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Parenting and High-School

  1. Yes, of course. It's a parent's task.

    2 vote(s)
  2. No, of course. Students shouldn't be that lazy.

    3 vote(s)
  3. I wouldn't know or don't think it's that easy.

    4 vote(s)
  1. Nov 20, 2011 #1
    I am a bit at a loss as a parent at the moment so please help me out.

    Thing is, my eldest now goes to high school, and I don't know whether to help her with her education? I never had any help during my own high school period, but then I guess I also didn't need it, but I don't want my kids to miss a good education because I would be the only parent not helping my kids in school...

    What is the default?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2011 #2


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    I've always heard that parent's involved in helping their children with homework was important. Of course, if you aren't good in the subjects, it may be best to stay away.

    Is that what you meant by help?
  4. Nov 20, 2011 #3
    I don't think at the current level there is a lot I can't help them with, well except for latin of which I hardly remember anything. That isn't the problem. (And, yes, that's what I mean by help: Tutoring, as rootX stated below.)

    I just don't know whether I am supposed to help them or not since I did everything myself (due to circumstance).
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2011
  5. Nov 20, 2011 #4


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    My parents gave me 3 critical pieces of help (well, what they did is of course uncountable, but here's the anecdotal version):

    1. They always said grades are not important.
    2. My father explained Archimedes principle in an intuitive way.
    3. My father explained the difference between a potential, and a potential difference.
  6. Nov 20, 2011 #5
    I never consulted my parents what courses I am taking or what I am learning etc once I got into HS.

    OP, if you help your eldest in HS, she might be unprepared for university. You cannot tutor her all through her life.
  7. Nov 20, 2011 #6


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    Homework Helper

    There is a huge difference between genuinely helping, and doing their homework for them.

    Even if you can't help directly with the academic content, you can help by providing the right sort of environment and home routine so it is "normal" for them to spend the appropriate amount of time studying.
  8. Nov 20, 2011 #7


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    Along with what Aleph said

  9. Nov 20, 2011 #8


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    Parents should provide encouragement and support. Ultimately, it's up to the children to work toward learning.

    Probably by the time I was starting 11th grade, my math and science (chemistry and physics) was well beyond my parents' experience. I was self-motivated, so I didn't need my parents help. They however did support me as best they could.
  10. Nov 20, 2011 #9

    Chi Meson

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    As a high school teacher of physics, I can tell you with some authority that the best help a parent can be is to simply make sure that your kid actually does the homework. Give him/her a two-hour window of time each night that is for nothing else except homework/study. Expect that they are doing homework during this time. If you can't be helpful with a subject, that's fine, but there is always some advice that a parent can give.
  11. Nov 20, 2011 #10


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    That question doesn't apply in my case, because my daughter absolutely refused any help I would try to give. She also strongly resisted telling what her grades were. To this day, I have no idea how she did in high school.

    Now, this may seem odd to "helicopter parents", but I saw that as a very, very good sign. Her education was just that -- HERS. She took complete ownership.

    This style of parenting won't work for all kids, I realize. But in our case, I think it was really good, since she's on track to earn her bachelor's degree before her 21st birthday.
  12. Nov 20, 2011 #11

    Chi Meson

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    There are always exceptions to any general rule, but I wouldn't recommend Lisab's method to most parents. One can tell by high school whether or not a student will be the kind to take care of their own business; and if so, let them. There will be some that will simply never, ever, ever do any homework/study at all regardless of parental involvement; oh well.

    But the majority of students benefit hugely from implementation of a simple framework of time-management. The spectrum is broad between "Helicopter" and "Hands-off," and no one solution works everywhere, so take with salt.
  13. Nov 20, 2011 #12
    I always check my kids' homework and point out any mistakes so they can redo it. I explain why it's wrong if necessary but I never do the homework myself.
  14. Nov 20, 2011 #13


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    My thoughts on this, as an educator (but not of high school students) is to let them put a considerable effort into it on their own. Then, only after they've completed it to the best of their ability, don't give them answers, but if you know enough to recognize errors, you can point out homework problems that they have mistakes on and just tell them that much, but leave it up to them to find the mistake on their own and correct it.

    It's funny, I've been having the complete opposite discussion with some of my fellow faculty recently. They have school-aged kids and the teachers have been sending home homework with instructions for parents to help them with it, and they're getting annoyed that they have to spend time doing the kids' assignments with them when the point of homework is supposed to be for kids to practice the classwork independently, and they have other things they need to be doing while the kids are working on homework.
  15. Nov 20, 2011 #14
    1) I think you should help them, but use your judgment as to whether you are contributing positively or giving them "too much help" to the point where they aren't truly learning.

    2) My parents were never able to help me, but frankly if they were and chose not to I'd be quite offended.

    3) The whole "well I did it this way when I was a kid" is not the best basis for raising a child. The best parent is one who is willing to explore things for their kids that they never got the chance to.

    4) Question: how hard is he or she trying? Is he or she lazy, or struggling with the material?
  16. Nov 20, 2011 #15
    Ah, too early to tell since she just started. I think she got a bit lazy after the first results were fine. I tutored her a bit on math this week since she was ill, and I guess it looks average. (I find math hard to assess though since I was mostly lazy, if not absent, in high school and math I found easy since you could get good enough grades by glancing over the subjects.)

    Think this one is going to do fine, it's the second one I am more worried about.
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