As a parent, we each want to see our children succeed academically, and getting more involved with our children’s education is one of the best ways to ensure this. Naturally, we would also try to help our children to complete their homework each night.
Some parents feel that simply completing the homework is not enough; the result that their children produce should also be optimal. This means that they should be making as little mistakes as possible, in order to achieve the highest grade possible.
Other parents believe that homework is a way for teachers to evaluate their students’ real understanding of the material, and therefore the parents feel it’s not necessary to become too involved with the children’s natural learning process.
You may come across these two opposing views about whether parents should be involved with their children’s homework. If you are unsure about which point of view is best for you and your children, we highly recommend that you continue reading.
The role that homework plays in education
Homework is a necessary part of the schooling experience. Depending on the grade level of your children, the homework’s contribution to the final grade varies. At elementary school, tasks are meant to be a refresher for the lessons learned on the same day. Other tasks are part of a week-long project that will be assessed upon submission. The former may not contribute to the final grade.
In truth, how much the homework contributes to the final grade should not be your concern – and this is a good thing. It will alleviate pressure to perform. A parent who is pressured to see their children succeed will pressure their children to succeed. Pressure, at least in this stage of life, can be detrimental to the children’s learning experience. This is not why homework was assigned in the first place.
Instead, the role of homework in education is to achieve the things below. Parents, please note that your involvement and actions should align with the challenges offered by homework.
1. Creating systematic learning habits, even outside of school
While work has its time limit each day, learning should never be constrained to one place or period of time. Parents can get involved by setting up a consistent schedule and place for their children to do homework. When a study habit is successfully formed, your children should still be able to complete their homework regardless of their mood.
2. Fostering independence and research skills
Homework is the only time when children interact with the material without the presence of their teacher. It can be tempting for parents to give away answers so that their children can submit high-quality work. However, this could be detrimental in the long run. Without being offered too much help, your children should learn to be able look for answers on their own. Independent research skills are crucial modern skills.
Preparing our students for adulthood
If homework does not prepare our students for adulthood, then we would not have assigned them any homework. Good learning habits, time management and discipline, as well as independent research skills are three qualities that will bring success to each person. At IPEKA, a Christian school for elementary through senior high school, we train our students in these skills whether they are in the school grounds or at home.