Parents: Are you helping or hurting your kids when it comes to homework?

Local News

Parents across north Alabama are taking their kids back to school this week. But, most parents know that the real work begins once kids get off the bus and back in the house. Homework can be a hassle, not just for students, but for their parents as well. 

We spoke to some parents in Huntsville to ask how they help their kids tackle homework in their households.  Xw Thao and Alex Kranh say they help their child with homework after school. But, they say they always work a little bit of fun into their evening routines.

Alex says, “I get off at 5:00. So, as soon as I get home, I like to work with her for about an hour just before supper, and after supper we’ll spend another hour from there. Depending on how well she does… if she needs a little help, we’ll leave that hour there. If not, we’ll let that hour go and put it towards playtime.” 

Some parents shy away from establishing homework as a priority in the home, mostly because they have a hard time helping with it themselves, and struggle to answer their children’s questions when they ask. A study by the National Center for Family Literacy along with Google shows that 46.5% of parents just don’t understand the subject matter their children are studying. 

Studies show that designating “homework time” in the house can actually turn into a method of bonding between a parent a child. Even if you don’t sit and watch your child as they complete every assessment, just the act of setting aside time, being available for questions, and checking the work after they complete it helps to build your child’s confidence. Establishing “homework time” for younger kids will help set habits in place as they grow older, which will make them more self-sufficient and could help them handle the pressures of school as it intensifies. 

This isn’t the same as doing your child’s work for them, which is an act that 47% of parents across the country are actually guilty of. The numbers are even higher in the south, with 87% of parents in the south admitting to doing their child’s homework. Doing your child’s homework could be problematic in terms of building his or her problem solving skills, confidence, and ethical awareness of the consequences of cheating. 

Here are some tips to make homework a priority in your home: 

  1. Set up a homework-friendly area in your house. Keep distractions to a minimum.
  2. Schedule a regular study time
  3. Help them make a plan if they have a busy week with multiple assignments.
  4. Make sure your kids do their own work.
  5. Motivate them if they struggle with an assignment.

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