Completing homework

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Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100
Completing homework

Not debating the entire concept of whether homework is a good idea or not, but whether solving a problem without actually doing all the legwork to get there, counts as "doing one's homework."

Tiven brings home worksheets that have instructions like, "Help the bunny find the carrot. Draw a line connecting each square that contains a 3, 4, or 5." There is a grid of addition & subtraction problems. Rather than do all the problems & then find the 3s, 4s, and 5s, she does the first few, finds the pattern, and then only does the problems that help take her to the end. Last night she did 11 out of 42 problems, but she argued that she had done her homework because she found the line from the bunny to the carrot, and that's what the instructions said to do.

I remember arguing with my geometry professor in high school when I wouldn't show the details but got the answer correct anyway & he tried to mark me down. On tests, sure, I can understand why he'd want to see that I can actually do the work. But if I can compute the hypotenuse of a right triangle in my mind, why bother writing the formula & calculations out? It's just homework, which is supposed to enforce the learning done in the classroom, and I obviously had it down because I got good grades on the tests. Needless to say, I'm on Tiven's side in this one. I'm not a fan of "homework for homework's sake."

Joined: 01/06/03
Posts: 1175

Sorry, I'd make her do it (and would've sided with your teacher too). Yeah, you may have done it in your head/figured out the pattern without doing all the problems, but it's good to follow the instructions/show your work sometimes. Not only for you... but shows the teacher that you DO understand the correct way to do xyz. It's also good practice and review. I don't think it's a good standard to let a child "pick and choose" what instrutions they're going to follow when the teacher has given specific ones.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"Princess&ThePea" wrote:

I don't think it's a good standard to let a child "pick and choose" what instrutions they're going to follow when the teacher has given specific ones.

The instructions on Tiven's homework last night didn't say anything about doing all the problems first. Nor did the worksheet on Monday when she pulled this stunt the first time. In fact, last night, she simply drew the line first without doing any of the problems. When DH made her go back & do the problems, she only did the ones that had an answer of 3, 4, or 5. Her argument was that the instructions only said to help the bunny by connecting the squares with a 3, 4, or 5. And she was right about that.

"Princess&ThePea" wrote:

Yeah, you may have done it in your head/figured out the pattern without doing all the problems, but it's good to follow the instructions/show your work sometimes. Not only for you... but shows the teacher that you DO understand the correct way to do xyz.

Isn't that why they give tests? Homework is supposed to be for practice & reinforcement; tests are for the teacher to see how well you've learned the subject.

Joined: 01/06/03
Posts: 1175

"Spacers" wrote:

The instructions on Tiven's homework last night didn't say anything about doing all the problems first. Nor did the worksheet on Monday when she pulled this stunt the first time. In fact, last night, she simply drew the line first without doing any of the problems. DH made her go back & do the problems, she only did the ones that had a 3, 4, or 5. Her argument was that the instructions only said to help the bunny by connecting the squares with a 3, 4, or 5. And she was right about that.

And I would naturally assume if the teacher sends home a homework sheet to do, that they are to do all the questions on it. Helping the bunny by connecting the squares would be done after finding all the answers... or if my child did that first (doesn't really matter what order as long as it's done... and done correctly), I would then have them go back and do the uncompleted ones... for practice.

Isn't that why they give tests? Homework is supposed to be for practice & reinforcement; tests are for the teacher to see how well you've learned the subject.

Exactly... homework is for practice/reinforcement. What better way to practice/reinforce for tests than to do/show all the work?

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

As a Math Tutor and someone who LOVES math, yes, you have to do all the work. No matter how tedious and ridiculous it sounds. And getting kids to do that from the very beginning with the easy stuff will get them in the habit of doing it all the time. So when they get to higher math like Calc and have to do proof were one question can take 5 sheets of paper and if you don't write down every little detail you will miss something, they will be used ot it.

Her teacher is doing her a favor by getting her in the habit of doing every step. I think you are enforcing bad habits that will make it harder for her later on. When I work with my math students I tell them all the time "use as much paper as you have to and right down EACH STEP!!" For instance if you are adding 4+(5-3), then your paper should look like:
4+(5-3)=

4+(2)=

6
Now maybe it is common sense to just write 6 and do the problme in the paraenthasis in your head, but writing out each step ad nauseum will 1.help you get into the habit of looking at each step in order, 2. help you to check your work and see where you might go wrong, and 3. get you ready for harder math.

Make her do the work and don't make it seem like it is ridiculous and tedious. Homework is not just for practice but also to get ready for the next step.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

I don't know if its technically 'right or wrong' to not do all the work to get to the answer but I do think it can be a disadvantage in life study skills to skip it.

