
 
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I have a 6th grader who just started middle school. I'll chime in on what I would be comfortable with in the situation you described.

 

1. I have been know to take dictation, more so in elementary school. I haven't done so at all this year. However, it's important to take the dictation exactly as told and have them preform the editing process. It's hard not to type it and in the process change a word or phrase to something more effective, but I'd try to avoid the temptation. I'd also have her do the formatting as much as possible.

 

Once my son has typed something I have no problem with going through it with him and prompting to do things like check for capitalization, proper punctuation, and make sure that every sentence has both a subject and a verb. I do go through writing assignments with my son to prompt him on writing conventions. However, he has to find and fix the error, but I might point out that there is one in a particular section. I also see no problem with filling the role that peer reviewer or critical friends would fill in a classroom.

 

2. Does she find the articles and you read them to her or do you find them as well? An important part of learning to research in middle school is learning digital literacy and learning how to discern if a resource is a good one or not. I've been know to have discussions with my son about what makes a good source while he searches, and I've been known to help him come up with keywords or organizations that might have resources for him to check out. But he does the search himself. Once he's done the search I don't read it to him. But I don't see that simply reading the words on the page is overstepping.

 

3. I do help with software navigation. I typically wait for specific questions so I'm not inserting my own ascetics or opinions on how it should look into the project. But if my son asked how to make a box bigger or move something I do hop on and show him how. In classrooms where the choice of software is given it is usually assumed that the kids are figuring it out and teaching each other how to use the software. 

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#5 of 39 Old 10-14-2013, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I also have another question, WNM, did you feel your level of involvement met the expectations of the school?  My DC's first school was very much "let us manage the subjects we are teaching at school" type - no homework at all, like I said (a bit of optional 5th grade HW to help the kids prepare for middle). This new school seems to really, really encourage parent involvement. If you felt your DC's schools wanted you to be more involved, would you?  How would you approach things if you got the gut feeling that your children's peers were getting quite a bit more help from home than your kids were getting?   
 
Because I will say that I do think my preference is to help in a different way -- I do think I would be pretty hands-on (DC does have some learning struggles so we have always helped her get over hurdles) but middle school seems like there is this expectation that parents help kids meet teacher expectations - get good grades - more than just be involved in helping your kids learn the way they learn best.  
 
It's kind of a new vibe and, yes, I wouldn't be asking if I didn't feel a less like being a parent (ie. you help your child learn as a major part of your role in their lives) and more like helping them get "good grades".  

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#6 of 39 Old 10-14-2013, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cross post, Jolly. Thanks your your response as well.  
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
 

I have a 6th grader who just started middle school. I'll chime in on what I would be comfortable with in the situation you described.

 

1. I have been know to take dictation, more so in elementary school. I haven't done so at all this year. However, it's important to take the dictation exactly as told and have them preform the editing process. It's hard not to type it and in the process change a word or phrase to something more effective, but I'd try to avoid the temptation. I'd also have her do the formatting as much as possible.

 

Yes, maybe if I continue to take dictation I will just try to not format at all and even leave the grammar for DC to edit. FTR, when I have typed something for DC it has been for personal use -- not work that was required by school to be turned in typed. If DC had an assignment that was required to be typed, I would not do that for her under any circumstances (other than some excused reason).  

 

Once my son has typed something I have no problem with going through it with him and prompting to do things like check for capitalization, proper punctuation, and make sure that every sentence has both a subject and a verb. I do go through writing assignments with my son to prompt him on writing conventions. However, he has to find and fix the error, but I might point out that there is one in a particular section. I also see no problem with filling the role that peer reviewer or critical friends would fill in a classroom.

 

I do look forward to "papers" that can be edited.  I think that refinement will be really good for DC's learning style. So far she has never had a "paper".  These are more projects, answers to science questions, summaries of news articles and etc. 

 

2. Does she find the articles and you read them to her or do you find them as well? An important part of learning to research in middle school is learning digital literacy and learning how to discern if a resource is a good one or not. I've been know to have discussions with my son about what makes a good source while he searches, and I've been known to help him come up with keywords or organizations that might have resources for him to check out. But he does the search himself. Once he's done the search I don't read it to him. But I don't see that simply reading the words on the page is overstepping.

