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Why do some parents do their children's homework for them?

(43 Posts)
willali Mon 29-Sep-08 19:46:05

I know it goes on but a really blatant example today - waiting to collect DC from after school club, mother and son also waiting (presumably for a sibling)sitting on bench / table in playground with books open. Earwigging revealed it to be a comprehension homework and mother was DICTATING answers which he was duly writing down

It makes me mad that these children who will hand in perfect homework will get all the plaudits (housepoints etc) and my DC whose work is all his own but unaided will miss out.

Please tell me these people will get found out in the end. I SO want to avoid the "if you can't beat them.." brigade..angry

Hulababy Mon 29-Sep-08 19:51:17

Well, when it comes to teacher assessments in the classroom, and exams later on, it will all come down to the child's ability. Mummy won't be there then.

hana Mon 29-Sep-08 19:52:51

and why do people post here asking for answers to homeworok questiosn (not help on how to explain or do something, but word lists and stuff like that) google it yourself!

Majeika Mon 29-Sep-08 19:54:28

Teachers aint stupid and they know what goes on

I remember at Easter Bonnet Parade and the children were supposed to make their own.

They were 6y.

You should have seen what turned up.

Bird nest hats
Fancy Peacock Hats
Real Egg Hats

ALL done by the parents and so blatantly done that it was obvious the parents had done it.

The Judges picked a crap one which had been done by a 6yr old!

Same with homework - if the child cannot do the work in class then the teacher knows the parent does the HW!!

willali Mon 29-Sep-08 19:58:56

So what benefit does the parent think there is in doing the work in the first place that's what I can't understand - I totally agree that when it comes down to 11+ etc then the child will be out of their depth if they haven't done all the work required or got sufficient understanding...

I have also seen the competitive easter bonnet / junk modelling (full scale architectural model anyone?)/ present for teacher routine but that's all for the benefit of the parents methinks!

McDreamy Mon 29-Sep-08 19:59:12

Although I do think some of the homework DD is sent home is designed to do with parents in an attempt to get parents more involved with their children's education.

But I take your point willli dictating comprehension answers is not going to help any child when it comes to exams etc

Reallytired Mon 29-Sep-08 21:53:22

"It makes me mad that these children who will hand in perfect homework will get all the plaudits (housepoints etc) and my DC whose work is all his own but unaided will miss out."

I can understand how you feel. But seriously your son will get a greater reward than mere house points. Unlike the other kid he is actually learning.

I think a lot depends on the age of the child. At the age of 6 there is no way that my son can cope with sitting down and doing the home work set independently. I am pretty certain that the teacher wants us to do the homeworks together.

I wish that home work for six year olds was banned except for reading.

I agree with you that as the child gets older then parents should back off. Prehaps its the governant obcession with tiny tots having homework which leads to parents spoonfeeding their secondary school kids as described in the first post.

Huggle Mon 29-Sep-08 22:21:09

I PMSL when really young children are asked to bring in something for the sound table beginning with say, "c" and they bring in a chicken.

willali Tue 30-Sep-08 10:51:31

It is also of concern for the future when GCSE coursework will need to be done - does one stick to the principle of letting them get on with it and therefore potentially getting a lower grade, or "helping" to ensure a higher grade as I KNOW will be done by some of these parents. It's in this kind of situation that I know the temptation will be greatest...

Anna8888 Tue 30-Sep-08 10:53:41

Only last night my DP was telling me about a friend's son who is struggling hugely at university, where for the first time in his life his maman cannot help with homework...

jeee Tue 30-Sep-08 10:56:28

My kids' school has various drawing competitions, and when you see the winning entry, it's obvious that no infant could have done it. I kind of feel that if I want my kids to win, I have to do the picture for them, but that would be saying to my kids, "ah, but your drawings are dire". Result is, my kids draw their own pictures, sometimes really well, sometimes not so well, and never ever win.

PrimulaVeris Tue 30-Sep-08 11:01:23

This is why I hate project homework and art/costume/creative writing competitions

It all comes out in the wash in the end, though for some that may not be till secondary or later

HRHSaintMamazon Tue 30-Sep-08 11:08:43

because they care more about their child looking clever than actually allowing him/her to learn

abouteve Tue 30-Sep-08 11:14:52

GCSE coursework is mainly done in school nowadays, except English. DD's first piece of coursework had a little bit of help from me because she made me feel guilty saying everyone else's parents had helped.

Since then I will make suggestion re the a word. ie look in the theasaurus at xxx and choose the most effective word etc.

The teacher looks it over for improvements to be made before giving a final mark. TBH I wish it was all completed in class.

I did used to help her in primary but only to make sure she knew what had to be done and completed it all on time.

squilly Tue 30-Sep-08 14:01:50

My husband or I sit with dd to do homework, but we only support direct questions. If dd works something out, and it's wrong, we'll ask her if she's sure that's right...then she knows to double check it. 9 times out of 10 she puts it right. The odd time she doesn't, it gets pointed out by the teacher.

At some point, we won't have the knowledge to help her with homework. There may be times when we aren't available to help, ie don't have time or inclination.