I never studied......and then when i finally *had* to in order to understand things, i despised it. I think the same applies to homework.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

The one with Tivens worksheet is kind of a gray area for me. Especially as she did do as requested. If I was her teacher and wanted all the questions completed, I would try to make that clear next time:)

With doing all the work for math: The teachers job isnt just to teach the subject and give a test. A good teacher makes sure that at least most of the students are understanding and capable before he gives a test. Requesting that students do the work helps to show him this. Especially in highschool where so many students 'help' each other by allowing friends to copy, it is important to actually see that a student knows what they are doing.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

I dont know any teachers that give homework for homeworks sake. I know that when I was doing geography homework I needed to show my work so that a. my teacher could see I understood it and b. if I made mistakes my teacher could look at my work and determine where I was going wrong.

I would make her do all the work, if the teacher didnt want her to do all of it then you just taught her a great lesson in going above and beyond the expectations

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"ftmom" wrote:

The one with Tivens worksheet is kind of a gray area for me. Especially as she did do as requested. If I was her teacher and wanted all the questions completed, I would try to make that clear next time:)

With doing all the work for math: The teachers job isnt just to teach the subject and give a test. A good teacher makes sure that at least most of the students are understanding and capable before he gives a test. Requesting that students do the work helps to show him this. Especially in highschool where so many students 'help' each other by allowing friends to copy, it is important to actually see that a student knows what they are doing.

Right. I just want to add that one of the biggest mistakes kids make is being overconfident in their work by skipping the steps and racing through the math problem only to find that because they didn't show the work and raced through it, some of the answers were wrong. Had they slowed down and shown their work, they score much better.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"KimPossible" wrote:

I don't know if its technically 'right or wrong' to not do all the work to get to the answer but I do think it can be a disadvantage in life study skills to skip it.

I never studied......and then when i finally *had* to in order to understand things, i despised it. I think the same applies to homework.

I totally agree with this. Having a quick mind is great and can allow a person to cut a lot of corners.....till a point. At some point diligence and discipline are going to be required to learn harder or more advanced concepts......and I think that a child who has not learned those skills is at a disadvantage, quick mind or not.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

I skipped steps a lot (got in trouble for it too) and really struggled through my college years becasue I wasn't used to having to do the work from start to end. It really put me at a disadvantage with my instructors especially when we couldn't figure out exactly where I went wrong.

Joined: 07/24/10
Posts: 208

Can she do all of the problems if she wants to? I'd say you need to talk to T's teacher about giving her more challenging work.

I agree with the others about showing your work and all that, but sometimes, when you're thinking at higher level, it becomes tedious and unnecessary to write down every last step. For instance, I don't need to my students to write in their lab notebooks, "I added 10 mL of hexane and then 2 mL more and 10 + 2 is 12, so I added a total of 12 mL of hexane." Saying "Hexane (12 mL) was added to the tube" is better because of the concision and because both the reader and writer are at a knowledge level where showing all of the steps would be a bit too basic (for lack of a better word).

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"KimPossible" wrote:

I never studied......and then when i finally *had* to in order to understand things, i despised it. I think the same applies to homework.

I never minded studying or doing homework... when I needed to. But I hated having to do homework "just because" when I already had the concepts down or when it wasn't relevant to the lesson. I remember in 4th grade we were learning the states and the teacher wanted us to write them in alphabetical order five times. I did it once, and had it memorized so I saw no need to do it four more times. On test day, everyone else got a list with some of the states missing that they had to fill in; I got a blank sheet labeled 1 to 50, and I got them all right. Blum 3

"Potter75" wrote:

I totally agree with this. Having a quick mind is great and can allow a person to cut a lot of corners.....till a point. At some point diligence and discipline are going to be required to learn harder or more advanced concepts......and I think that a child who has not learned those skills is at a disadvantage, quick mind or not.

What makes you think she's not learning those skills? She usually loves doing her homework, this skipping work is kind of weird for her. She's very disciplined & diligent in most things. She actually asked to be waked up early yesterday to finish a birthday card for a friend; she had an idea of what she wanted to do & her first try hadn't worked so she started it over.

"The Great Vagina" wrote:

Can she do all of the problems if she wants to? I'd say you need to talk to T's teacher about giving her more challenging work.

Yes, she can absolutely do the work. Yesterday's worksheet was the same thing. The instructions said, "Help the duck get home to the pond. Connect the squares where the answer is a 6, 7, or 8." Tiven looked at it, drew a line, and said, "Done!" in about 5 seconds. When I quizzed her on the problems, she gave me correct answers every single time. She just doesn't want to fill them out, she doesn't want to do work she doesn't have to do. And the instructions don't say to do all the problems first, although after this week I suspect the teacher might be amending the instructions before handing them out. Blum 3

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

I never minded studying or doing homework... when I needed to. But I hated having to do homework "just because" when I already had the concepts down or when it wasn't relevant to the lesson. I remember in 4th grade we were learning the states and the teacher wanted us to write them in alphabetical order five times. I did it once, and had it memorized so I saw no need to do it four more times. On test day, everyone else got a list with some of the states missing that they had to fill in; I got a blank sheet labeled 1 to 50, and I got them all right.