 

This I have done less of. Generally DC does her news articles and science research questions on her own from either news sites I have suggested or sites approved by the teacher. But, last night she was tired and had this weird question about seeing the sun from the moon. The approved sites from the teacher are down from the shutdown (a good experience in a way that DC is experiencing a real-world impact of the shut-down). So, I did google "can you see the sun from the moon?" and read a few short things from sites I found. Yes, probably a botched job. ;-)  But, it was cool because I was reading something sort of unrelated and it just clicked for DC that obviously you can see the sun from the moon because what makes the moon visible is the sun reflecting. (I know nothing about Earth science, btw)  

 

3. I do help with software navigation. I typically wait for specific questions so I'm not inserting my own ascetics or opinions on how it should look into the project. But if my son asked how to make a box bigger or move something I do hop on and show him how. In classrooms where the choice of software is given it is usually assumed that the kids are figuring it out and teaching each other how to use the software. 

 

Yes, I do try to keep my own style out of things and think I do an "ok" job of that. I do tend to jump in with, "Wait, don't do it that way, this way would be so much easier because of x,y, or z."  I just think it's weird to fumble around on Publisher, for instance, without some basic instruction. Yes, these programs are user friendly but not THAT user friendly. ;-)  


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#7 of 39 Old 10-14-2013, 10:07 AM
 
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 There have been a couple of nights where dd has stayed up late because she procrastinated on the project for several days-- and its not like she was slammed with homework- she was just goofing off mostly. So I told her she needed to stay up late and do it and she did. I notice her time management is improving a lot since school started.

 

I helped dd organize her first big argumentative paper. She had her arguments down, but the organization of the paper was not great, and the flow was confusing. She was frustrated and asked for my help. I basically sat down her and helped her dissect the paper and rearrange things. After helping her create a new outline to the paper, I typed while she read her rearranged sentences. (She knows how to type but this was to save time this once.) Her words were her own. Sometimes I encouraged her to find a synonym for a word she'd already used a few times.  I stopped myself from correcting the use of advanced words that she was trying to use, not exactly in the right way but I got what she was meant. Because this was appropriate for a 7th grade paper, I let those go and focused mostly on the organization of the paper, and the composition of paragraphs within a 5 paragraph essay.

 

I did this because I felt it was a skill builder and confidence booster for future papers. At the end, I took a copy of her paper and wrote in the margins the elements of the essay (intro, argument #1, etc, supporting evidence) and paragraphs (intro, conclusion, transition)  for her to use as a model for future papers. That is really the closest I have ever come to being involved in her work.

 

This is a GREAT website by the way
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/677/01/

 

With research, I never do it for her. She needs to do it her self. I will let her know of great websites where she can get started if I know them. For example dh knew of a great website that used stats for migratory birds-- he heard about it on the radio and she may not have found it on her own.


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#8 of 39 Old 10-14-2013, 02:02 PM
 
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I usually sit with my daughter while she does her homework.  In theory, I read.  In actuality, she talks the whole time and explains every step of the way.  She's never really need my help yet.  Occasionally, I will call out spelling words or if I notice she's not read the directions, I'll remind her to go back and read them.  Once last year I did finish typing something for her.  They were supposed to have time to do it at school but by the time it was her turn, the kid in front of her messed up the computer and she couldn't do it.  She had written about three pages (everyone else had written a paragraph but she had a lot to say!) so I let her type the first page and I finished it up, with her reading it to me.  It takes a long time for a six year old to type three pages, believe me.

 

It's REALLY HARD for me to back off of projects, especially if there is a crafty element so it's really better if I just leave the house when those are happening. 

 

With math, I just take on faith that she knows what she's doing.  It's not that the math is hard so much as it's just different.  They seem to take the long way to do EVERYTHING, which is frustrating for both of us.  She always knows the answer but the current methods are anything but intuitive. 

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#9 of 39 Old 10-14-2013, 02:28 PM
 
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i never helped with hw (and there was plenty) till projects started in 4th grade. i answered questions when she needed help but otherwise she was on her own. we did the nag, nag, nag at K and i was done by first grade. we experiemented and dd stopped dragging her feet.

 

in 4th and 5th grade yes i sometimes typed. it was far easier to do that than have dd waste time finger typing. as she got faster i stopped helping her that much. i also helped her with research when she was doing something that i knew about. i'd guide her to some good sites i knew.

 

i have also helped her with crafty things - as that child left everything to the last minute.

 

but i have to say its in middle school 6th grade where she has a LOT of hw and project work that i got really, really involved. since she has a lot, and a lot of that is busy work, i'll do her colouring, i'll do the grid lines on the sheet, maybe even type stuff. the school knows this and even tells the class parents can help in 40% of the projects. 


