Helping with Homework

We all want to be there for our children but sometimes we have to make sure what we are doing is really helping them. It is a fine line between providing support and allowing them to develop their independence. Sometimes helping with homework is where the lines get blurred.

Don’t do the work for them no matter

  • how long it takes them
  • how late it is
  • how many places your family had to go to that day


A little bit of struggle is OK. It teaches them to persevere.  When things get tough you step back, try a new approach and go at it again until you get it done.

Check their work and help them when they need it.

Help with, not do, the work.  As mentioned above if a chid is frustrated they may need a new approach to understanding the assignment.  You should help them figure out that new way.  We just don’t want you filling in the answers.

Stay on top of it.

Check their backpacks two times. Once when they come home to pull out important papers and make sure old assignments aren’t left in there.  You don’t know how many backpacks I’ve seen that become walking garbage cans because old items that are never removed. Then check a second time right before you walk out the door.  Children are clever at bringing toys and other unnecessary items to school.


As a child gets older you want to adjust he frequency to allow for more independence, but you are still the parent and there is nothing wrong with staying on top of what comes back and forth home and school.

Check in every once and awhile with your child’s teacher to make sure the work is getting turned in.

You’d be surprised how often the work is done at home but never makes it to school. (This is easily solved if you check the backpack the second time). A lot of schools will have parent portals for you to check how your child is doing on line. However, don’t ever hesitate to call you child’s teacher to see how they are doing. Teachers have a lot of students to keep track of and it is easier of you to call them then them to call you.

It’s OK if you don’t know how to do it.

Ask your child’s teacher if there is something they can give you to help explain it. Ask about tutoring or other programs to assist your child.

Remember, you don’t have to know all the answers. Your job is to make sure your child gets it done and turned in.

The Uncluttered Teacher

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