Ok, so you never minded doing homework, but we are talking about your daughter, not you. I'm just saying its a potential problem.

Personally, I would not rely on my kids 'never minding' to do homework

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Spacers" wrote:

What makes you think she's not learning those skills? She usually loves doing her homework, this skipping work is kind of weird for her. She's very disciplined & diligent in most things. She actually asked to be waked up early yesterday to finish a birthday card for a friend; she had an idea of what she wanted to do & her first try hadn't worked so she started it over.

I'm sure she is. I was just answering the debate question, not calling your child names. I was speaking as a generality. This is why I don't like personal debates. Anyway, I could not possibly agree more with Kim and Lillie. I think that a short cut is a short cut. While I would admire my child's nimble mind, I would insist that they complete the rest of the problems. Practice makes perfect, and all.

And like Kim said, you seem to be talking a lot about how you were or are, which does not really relate all that much to how your child is. As a generality, I think that doing all of the problems or the work asked of one is a good thing. I think that feeding into the idea that a kid should pick and choose what they need to do, or which assignments are stupid or not is great......for a homeschooler. Honestly I see a parent agreeing with that to potentially be undermining a child's respect for their teachers authority.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

I think Tiven is pretty clever and I'd have to chuckle if she were my kid. If she has her basic facts memorized (which I think is EXTREMELY important) I wouldn't make her go back and complete the other problems. She's right, she followed the directions. I'd probably warn her that she may not get full credit for the assignment and if that's a risk she's willing to take I'd be fine with it. I'm all about responsibility and accountability when it comes to kids.

I really appreciate kids that think outside the box because that seems to be so rare these days. I swear, we've programmed our kids to be little robots. There is more than one way to do things, even in Math, and I think it is cool that Tiven realizes that (assuming she isn't just being lazy).

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"The Great Vagina" wrote:

Can she do all of the problems if she wants to? I'd say you need to talk to T's teacher about giving her more challenging work.

I agree with the others about showing your work and all that, but sometimes, when you're thinking at higher level, it becomes tedious and unnecessary to write down every last step. For instance, I don't need to my students to write in their lab notebooks, "I added 10 mL of hexane and then 2 mL more and 10 + 2 is 12, so I added a total of 12 mL of hexane." Saying "Hexane (12 mL) was added to the tube" is better because of the concision and because both the reader and writer are at a knowledge level where showing all of the steps would be a bit too basic (for lack of a better word).

But that IMO is completely different. The important part of the problem you gave is the amount of hexane, not the addition. Now if theye didn't right the chemical down, that would be an issue, right? For math, the process is the important part. and math is all about building on a foundation in layers. And what kids learn now is critical for what they will learn later. where kids tend to get probelms wrong is because they don't show their work.This teacher is not just teaching them how to do the probelms but how to show their work and how to respect the process because today itmight be something easy likedraw lines to ducks. Later it's going to be soemthign like using the proof by exhaustion method to solve a theorm.

If you think her work is too easy, then maybe she needs harder work. But teaching a kid that they are too smart to show work is a bad idea.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"culturedmom" wrote:

But that IMO is completely different. The important part of the problem you gave is the amount of hexane, not the addition. Now if theye didn't right the chemical down, that would be an issue, right? For math, the process is the important part. and math is all about building on a foundation in layers. And what kids learn now is critical for what they will learn later. where kids tend to get probelms wrong is because they don't show their work.This teacher is not just teaching them how to do the probelms but how to show their work and how to respect the process because today itmight be something easy likedraw lines to ducks. Later it's going to be soemthign like using the proof by exhaustion method to solve a theorm.

If you think her work is too easy, then maybe she needs harder work. But teaching a kid that they are too smart to show work is a bad idea.

I would agree with you if the directions said the child was to show his/her work by drawing pictures to solve the problem. For example, if the problem was 3 + 2 and the child had to draw 3 X, then 2 X and circle them to join the sets. That's how basic addition and subtraction facts are typically taught in the beginning, and I agree that kids need to see that when they are first learning. To me, that would be "showing your work" in this circumstance. But why solve every single problem if the child is bright enough to realize it isn't necessary?