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#10 of 39 Old 10-14-2013, 03:07 PM
 
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If this is her first ever experience with research projects, in or out of class, then I could see giving some guidance. I still think typing her papers and reading the material out loud is crossing the line for a 12-year-old but helping her figure out what makes a reputable source and what sort of info is appropriate for the task at hand is appropriate at this point. If she's had limited experience with computers and software, some instruction isn't crossing the line. It's just important that the instruction be kept separate from the work. If you show her by writing her paper while she watches, then no... not a good  idea. If you walk her through a sample... her hands on the keys, you asking questions that help her grasp it... sure. Should this be the middle school routine? No. If this is her first experience? Then sure, some exterior help on the first couple assignments and projects is acceptable.

 

As for our own school expectations on parent involvement in homework, every school talks about the importance of parental involvement. However, in our district, the expectation is that help comes in the form of making sure they have time, the place and the tools to get it done. Our district is anti-busy work but the kids are assigned regular homework in the early grades (M-TH.) The kids did their first research projects in 3rd grade (and have done many after.) My youngest went to a very high tech elementary and so by 2nd grade, could do pretty much anything on a computer from typing his work, put together a power-point presentation or edit audio and video. Yes, there were parents who really did their kids work and they weren't fooling anyone lol. There were plenty of kids like mine on their own too.

 

Homework is supposed to solidify new concepts that are being introduced in school. If parents are doing the work for their kids, then the staff can have no idea whether the child is grasping the material and if what they are giving is appropriate. 

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#11 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone.  

 

I'll revisit what we've been doing. Like I said, all of this is new so it's not as if we've gotten into habits that will be difficult to break.  I'm very happy that DC is at a stage where technology is part of her tool-kit. She has some unique learning issues (she was a delayed reader, of instance, and struggles with keeping a train of thought in math) and I think the computer will help. But, it's a catch 22 because including the computer adds another subject that needs to be mastered.  DC is excellent with time management so this isn't an issue of her putting off work and then asking me to help her. It's more a matter of fatigue from time to time but mainly me wanting to help her focus on one subject at a time - I think my intentions are in a good place. I suppose I am also personally frustrated by computers so maybe I'm projecting some of that onto my DC. 

...

 

She has a light week this week so I think I'll spend some time helping her become more autonomous on things like Word, Publisher, and help her get set up with some sort of typing game. ....Though I will admit that this seems a little deflating. For her, she is going into a school already a bit behind/out of sync (transferring as a 6th grader to a more academic K-8) so what time she has for extra study can easily be taken up with math or spelling. 

 

As I read the above statement I wonder if I come off as some controlling helicopter parent. There is more to this story.  Like I said above, DC did have some reading delay. She was in a very small school that was already doing all they could for her so we declined the option of an IEP (on the recommendation of a close friend/educator) in favor of giving her the extra help she needed outside of school. That turned out really well for DC and she pulled through and was reading at the top of her super smart class by the end of 5th grade. So, when she transferred to the new school she was put in the faster paced class (I did not realize this until a month into the school year). I think the placement is actually a very good thing for DC (she's a "meet expectations" type kid) but she is def. at the bottom of the class and is sensitive to that. I would also like to avoid her being switched to the other class for a variety of reasons - the main one being that I feel she is at a crucial point in academic confidence and a switch would be a big blow (I have no idea if the school even does this - it's a manufactured worry of mine). Add to that that I think several other kids in that class are getting far more help at home...and you get me to this dilemma. 

 

Anyway, whatever we decide, I do really appreciate everyone's perspective. 


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#12 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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BTW, I just want to reiterate that these are not research projects or presentations that I am helping her with per se - at least not in the way I think some people are thinking. DC does have three of these in the works but they are school-based group projects and I really don't even know much about them.  

 

Actually, one of the dictations I did (also keeping in mind that all of this is new so I have done this three times!) was for a group project. DC had formatted (poorly and in a way that will be a time suck for the duration of the project) the thing at school with her group. I did share with her that she can "save" the page under a new name to get a duplicate...without that I think the group would have spent HOURS formatting the thing!  Anyway, everything was formatted and DC was making up questions (this is a board game design project). I felt like being creative in thinking about god questions was really fun for her - energetic and creative. Add typing to that and you get an energy suck. So, I did type them into the document DC had created with her group. 