Teaching your kids that you'll mop up everything for them doesn't teach them about independence. Doesn't teach them to take initiative. Doesn't enhance their confidence in their own abilities.

Parents doing homework devalues the whole concept of education. It's plain bonkers!

cutekids Tue 30-Sep-08 14:09:22

I am one of those that asks questions on Mumsnet about homework.Not because I want the particular answer,but because I just need an example of how they do certain things...especially in Maths.I don't DO their homework,but I do try-as much as I would love homework to be banned altogether personally!-to sit down and go through the work with them.Thing is,doesn't matter what you say to the kids eg "Well teacher wouldn't give you this is if you've not done it in school".They will always swear blind that they haven't done it!

willali Tue 30-Sep-08 14:57:03

But isn't sitting down with them to do the homework the thin end of the wedge - even saying "are you sure that's right" is helping in my book. I take the view that it is better for the child to go to school with all the answers wrong so that the teacher knows there is a problem understanding whatever it was , as opposed to a perfect piece of work "prompted" by parent which may mask a misunderstanding. I also feel that letting them get on with things teaches personal time management and organisation. I check it has been done but do not check what has been done IYKWIM.

abouteve Tue 30-Sep-08 17:53:55

Would you really prefer to let your kids get it all wrong when you know that other parents have helped with the same homework, or perhaps you could give a little bit of home ed in this case.

I know what I would chose, not to do it blinkedly for them but to top up the teaching they were getting in school.

FWIW I bought all the key stage 1,2,3 books, reminder to myself to sort the key stage 4 out soon.

juuule Tue 30-Sep-08 18:02:57

It wouldn't and doesn't bother me how much other children's parents help them with their homework. That's totally separate from me and my children's homework.

RubberDuck Tue 30-Sep-08 18:04:52

I find this is a real dilemma - especially comprehension (like the example in the OP).

Ds1 (aged 7) will sit there and burst into tears and say "can't do it" without even trying. So I get him to read out the bit that he's having problems with (all of it!). So we re-read the first bit. He still doesn't get it. I try to rephrase. He gets in a stubborn "can't do it" frame of mind. I point to the sentence it's referring to. He ends up just copying the sentence rather than even trying. scream.

Ditto maths - it needs an explanation para for parents to say "if they're stuck, explain it like this". Cos quite often it doesn't explain HOW they want them to do it.

I'm sure I have gone to virtually dictating on occasion out of pure frustration (he gets penalised if he doesn't do homework). I know he's doing well - he got excellent SATs scores and I know he can do this stuff. I'm doing my damndest to just stay out of the room now and check it's done without saying "look at this bit again, are you sure" - but it is hard.

Quite frankly, I'd support a homework ban in primary school - I don't think they CAN do it independently, or at least not without a lot of family stress. Happy to do reading together, happy to test spellings. Otherwise, wouldn't miss homework in the slightest.

forevercleaning Tue 30-Sep-08 18:09:12

Have to own up here blush There has been many a time when the dc have been at the breakfast table and I have found their homework in the school bag and hurriedly told them the answers.

Anyone else going to own up as plenty of my mates have done it too.

Or am I the only guilty Mner?

RubberDuck Tue 30-Sep-08 18:09:55

On thinking about it ... I think the temptation is to try and teach your child when they're struggling with your homework. Especially when there's no real guidance as to how they're supposed to do it and they swear blind they haven't done similar in class.

It takes a lot of willpower to walk away from a frustrated child in tears and let them get on with it, imo.

Reallytired Tue 30-Sep-08 18:19:42

I thought with small children the idea was for parents to give them a bit of extra tutition. When my son reads to me, I help him when he gets stuck, I encourage him to read with expression, I suggest its a good idea to breath at full stops or commas so that the phases sound niceer. I also check with him that he understands what he has read.

Surely this is helping him. What is the difference between teaching your child when he is stuck and paying for a tutor.

Teaching your child a concept is not the same as actually doing the homework for him.

cory Tue 30-Sep-08 18:25:15

I tend to leave my dc's to get on with it, but I think there may well be places where a little teaching or correction is justified.

If someone spends every evening of the week repeating to themselves a French paradigm that they have copied down wrong- wouldn't it be better if some kindly bystander jumped in and saved them from learning it wrong? Once you have learned something wrong it can be incredibly hard to dislodge.

Ditto with English spellings. By the time teacher notices that dc does not know how to spell 'knowing', dc will have memorised the incorrect spelling and go on to write 'knoweing' for years to come.

Just playing the devil's advocate here.

I have never done dd's homework for her, but I have had to do an awful lot of extra teaching as she has missed out in school due to disability issues. She is not missing many classes atm, but if she did come to me one evening and said, 'Mum, we have to do a series of sums involving percentages (hypothetical example) and I didn't understand the teacher's explanation', then I would explain to her once more. I don't think that's cheating. I wouldn't just give her the answers, but I would explain the technique.

abouteve Tue 30-Sep-08 18:30:07

Ok , I agree don't do it but give them some guidance ffs. Doesn't anyone remember going into school without doing the homework mainly because your parents didn't give a flying fuck what was happening.

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