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I see where you're coming from. My son's homework is ridiculous at times, especially some of the math problems. They explain things in such a difficult way that it's even hard for me to decipher it sometimes... and this is 3rd grade homework! It makes no sense to me why it seems as though they go out of their way to make it more difficult than it has to be. I'm sure one could argue that the reason being is "to get them to think," but it doesn't, it just confuses them... and with my state being at the bottom of the list as far as education and graduate statistics go (I'm in Nevada) maybe they should think about making some of these changes. All that being said, I understand the importance of homework, and although we may think that it's silly, it's what the teacher requires, so we pretty much have to deal with it no matter how silly we think it is! I especially see the need for the problem solving on paper when kids get older, so that the teacher can see that they worked the problem our for themselves and didn't just get the answer from somwhere/someone else.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

I would agree with you if the directions said the child was to show his/her work by drawing pictures to solve the problem. For example, if the problem was 3 + 2 and the child had to draw 3 X, then 2 X and circle them to join the sets. That's how basic addition and subtraction facts are typically taught in the beginning, and I agree that kids need to see that when they are first learning. To me, that would be "showing your work" in this circumstance. But why solve every single problem if the child is bright enough to realize it isn't necessary?

Because it's not just about the work of addition but about the set-up. I can't explain it in any more detail then I already have.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"culturedmom" wrote:

Because it's not just about the work of addition but about the set-up. I can't explain it in any more detail then I already have.

The set-up of what? The set-up of doing 40-something problems that the directions didn't require? Either it is about "showing your work" which would mean drawing a diagram for each problem or the "set-up" that involves solving all of the problems just because. Sorry, but your details just aren't clear.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

The teacher's directions did require her to do it. But if you want to teach your child that they only need to follow the directions and do the work they deem is necessary, go right ahead. Math requires constant practice and a self-discipline to not take short cuts. Doing all the problems and showing your work for them reinforces that idea. I don't know how much more detail you need to understand what I mean.

carg0612's picture
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 1554

I tend to agree that all the work should be done.

I have had a rare situation where we had to choose between getting my oldest to bed and completing all the problems on the practice sheet and in that situation I felt that she had a good understanding of the material and we opted for sleep. As a 10 year old she desperately needs her sleep or all the math practice in the world won't make a difference.

But - I did make her finish it the following evening anyway. She was none too happy about it but she did it.

We generally have her do more math than what's on the assignments unless they are lengthy assignments. But my DD struggles a little in math so for her the extra reinforcement is a really good thing.

Plus I tend to be a stickler about following the teacher's instructions as best as possible. Only rarely is there an exception to that.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

I think Tiven is pretty clever and I'd have to chuckle if she were my kid. If she has her basic facts memorized (which I think is EXTREMELY important) I wouldn't make her go back and complete the other problems. She's right, she followed the directions. I'd probably warn her that she may not get full credit for the assignment and if that's a risk she's willing to take I'd be fine with it. I'm all about responsibility and accountability when it comes to kids.

I really appreciate kids that think outside the box because that seems to be so rare these days. I swear, we've programmed our kids to be little robots. There is more than one way to do things, even in Math, and I think it is cool that Tiven realizes that (assuming she isn't just being lazy).

I have to agree. I'd warn her that there might be consequences and let her face them.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I have to agree. I'd warn her that there might be consequences and let her face them.

As a substitute teacher, if the instructions arent clear for an assignment, I often tell students that they know their teacher better than I do, and make them responsible for what is needed for the assignment. Not something that happens a lot in math, but how long a paragraph is needed to be written, that sort of thing. I think that, especially in the intermediate grades, students should be responsible for their own learning, and often when they say they dont know how much to do, etc. They really do know what their teacher would expect.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"ftmom" wrote:

As a substitute teacher, if the instructions arent clear for an assignment, I often tell students that they know their teacher better than I do, and make them responsible for what is needed for the assignment. Not something that happens a lot in math, but how long a paragraph is needed to be written, that sort of thing. I think that, especially in the intermediate grades, students should be responsible for their own learning, and often when they say they dont know how much to do, etc. They really do know what their teacher would expect.

Agreed. And I think there is a tendency these days -- and I'm not talking about anyone on this board because I have no idea what goes on in all of your homes -- for parents to get their kids' homework perfect before it goes back to school. I will help my son with his homework but I want him to experience the process, especially at this young age, of learning what he did wrong and how to fix it without my intervention.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Agreed. And I think there is a tendency these days -- and I'm not talking about anyone on this board because I have no idea what goes on in all of your homes -- for parents to get their kids' homework perfect before it goes back to school. I will help my son with his homework but I want him to experience the process, especially at this young age, of learning what he did wrong and how to fix it without my intervention.

