The parent should be limited in their involvement in their children’s homework. This being said, age and capabilities factor greatly into how much time a parent will need to involve themselves in their child’s homework tasks. Some teachers even send home letters that need to be signed by the parent so the teacher knows that the parent is aware of the homework and level of expectation. Some teachers assume that parents will have a greater involvement than may actually be the case.
Homework assignments are given so children can give the teacher an idea of their level of independent knowledge and a chance for the teacher to see how well the student can independently complete the task. When it comes to the standard sheets of paper with questions or independent reading assignments the parents should not need to give much help other than to clarify questions that may arise. Parents should check to make sure all questions have been answered but they should not correct any work that may be wrong. It is important that the teacher see the mistakes the child is making so that they can go over the material again if there are many students making the same mistakes.
When it comes to projects the parent will need to be more involved. Projects usually require students to research above and beyond the classroom lessons. Parents may need to help the child look up information on the internet or at the library. If a display model is required the child may need an extra set of hands. The parent should be a sounding board for ideas not the idea maker. The child should be able to come up with ideas using the guide lines the teacher gives in the assignment work sheet. Most teachers give a very specific guide line as to what is expect regarding information required, whether the project is a diorama or a poster project. Parents should be available to help pick out suitable materials required but they should not build the project. When assisting the child do what the child asks you to rather than just doing what you think should be done. If you think your child is doing the project completely wrong then step in and reread the requirements but don’t offer to fix the project for them.
An excellent way a parent can help without getting too involved is to teach their child how to set up a goal plan. When the project assignment first comes home sit down with the child and read the requirements and set up a plan that will allow enough time for research, gathering of materials and building of the project. With a clear guide line the project will be less overwhelming and easier to accomplish.