When it comes to helping your child with homework, do you find yourself wondering if you are doing too much?
Debra Gawrys, director of Connections Learning Center, can relate.
“If you are a parent of a student who needs lots of help, you’ve probably asked yourself this question, as I often did when helping my daughter,” she said. “Now that my daughter is an adult and successfully finished college, I can unequivocally say that you are most likely not helping too much unless you are doing the homework and your child is off watching TV or playing video games.”
Students with Individualized Education Programs or those that are part of an intervention program should be allowed modifications.
“And you, as the parent, should be able to make modifications of your own,” Gawrys said.
For example, if a child is supposed to copy sentences and underline parts of speech, but copying sentences is laborious, the parent can write the sentences and then together with the student underline the correct words.
“The key is to ask yourself, ‘What is the goal of this homework?’ If the objective is to learn about nouns and verbs, then you writing the sentences will not affect your child’s end goal,” Gawrys said.
She recommends parents let the teacher know what modifications were made and why.
“I can assure you that your child is learning while you do these tasks together, even if it feels like you are doing all the work,” Gawrys said.
She can attest to it first-hand.
“Once my daughter got to her second year of high school, she became independent with her homework and I saw her doing many of the things I had been modeling for her. For example, I used to take notes for her while reading a textbook. When I saw her begin to do take notes while reading, I then realized I had not done too much,” Gawrys said. “While we worked together, she was learning how to be a great student.”