Would you review the work and have them review their answers to the problems that may be incorrect if they asked that of you? I don't know of any parent that insists on making sure all homework is 100% accurate at all times, but I do know that if my kids asked for me to review because my kids wanted to make sure they did them right before turning the homework in, I certainly will go over their homework so they see where they made mistakes if any. I personally have no qualms discussing the mistakes with my kids to ensure they understand the concept and for them to discover the correct problems. Many teachers grade their homework and most (if not all) encourage them to seek assistance if they need it. No harm in doing this as long as the parents aren't doing the work for them.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"Beertje" wrote:

Would you review the work and have them review their answers to the problems that may be incorrect if they asked that of you? I don't know of any parent that insists on making sure all homework is 100% accurate at all times, but I do know that if my kids asked for me to review because my kids wanted to make sure they did them right before turning the homework in, I certainly will go over their homework so they see where they made mistakes if any. I personally have no qualms discussing the mistakes with my kids to ensure they understand the concept and for them to discover the correct problems. Many teachers grade their homework and most (if not all) encourage them to seek assistance if they need it. No harm in doing this as long as the parents aren't doing the work for them.

Of course I would. And sometimes I will have my son re-do his homework if I can tell that he rushed through it and it's messy as a result. All I want to avoid is the scenario in which he is getting his homework right because I'm guiding him. He needs to be able to do it on his own, that's why he's in 3rd grade and I'm not. But if he asks for help, he gets it, and one of us looks it over before it goes into his folder just to make sure he completed it.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

We check that Tiven's homework has been completed, that it's neat enough for the teacher to read, and that most of the answers are correct. If only a few are wrong, then we don't do anything; if quite a number are incorrect, then we talk about what went wrong & we have her do them over on a separate piece of paper. That way, her teacher can see the mistakes that were made, but Tiven also gets the practice of doing them again.

And if she asks for help, she gets guidance but not solutions. I'll help her figure out the problem, sound out the word, or come up with a clear, concise sentence, but I won't tell her what to do or write.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"culturedmom" wrote:

The teacher's directions did require her to do it. But if you want to teach your child that they only need to follow the directions and do the work they deem is necessary, go right ahead. Math requires constant practice and a self-discipline to not take short cuts. Doing all the problems and showing your work for them reinforces that idea. I don't know how much more detail you need to understand what I mean.

Did the directions on the paper state that ALL 40-something problems must be solved? Or did the directions ask the student to help the bunny find the carrot, etc.? Obviously I don't have the worksheet in front of me, but if I felt that my child followed the directions and came up with the correct final product I'd be satisfied.

Once again, the worksheet didn't require the student to "show their work." If it did I would require my child to draw a diagram, because how else would you "show your work" with basic addition/subtraction problems?

I don't need you to give more details, I just need your details to make sense.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Agreed. And I think there is a tendency these days -- and I'm not talking about anyone on this board because I have no idea what goes on in all of your homes -- for parents to get their kids' homework perfect before it goes back to school. I will help my son with his homework but I want him to experience the process, especially at this young age, of learning what he did wrong and how to fix it without my intervention.

Yep, that's me. My kids homework needs to be correct before it goes back to school. 100%. That deosn't mean my kids don't experience the process or that I do it for them. But if I check it and it is wrong either they 1. don't understand and then I will go over the problem and help them understand it better so they can get the right answer or 2. they rushed and made a mistake in which they can redo it. I don't consider homework as something they need ot do on thier own ot see if they understand the lesson. That would be a test.

I don't think I could allow my kids to send back homework that was incorrect. The nerd in me just wouldn't allow it. Smile

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

Did the directions on the paper state that ALL 40-something problems must be solved? Or did the directions ask the student to help the bunny find the carrot, etc.? Obviously I don't have the worksheet in front of me, but if I felt that my child followed the directions and came up with the correct final product I'd be satisfied.

Once again, the worksheet didn't require the student to "show their work." If it did I would require my child to draw a diagram, because how else would you "show your work" with basic addition/subtraction problems?

I don't need you to give more details, I just need your details to make sense.

If they don't make sense to you, then there is not much I can do about it.

carg0612's picture
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 1554

I also double check my kids' homework. If there is a problem that isn't correct I help walk them through it.

My feeling is that if they get it wrong then either they weren't focusing and wrote something down incorrectly or they aren't understanding the concept. Either way they need to re-do the problem so I can either help them focus or help them understand the concept.

For me it's not necessarily about making sure their homework is perfect it's about helping my child understand the work and the process so when they are tested on it they will have confidense that they know the material. Homework won't make a lick of difference if they never understand the concept. Homework is practice, when we practice we get coaching to help mend our mistakes and come to a better understanding. So if I don't help them correct their mistakes how will they learn and come to that understanding?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"carg0612" wrote:

I also double check my kids' homework. If there is a problem that isn't correct I help walk them through it.

My feeling is that if they get it wrong then either they weren't focusing and wrote something down incorrectly or they aren't understanding the concept. Either way they need to re-do the problem so I can either help them focus or help them understand the concept.

