My son is an A student. Or so I thought. Each Monday, he brings home a folder with all of the previous week’s schoolwork. And each week, I usually go through his papers, with a proud smile on my face.
But this week, there was an unpleasant surprise. My son brought home an “E”!! My husband got angry, and I was just plain disappointed. Sure, kids have a bad day now and then, or get a tough assignment. But lately, I have noticed more and more “C” & “D” papers passing through my hands on Monday afternoons.
It isn’t because he can’t do the work. I know my son better than that. He’s used to homework that comes easy to him, but now that he’s entering the middle school grades, he’s finding that he actually has to work at his assignments. It amazes me when he asks me for help on a problem, and I can flip one page in his book and see the answer right there. I hand the book right back to him, and tell him he needs to really try for himself before I help him. He gets tired and frustrated, but at least he’s learning to put some effort into finding the answers.
As a parent, it’s important to remember that your child’s grades are not a reflection of your parenting skills. So how can you help your struggling child without doing the work for him? Here are some great places to find some homework help…
10 Homework Tips (Parents-Talk.com)
Helping Your Child With Homework (US Dept. of Education)
Homework Central (BigChalk.com)
BJ Pinchbeck’s Homework Helper (discoveryschool.com)
Homework @ MSN
Homework/Study Tips (about.com)
Until our son brings home the “A” & “B” grades that he is capable of again, we have compromised with him. His computer and TV time have been cut back. His homework time has been rescheduled to make sure he has plenty of time to put the proper effort into it. And I will check over his assignments thoroughly every night, just as I do with my 2nd grader.
Each family is different, and parents have to find what techniques will work best with their own children. As children get older and their work gets harder, we also have to expect that not every grade is going to be perfect. But we need to accept that those occasional “D” & “E” grades are all part of the learning process. Our son isn’t proud of those grades, he didn’t intend to get them, and I know he’ll be trying hard to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future. And we’ll be right there cheering him on, and helping him when he stumbles.
Valerie Zilinsky of Michigan is a mother of four…… two children, the family dog, and her biggest kid of all – her husband. She is also the proud co-owner of both http://www.raisingourkids.com/ and http://www.mom2momlist.com/