 

The third dictation I did (I think it explained the first one in a post above) was time when I was asked by the teacher to help DC with her work. I was out of town, DH busy with the toddler and DC did SO much work on this project - all written out, neatly and well done, except I knew (having been asked to help) that she wasn't nearly as in-depth as the teacher wanted. So, rather than ask her to start all over again (since I wasn't there to help when she started), I offered to dictate so that she could add material w/o re-writing the whole thing. Typing was optional. 

 

Maybe if DC wants to dictate (because I do think that's sometimes a better way to work for a slow writer/typer) I can teach her how to record on her iphone. 


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#13 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 10:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
 

Homework is supposed to solidify new concepts that are being introduced in school. If parents are doing the work for their kids, then the staff can have no idea whether the child is grasping the material and if what they are giving is appropriate. 

with due respect WNM, i dont see why a parent cant help with a 6th grader. 

 

i want to point out your above statement is a joke. i am not trying to be mean here. but what i see for my dd's hw (ICM's dd and my dd go to similar programs) which is highly academic too, but all it does mostly is busy work. teachers want to see the thought process of their student not really the execution aspect of it. and i notice its the execution part that ICM is helping her child. 

 

plus the sitting and helping read. holy cow. these kids get a LOT of hw. LOTS!!! it breaks it up with mom reads to her. 

 

my dd knows how to type but i STILL help her with it at times because she has soo much homework that typing is actually more time consuming. by typing i mean typing not writing and creating the document. dd dictates i type. sometimes she is tired and overwhelmed and typing adds a whole nother level to her work. 

 

i can see myself helping dd in 6th and 7th grade. with execution - that is colouring, typing, reading aloud.... golly i hope to be involved till she gets to college, if she chooses so. 


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#14 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 12:03 PM
 
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I am a high school teacher; English II. I have three kids in high school (8th, 10th, 12th). If they ask for help, I give it- I don't DO the homework, but when my son needed help finding certain literary elements in Beowulf, I helped him (actually, I reached out to my friend who is a Medieval lit teacher and they face timed). If my kids need papers typed, I help. I do proofread, but I also teach them the info, I don't just change stuff. It is true that not all kids have this benefit. When it comes to math and science, I am useless and they know it. My son is great in math, so his sisters often seek him out if they need help. There are many resources available for homework online, btw. My own state, LA, has an entire website where teachers and students can message each other; my students use it frequently.

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#15 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, Mary, since you're a teacher you have some good insight as to what counts as "doing a child's HW".  When you say you help your kids type, what does that look like?  Do you consider that "doing their HW"?  Seems like some do and some don't. Maybe this is a grey area? 


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#16 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 02:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
 

with due respect WNM, i dont see why a parent cant help with a 6th grader. 

 

i want to point out your above statement is a joke. i am not trying to be mean here. but what i see for my dd's hw (ICM's dd and my dd go to similar programs) which is highly academic too, but all it does mostly is busy work. teachers want to see the thought process of their student not really the execution aspect of it. and i notice its the execution part that ICM is helping her child. 

 

plus the sitting and helping read. holy cow. these kids get a LOT of hw. LOTS!!! it breaks it up with mom reads to her. 

 

my dd knows how to type but i STILL help her with it at times because she has soo much homework that typing is actually more time consuming. by typing i mean typing not writing and creating the document. dd dictates i type. sometimes she is tired and overwhelmed and typing adds a whole nother level to her work. 

 

i can see myself helping dd in 6th and 7th grade. with execution - that is colouring, typing, reading aloud.... golly i hope to be involved till she gets to college, if she chooses so. y

 

I don't think you need to preface "with due respect" as you obviously have no intention of showing respect to my opinion. By all means read to your middle schooler if you think that is going to help them grow into an independent learner. If you really think typing their papers will help them become better typist, then got for it. You are taking my opinion on what's crossing the line VERY personally which leads me to believe that you probably know that you are guilty of it at times. I answered the OP in that taking dictation and typing (and fixing) a 12-year-olds papers is crossing the line. When she said this was her child's first experience with homework, I understood that she'd be needing some more direction this year but that it's not something that should be going on year after year. I even said that if there were learning disabilities, then more parental involvement would be expected. It's actually quite a rational argument for which your response is quite emotional.