For me it's not necessarily about making sure their homework is perfect it's about helping my child understand the work and the process so when they are tested on it they will have confidense that they know the material. Homework won't make a lick of difference if they never understand the concept. Homework is practice, when we practice we get coaching to help mend our mistakes and come to a better understanding. So if I don't help them correct their mistakes how will they learn and come to that understanding?

Isn't that what the teacher is for? Don't the teachers correct homework?

I'm not saying don't help your kids, but I would think there is much to be learned by having the teacher point out errors & coach them. There is also much to be learned by the consequence of it. The teacher points out mistakes, the kids don't want that to happen again. No?

Joined: 01/06/03
Posts: 1175

"culturedmom" wrote:

Yep, that's me. My kids homework needs to be correct before it goes back to school. 100%. That deosn't mean my kids don't experience the process or that I do it for them. But if I check it and it is wrong either they 1. don't understand and then I will go over the problem and help them understand it better so they can get the right answer or 2. they rushed and made a mistake in which they can redo it. I don't consider homework as something they need ot do on thier own ot see if they understand the lesson. That would be a test.

I don't think I could allow my kids to send back homework that was incorrect. The nerd in me just wouldn't allow it. Smile

"carg0612" wrote:

I also double check my kids' homework. If there is a problem that isn't correct I help walk them through it.

My feeling is that if they get it wrong then either they weren't focusing and wrote something down incorrectly or they aren't understanding the concept. Either way they need to re-do the problem so I can either help them focus or help them understand the concept.

For me it's not necessarily about making sure their homework is perfect it's about helping my child understand the work and the process so when they are tested on it they will have confidense that they know the material. Homework won't make a lick of difference if they never understand the concept. Homework is practice, when we practice we get coaching to help mend our mistakes and come to a better understanding. So if I don't help them correct their mistakes how will they learn and come to that understanding?

Ditto both the above. I do try to get dd to do her homework on her own... and then once she has completed it (or gets stuck) I check it over. If I see a wrong answer I do erase it and ask her to do it again. In some cases, it's her just rushing through and randomly putting answers down in order to get finished... in other cases, she is struggling with something and so we explain/go over it and help her understand it. There has been a time or two where I don't understand a question and in that case we'll leave it and I will either talk to the teacher or send a note. But not without us trying to figure it out first.

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

Did the directions on the paper state that ALL 40-something problems must be solved? Or did the directions ask the student to help the bunny find the carrot, etc.? Obviously I don't have the worksheet in front of me, but if I felt that my child followed the directions and came up with the correct final product I'd be satisfied.

If a sheet comes home with a bunch of questions on it and tells the student to help the bunny find the carrot with ones that equal a certain sum... I would totally take it as the child was to complete them all first. And I don't think the teacher (at least any of the teachers we've worked with) would expect anything less. And as a parent, I would not be satisfied with my child not completing the page. Yeah, *technically* if the student only answers the questions that will help the bunny, they've done what it said... but if they only wanted those certain questions answered, why on earth would the teacher waste their time putting all the other questions on the page too??? It's all review and reinforcement and it's not going to hurt any child to answer all the questions.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

Last week my son had a question on his homework he couldn't answer, and when he showed it to me, I didn't understand the instruction either. I figured it was referring to something they had talked about in class, which is why I didn't know what was being asked.

But I didn't send a note to the teacher, I told HIM to go to her and ask her. He did that, and she reminded him of what they had learned, and then he finished it. He felt so proud.

I think parental involvement is REALLY important for a child's success, but I also think it's important, when kids are old enough, for them to own it and take responsibility themselves. It also helps the teacher understand what areas they are struggling with, if everyone's homework is perfect, how will he/she know what areas need reinforcement in class?

I'm not trying to say anything negative about helping your kid with homework, but I think it helps them a lot to get the work back with corrections and have to deal with that, from the teacher, who is an authority figure. And of course, it also depends on the kid. You all know your kids best.

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Joined: 09/30/06
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Last week my son had a question on his homework he couldn't answer, and when he showed it to me, I didn't understand the instruction either. I figured it was referring to something they had talked about in class, which is why I didn't know what was being asked.

But I didn't send a note to the teacher, I told HIM to go to her and ask her. He did that, and she reminded him of what they had learned, and then he finished it. He felt so proud.

But in that instance, you didn't know what was being asked either. Had that been me, Iwould ahve done the same thing. but if I know how to do it, then I will explain it to them.

I think parental involvement is REALLY important for a child's success, but I also think it's important, when kids are old enough, for them to own it and take responsibility themselves. It also helps the teacher understand what areas they are struggling with, if everyone's homework is perfect, how will he/she know what areas need reinforcement in class?

