Still, “Helping,” your children with homework?
Keith Robinson, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Angel L. Harris, a sociology professor at Duke, looked at 63 measures of parental involvement in children’s lives, including helping with homework, volunteering at school, punishing kids with bad grades, observing in the classroom, returning calls from the school and meeting with teachers and the principal. Robinson and Harris found that most had little effect on a child’s academic success.
The researchers also found that as children got older and entered middle school parental homework help had a negative effect, bringing down test scores. “Even though they may be active in helping, they may either not remember the material their kids are studying now, or in some cases never learned it themselves, but they’re still offering advice. And that means poor quality homework,” Robinson told the Canadian magazine Maclean’s.
The only two things that had a significant positive impact was read out loud to young kids and talking with teenagers about college
Robinson was surprised by the study results that challenge the accepted notion that children of involved parents do better in school.
“There is such an overwhelmingly positive sentiment toward more parental engagement, even dating back to the ’70s,” Robinson told Macleans. “And a good deal of federal dollars is spent promoting it. But things jumped out at us. Affluent children with good academic success do have involved parents, it’s just that that’s not the reason they have success. The relationship of parental involvement at the school-which varies greatly over racial and especially economic groups-never yielded positive estimates even one-third of the time.”
And so why do children of more affluent parents do better in school?
Robinson believes it’s because their parents talk to their children about college and these kids are growing up in an environment surrounded by high-achieving individuals.
With so many years of pressure, schools guilting parents that they are not doing enough for their children’s learning demands for more homework, parents outright writing stuff for their kids and messages linking the chances of your kids living in your basement and playing World of Warcraft until they are thirty to your failure to reteach in the evenings what the teacher was supposed to be competent to have taught that day at school, the truth finally comes out.
Turns out educated people tend to talk about education to their kids and instil in them the value of such — and it works.
Oh, and all the papers you wrote for your child, ya, it didn’t help a thing — and it likely hurt your child’s performance…