 

I have a 12-year-old 8th grader and a 16-year-old high school senior taking mostly college classes. They certainly know heavy course loads and they've had to learn how to be efficient in their studies. They didn't always get the highest grades on their homework. Often, their projects were not as glossy and professional as the parent-led works of art next to them. Gosh, sometimes it didn't get done because they procrastinated or didn't get turned in because they left it at home! Yup, terrible mother here that allows her kids to mess-up and fail once in awhile. Funny how they still manage to be thriving now.

 

If parents stopped doing their kids work and half the kids couldn't get the work done then the teachers would have to rethink their strategies. However, parents freak out over elementary and middle school grades so much that they just do the work and let the teachers keep thinking that their kids are thriving and that the assignments are within range. 

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#17 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 03:34 PM
 
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WNM of course i respect your opinion. i may not agree with it, but i respect it. 

 

i do think you are being a little harsh on ICM. this is a SIXTH grader (different from a 12 year old) who is entering a traditional school. personally her situation is very different. the program she is in has a lot of hw. 

 

it isnt just parents who are freaking out, its the kids too. only the top few percentage in dd's 6th grade class is working independently. the rest are all getting lots of help from their parents. 

 

in all 3 of the schools dd has been hw hasnt been in teh teacher's hands to rethink strategy. they may give them more time, they may cut out some busy work, but there is no significant change in hw. esp. when some parents are happy with that caseload of hw. 

 

i have never helped dd with hw from 1 to 4th. in 5th i helped some, in 6th even more. so yes you are right. i am taking this personally. because dd needs my help. and the thing is - the teachers are requesting parents to help. help them stay organized, help them understand things they cant do, help them with busy work. so it just shows to me that 6th graders struggle (however i am talking about 6th graders in middle school). if dd had stayed in her old elem school for 6th grade she'd probably not need much help. but she does in MS. and while your kids managed, our school is telling us to help the kids out. coz most of the kids struggle in 6th grade. by 7th grade all teh effort put in by parents pay off and the kids can manage better. so far this grade i have helped dd organize her binder and also colour for her. 

 

in her old elem school a band of parents are meeting with the teacher and principal to reduce the amount of hw.

 

in the present program ICM and my dd is in, the hw is set and cannot be changed.

 

so if u told me hey dont help so much in 7th grade - after they'd been in MS in 6th grade - yes i'd understand that.  


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#18 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good news from tonight.  DC asked me for some help on her weekly math (which is prerequisite skill building - something that is a great chance for DC to catch up with the class).  That went "ok". But at some point DC asked me to leave. When she called me back up it was for a quick proof on the group project she was working on. She had gotten the thumb drive installed, the program open, and was doing a bang up job formatting Powerpoint. The aesthetic was even quite good - better than the last Publisher project she did. Not only that, her typing, spelling, and word choice was perfect. Moral of the story...?  I have no idea - maybe that an older parent can't quite identify with the curve for learning technology that young kids experience compared to their experience of fumbling through frustrated to no end?  


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#19 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another side note -- like I said in my OP, my Facebook page is full of posts from parents or teacher friends about this subject. I have a lot of teacher friends and well over half of my other friends have kids around the same age as my DC.  Here is an article a friend JUST posted a few seconds ago with a note about how much this article "hits home":

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/my-daughters-homework-is-killing-me/309514/


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#20 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 05:54 PM
 
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This is a SIXTH grader (different from a 12 year old)

 

Umm. In my area most 12 year olds are 6th graders. 


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#21 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 06:16 PM
 
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I have to take my hat off to the guy because he really put in the work.  I just wonder if they could be getting more done during the school hours?  Is it because there is too much time spent on behavior or crowd control or dealing with students who are behind - that there is not more progress during the day or time to get stuff done during the day?  I'm sure it varies.  Anyway he would really know what his child was going through after that week.  Like he said - he was really prepared for the parent teacher conference this time :-).

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#22 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 07:10 PM
 
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My dd's just in fifth but I do type for her, word for word with no editing, if there is a time crunch. I will suggest a change in grammar or a focus on the rubric to make sure all required parts are addressed on big projects. I will read some of the research to her if she is having a hard time with motivation.
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#23 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 08:13 PM
 
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My parents were editors/publishers and they FOR SURE helped us with our homework. When we read a book for school, they would read it too--everyone in the family would, regardless of grade--and we'd all discuss it at the dinner table. My mother typed out my book reports when I was grades 4-6ish, when I was still learning to type. (Kids probably learn to type earlier nowadays; I'm not sure.) They would read over our essays and offer suggestions. Essays were a big deal in our house, and everyone's essays were put out on the kitchen table and picked over and critiqued pretty harshly.