I'm not trying to say anything negative about helping your kid with homework, but I think it helps them a lot to get the work back with corrections and have to deal with that, from the teacher, who is an authority figure. And of course, it also depends on the kid. You all know your kids best.

See, but the way I see it is the teacher only has a certain amount of time for one on one instruction. So, as a professor when I would send homework home, I expected it to be done correctly. If they needed to use resources or a tutor or a friend or a study group to help them figure it out, then that's what they should do.

I see my kids homework the same way. Maybe the way the teacher explains it is nto clicking for the child. Kids learn in different ways and sometimes they need another person to explain something in a different way for them to understand it. Often times my son will not understand his homework which is an extension of what they did in class, and if I can give a different way to do it, he gets it.

To me homework is not a measure for teachers to see what kids know and don;t know. That isIMO classwork and tests. Homework is a toolto reinforce what they learned in class and to practice. I don't want them to practice the wrong thing, I want to help them undertsand it better so they can get it right.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

Marla - I guess we just see things differently. I encourage my kids to think outside the box, and if my child could give a good argument for only completing the problems that led to the carrot I'd be satisfied with that. Math is far more than just repetitive math facts. It requires problem solving and deeper level thinking.

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Joined: 09/30/06
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Isn't that what the teacher is for? Don't the teachers correct homework?

But teacher's only have so much time to spend one on one with each kid. So tome, homework is a chance for a parent or tutor to work one on one to help reinforce or if need be, explain, what is done in class. As for teacher's correcting homework, ofcourse they do. To make sure it is done and done correctly. I don;t know many teachers who go over the homework again in class.

Joined: 01/06/03
Posts: 1175

"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

Marla - I guess we just see things differently. I encourage my kids to think outside the box, and if my child could give a good argument for only completing the problems that led to the carrot I'd be satisfied with that. Math is far more than just repetitive math facts. It requires problem solving and deeper level thinking.

I have no problem with my children thinking "outside the box". There is nothing wrong with that. But sometimes we do have to do all the work instead of taking a shortcut and while a parent might be satisfied with them not completing all the problems... that doesn't mean the teacher will be. I'd rather "err" on the side of caution and have them complete everything vs the teacher marking their homework as incomplete because they only did the part they wanted to do.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"culturedmom" wrote:

But teacher's only have so much time to spend one on one with each kid. So tome, homework is a chance for a parent or tutor to work one on one to help reinforce or if need be, explain, what is done in class. As for teacher's correcting homework, ofcourse they do. To make sure it is done and done correctly. I don;t know many teachers who go over the homework again in class.

But if all the kids are making the same mistake, the teacher is getting valuable information that s/he won't have if the parents are the ones making sure everything is perfect.

Look, it doesn't HURT the kids to do all the perfecting at home. It's fine. I don't think it does harm. But I don't think that is how it should work, necessarily. . .I think it's important for the kids to see what happens when they bring homework to school and find out it's wrong.

Either way, they learn. As long as everyone's happy, it's fine. For me and my family, it's better if my son (since my daughter is too young for homework right now) really owns the process as much as possible.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

"Princess&ThePea" wrote:

I have no problem with my children thinking "outside the box". There is nothing wrong with that. But sometimes we do have to do all the work instead of taking a shortcut and while a parent might be satisfied with them not completing all the problems... that doesn't mean the teacher will be. I'd rather "err" on the side of caution and have them complete everything vs the teacher marking their homework as incomplete because they only did the part they wanted to do.

And I choose to hold my children accountable for their homework and not micro-manage them. As I said before, I'd warn my child that the teacher may count off because all of the problems weren't complete, and if that was a risk they'd be willing to take then so be it. Besides, I'm not a fan of lengthy homework assignments because I think time at home should be spent doing fun things as a family.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

But if all the kids are making the same mistake, the teacher is getting valuable information that s/he won't have if the parents are the ones making sure everything is perfect.

Look, it doesn't HURT the kids to do all the perfecting at home. It's fine. I don't think it does harm. But I don't think that is how it should work, necessarily. . .I think it's important for the kids to see what happens when they bring homework to school and find out it's wrong.

Either way, they learn. As long as everyone's happy, it's fine. For me and my family, it's better if my son (since my daughter is too young for homework right now) really owns the process as much as possible.

I'm not trying to persuade you to change what you do with your family. And I am not saying it is one or the other. You just said...

And I think there is a tendency these days -- and I'm not talking about anyone on this board because I have no idea what goes on in all of your homes -- for parents to get their kids' homework perfect before it goes back to school. I will help my son with his homework but I want him to experience the process, especially at this young age, of learning what he did wrong and how to fix it without my intervention.

