Homework is designed to reinforce lessons learned in school, and therefore should be completed by students. Increasingly, however, students expect help from their parents on more challenging assignments. Although parents may mean well, sometimes their approach to handling their children’s homework is focused on the wrong goals.
Parents’ misplaced priorities are the focus of a recent study, which was conducted by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negrov in Israel. Based on the results of the study, which appear in Learning and Individual Differences, parents who wish to improve their children’s attitude toward homework need to reexamine their own.
The researchers found that when parents take a more positive and supportive approach to dealing with homework, then their children’s own attitude toward their academic responsibilities also brightened. Furthermore, communicating the learning value of homework was found to be more helpful than focusing on the importance of high grades or getting an assignment done.
In addition, the researchers said that letting children know that they are loved and admired no matter how well they perform in academic subjects can go a long way in improving students’ sense of competency.
Parents who want to extend this caring approach to education beyond the home should take the time to find the best school for their children. During the school admission process, parents may be able to get a feel for which academic settings will be the best fit for their children. When a child is placed in the right school, he or she is more likely to be able to complete homework assignments independently.