To help or not to help: The homework question

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  • Davycrewcut Sandy, UT
    July 7, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    Birder - If you don't understand the math problems why are you sending them home as homework? Why would anyone in their right mind send home a math problem that is vague and "ridiculous"? That seems like a self defeating behavior in which you are just asking for trouble. Don't you, as the teacher, have the final say about what goes home and what does not? Common sense, then, would dictate that you only send homework with your students that meets some guidelines for coherence, productivity, and student learning rather than engendering confusion and anger.

    Bland - teachers were taught math in the same way you were - as steps to be memorized rather than as connected progressive concepts. Math in the common core requires understanding, the application of properties of operations, and connecting concepts together across grades. That takes time and great skill, even in second grade. That, however, doesn't mean that teachers are off the hook. Some of them, like your child's teacher, need to learn real math and know how to teach it so students really learn it and can DO mathematics in real situations.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 4, 2014 11:10 p.m.

    Aiding great, doing not so much...

  • Bland Norman, OK
    July 4, 2014 5:39 p.m.

    I must say that my daughters homework is so hard for me to figure out! This days school is so focused on advanced topics that I actually cannot make heeds or tales of it. My girl is only in 2nd grade and even the teacher cannot did the math it is so hard. I have never heard of an elementary teacher who knows no math. These are people who have gone to collage; they should be able to do math really good right? How could you possibly get threw collage and not at least know basic collage algebra? Certainly you jest. But the government is really over complicating all things in school. Who in there right mind actually can multiply a 2 didgit by a 3 didgit number? WAYYYYYY too advanced Obama. Please make school so much easier since you are pushing teachers too there limits as far as math. They have collage degree and are unable to do it, so to hard!

  • Serenityrosee Portland, OR
    July 4, 2014 5:03 p.m.

    I don't remember my parents helping me with my homework. I did not help my kids with their homework. My first one finished high school only. Second one will finish college next year. Lost custody of third one for being a bad parent. Now I think it's probably a good idea to help your kids with their homework...

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    July 4, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    I think we could do very well without those pseudo-scientific studies and simply learn from car mechanic fathers whose sons become good car mechanics. It just happens more or less naturally - the son learns from the father as he works by his side. The father makes him struggle, but helps occasionally as needed. If parents work like this with their children, the children will succeed - no need to spend research money to prove it.

  • Crisco B Salt Lake City, UT
    July 4, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    My parents helped me with homework. And I am working towards a PhD in statistics now. Never hurt me to have them help. Although it would be laughable to think that my parents forgot algebra. What's that, like 7 th grade math?

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    July 4, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    Whether to help and how much help to give varies with the situation. Some of my students beg to do assignments at home because their parents will do the work for them. That cripples the child. Kids should absolutely do as much as they can, and as a general rule, the parent should not have to sit right there. A parent's job regarding homework should be that of encourager and cheerleader.

    If the child claims that he or she doesn't understand how to do the assignment, put the responsibility on the child to get help from the teacher whenever possible.

    Oh, and on the Common Core math? Parents, you may not be able to help much. Some of the problems are so vague and ridiculous that we teachers can't even figure out what they mean.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 4, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    There is a HUGE difference between helping with homework and doing it for them.

    There is nothing wrong with checking a student's math homework and pointing out "This one is wrong. Can you do it again and see if you can find the mistake?"

    Or, "There are two words spelled wrong in this sentence you just wrote. Can you find them? Now can you correct them? How can you check to be sure you got them right this time?"

    I was using those kinds of tactics with one of my daughters once. She finally heaved a big sigh and muttered, "That's what happens when you have a TEACHER for a dad . . . . " But she graduated from college with honors.

  • Jennefir Smith india, 00
    July 4, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    Helping students in there Assignments is good as i think because it boost student confident and confidence is big thing to be success in life

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 4, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    Research is often faulty.

    Just use some common sense.