And I felt as a parent who has those tendencies, that I should speak up and maybe even defend my pov a bit. I really don't care what anyone else's tendencies are with their kids and their homework. Whatever works for y'alls children is what's best. Smile

Joined: 03/08/03
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"Alana*sMommy" wrote:

And I choose to hold my children accountable for their homework and not micro-manage them. As I said before, I'd warn my child that the teacher may count off because all of the problems weren't complete, and if that was a risk they'd be willing to take then so be it. Besides, I'm not a fan of lengthy homework assignments because I think time at home should be spent doing fun things as a family.

And I agree with this too. I think we are in the minority.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"culturedmom" wrote:

I'm not trying to persuade you to change what you do with your family. And I am not saying it is one or the other. You just said...

And I felt as a parent who has those tendencies, that I should speak up and maybe even defend my pov a bit. I really don't care what anyone else's tendencies are with their kids and their homework. Whatever works for y'alls children is what's best. Smile

Yeah, I guess I still don't get it.

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Joined: 09/30/06
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Yeah, I guess I still don't get it.

Get what? Why I see homework as a way to help my kids understand what they may not be understanding at school vs. seeing it as a tool for teachers to gauge kids grasp of the work done in class? I can see not agreeing, but what is there not to get? I guess in the end it doesn't much matter beyond you do what you think is best for your kids and I'll do what I think is best for mine.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"culturedmom" wrote:

Get what? Why I see homework as a way to help my kids understand what they may not be understanding at school vs. seeing it as a tool for teachers to gauge kids grasp of the work done in class? I can see not agreeing, but what is there not to get? I guess in the end it doesn't much matter beyond you do what you think is best for your kids and I'll do what I think is best for mine.

No, I mean I don't get not ever sending in incorrect homework. I think it's valuable for the kids to do it without all that back-up. I understand helping, but I don't understand the value of making sure it's completely correct all the time.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

No, I mean I don't get not ever sending in incorrect homework. I think it's valuable for the kids to do it without all that back-up. I understand helping, but I don't understand the value of making sure it's completely correct all the time.

OK. Again, obvioulsy I see the point of homework differently then you do. I see it as work to be done at home, with ones parents and assistance if necessary to reinforce what was learned in school. That's why, imo, it is given ot be taken home where most children have a parental unit to assist them in better understanding the material if they so need the help. If it were just a way for teachers to gauge what the child knows then they would give it to them at school like a test, where the child has to do it on their own.

For example, today my son came home with math work. his school in MI is way beyond where his school in FL is when it come to math and he doesn't understand some of the things they are doing now only because he just hasn't seen them yet. My choice is to let him get his math wrong on his homework because he doesn't understand it and allow the teacher, who already knows he is struggling, to correct it.....or I can use this as a way to give him more instruction so he understands the homework and then can answer the questions correctly becausehe gets it. I chose the later.

It's not like the teacher only has homework to gauge where a child is having issues. What I don't understand is if a child gets a question wrong on homework because they don't understand the work, why would I leave it up to the teacher to explain it?

Also, if you help them then aren't you helping them to better understand it? And if that si the case and they better understand it with your help, why then wouldn't they correct their work knowing it is wrong?

Joined: 03/08/03
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If your kid is having problems and needs extra help, then it makes sense. What I don't get is doing this 100% of the time so that the kids don't ever face the consequences of not finishing or doing sloppy work. I think it should be more of a mix. I think homework is also about responsibility and independence.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

If your kid is having problems and needs extra help, then it makes sense. What I don't get is doing this 100% of the time so that the kids don't ever face the consequences of not finishing or doing sloppy work. I think it should be more of a mix. I think homework is also about responsibility and independence.

Is what you're trying to say more about picking up homework all of the time, reviewing it when the child isn't asking for help, and then critiquing the homework until it meets 100% of the parent's satisfaction anyways when the child feels confident in their work they did independently? I do agree that if the core concepts are being understood and they make mistakes rushing through their work or even a couple mistakes, that they should have the teachers point this out to them instead of the parent.

I can see intervening if this is a continual issue or if a child is obviously struggling, but to make a habit of checking every.piece.of.homework each kid does at home just to ensure they're all done 100% correctly is a bit overboard in my eyes as well, especially the older they get. How else would they gain confidence in their work before submitting it in when they only know to rely on parental approval first? I could see a kid becoming overconfident or even debating about some homework a parent had them refine only to learn that the parent incorrectly instructed a child to do something different than what a teacher actually wanted.

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Joined: 09/30/06
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

If your kid is having problems and needs extra help, then it makes sense. What I don't get is doing this 100% of the time so that the kids don't ever face the consequences of not finishing or doing sloppy work. I think it should be more of a mix. I think homework is also about responsibility and independence.

OK. I guess I will just have to have faith that my kids can learn responsibility and independence and how to think outside the box and take pride in their work, even though I check their homework 100% of the time. It seems to be working for them, so not much else to say.

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