 

My parents were also history buffs, and always wanted to know what we were doing in history, telling us stories about the time periods we were learning about and reading aloud extra materials they had. Anyone who had a test in any subject was quizzed by the whole family. My parents made our schoolwork their business.

 

Presentation of projects was also important, and my dad was known to go into our word files and fix the kerning on our title pages (kerning is the spacing between letters) because if it looked wrong, it bugged him.

 

I don't think heavy involvement in our homework prevented us from being independent essayists. If anything, the opposite happened. My parents' enthusiasm for our homework was genuine and infectious. I am a very fast and accurate typist today. My siblings and I ended up doing very well independently in high school, and some of my siblings went onto Ivy League schools (I went to a conservatory instead, for music). I think it was good for them to set a sort of "family standard"--an assignment had to have a certain polish before it was deemed acceptable to be handed in. They set the standard, and we kept it when we were older.

 

I say help your kids do their homework, as long as you are doing it WITH them and not FOR them.

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#24 of 39 Old 10-15-2013, 11:23 PM
 
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Umm. In my area most 12 year olds are 6th graders. 

sorry i perhaps didnt explain it v. well.  there is this age thing - the idea that 12 year olds are mature and should not require help. well there is a difference between a 12 year old starting MS and a 12 year old continuing in their elem. school. 

 

in our area most 6th graders are actually 11 years old. perhaps its coz during their time the cut off date was dec. it has since changed. 


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#25 of 39 Old 10-16-2013, 05:26 AM
 
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I was 10 turning 11 in Grade 6. Some kids will have turned 12 by the end of the school year.
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#26 of 39 Old 10-16-2013, 07:27 AM
 
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Probably 90% of the time, my kids type their own papers; If I do type the paper, it is straight from their hand written rough draft. I only do this if they are bogged down with assignments and ask for help. I put myself through college as a legal secretary and type about 90 words a minute. :)

 

My house sounds very similar to what Michelle described; school work, what is being discussed in school, and projects are family discussions, etc.

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#27 of 39 Old 10-19-2013, 05:01 PM
 
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Pretty surprised with the level of involvement being discussed here. My kids are young and don't have homework yet but I'm sure not going to type papers for them!
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#28 of 39 Old 10-21-2013, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Pretty surprised with the level of involvement being discussed here. My kids are young and don't have homework yet but I'm sure not going to type papers for them

I can't get a good read on the tone of this response. First, as someone how has shared a bit of our journey through a reading delay and schools and other personal stuff, I can say that this feels a bit insensitive. So, there's that.  

 

What I can say is that even as a parent of a young child -- you must know that things don't always go as planned.  If your kids are very young and not yet in school or not yet really expressing their unique traits that relate to school work, I can see why you feel like you know how you will be involved. 

 

As a way to illustrate this I will share with everyone a conversation with my DC's 1st grade teacher that is forever burned in my memory...

 

As a parent, I am mainly concerned with emotional development so that was my focus when choosing a school for my first child. During the 1st grade meeting with DC's teacher I was asked what my concerns are. I remember telling the teacher that I was mainly focused on the social-emotional aspects of elementary education because, I said, "I am not worried that my child will not learn to read."  In that moment, I feel sort of like I had jinxed myself in this fairytale way...because just months later that same teacher recognized that my DC had some very unique challenges with learning to read, which continued to be a challenge for 3-4 years - the bulk of her elementary school education. My DC's needs for learning to read conflicted with a lot of what I felt I knew about education and my personal values about what was important. 

 

Anyway... 

 

I share this to illustrate that things just don't always go as planned. And, to show that sort of what our ideals are, and what our personal parenting style is, does not always gel with the needs of our kids. It's of the utmost importance, in my opinion, that we make meeting our kid's needs the main guiding force for our parenting. 

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#29 of 39 Old 10-21-2013, 06:37 AM
 
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IdentityCrisisMa- you said that very well. It reminds me of the quote, "I did my best parenting before I had children." You never know how you will handle a situation until you are in it.

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#30 of 39 Old 10-21-2013, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It reminds me of the quote, "I did my best parenting before I had children." You never know how you will handle a situation until you are in it.

Yes, and my favorite, "The best way to make the devil laugh is to tell him about your plans."  


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