When my eldest started going to elementary school I promised myself that I would not do her homework or her projects for her. I can be a perfectionist and control freak in many aspects of my life, but surprisingly when it comes to parenting I’m okay with things not being perfect including my kids’ homework or school projects. Still sometimes when I see what other kids are turning in and it’s obvious that it wasn’t something they completed on their own I wonder if I’m in the minority with my hands-off approach.
Regardless of how up in their kid’s schoolwork other parents are, here’s why I won’t do my kids homework:
- I already went to school and I did my own damn homework. The few times my mom tried to help me with my homework I got everything wrong because English is not her first language.
- I’m a grown up. Uh, it’s impressive when a kid gets all the answers right or can make an awesome art project. Not so impressive when a 43-year-old college educated woman can figure out simple math or how to glue popsicle sticks into the shape of a house.
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- I don’t want to. Seriously, I have enough on my plate. I’m busy and I don’t want to add my kids’ schoolwork to my to-do list.
- I don’t want to shame other kids. It seems mean to upstage the hard work of children who are doing it all by themselves with something that I made or did for my kid.
- The teacher told me not to. My eldest gets assignments that clearly say things like, “you may help or assist your child, but please don’t do it for them.” Uh, apparently, some parents think that assisting means having their child watch while they do it.
- We learn from our mistakes. I was a pretty good student and I loved doing well, but I learned the most when I made mistakes because I never wanted to make the same mistakes again. I’m hoping that’s what happens when my children make mistakes, that they take note and learn for next time.
- My kid is supposed to know how to do her homework. The teacher isn’t giving my child work that hasn’t been covered in class, so my child is perfectly capable of doing the work on her own.
- It’s too easy for me. Honestly, the stuff that my kid is working on now is not challenging for me and a waste of my brain power.
- It’s gonna be too hard one day. So the homework is easy now, but if I set the precedent that I will do it then what will happen when my kid comes home with algebra that I don’t remember how to do? She’s gonna realize how truly ignorant I am and I’d rather keep that a secret for as long as possible.
- The lesson extends past the homework. The homework reinforces what my child is learning in school, but the fact that she does it for herself is teaching her responsibility and time management. The first thing my eldest wants to do when she gets home is her homework because she knows that as soon as she’s done with it she can spend the rest of the evening worry-free. In your face procrastination!
I’m not sayin’ I won’t help my kids when they need help. I’m not a monster, but I really don’t need to be doing their homework for them.