How To Help Kids With Homework

How To Help Kids With Homework-4
Robinson and Harris posit that greater financial and educational resources allow some parents to embed their children in neighborhoods and social settings in which they meet many college-educated adults with interesting careers.Upper-middle-class kids aren’t just told a good education will help them succeed in life.

Robinson and Harris posit that greater financial and educational resources allow some parents to embed their children in neighborhoods and social settings in which they meet many college-educated adults with interesting careers.Upper-middle-class kids aren’t just told a good education will help them succeed in life.

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In an attempt to show whether the kids of more-involved parents improved over time, the researchers indexed these measures to children’s academic performance, including test scores in reading and math. Most measurable forms of parental involvement seem to yield few academic dividends for kids, or even to backfire—regardless of a parent’s race, class, or level of education.

Do you review your daughter’s homework every night?

They are surrounded by family and friends who work as doctors, lawyers, and engineers and who reminisce about their college years around the dinner table.

Asian parents are an interesting exception; even when they are poor and unable to provide these types of social settings, they seem to be able to communicate the value and appeal of education in a similarly effective manner.

As part of his research, Robinson conducted informal focus groups with his undergraduate statistics students at the University of Texas, asking them about how their parents contributed to their achievements.

He found that most had few or no memories of their parents pushing or prodding them or getting involved at school in formal ways. “You’d expect they’d have the type of parental involvement we’re promoting at the national level. It really blew me away.”Robinson and Harris’s findings add to what we know from previous research by the sociologist Annette Lareau, who observed conversations in homes between parents and kids during the 1990s.Robinson and Harris’s data, published in The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement With Children’s Education, show that this won’t help her score higher on standardized tests.Once kids enter middle school, parental help with homework can actually bring test scores down, an effect Robinson says could be caused by the fact that many parents may have forgotten, or never truly understood, the material their children learn in school.Given that the best teachers have been shown to raise students’ lifetime earnings and to decrease the likelihood of teen pregnancy, this is no small intervention.All in all, these findings should relieve anxious parents struggling to make time to volunteer at the PTA bake sale.While Robinson and Harris largely disproved that assumption, they did find a handful of habits that make a difference, such as reading aloud to young kids (fewer than half of whom are read to daily) and talking with teenagers about college plans.But these interventions don’t take place at school or in the presence of teachers, where policy makers exert the most influence—they take place at home.But valuing parental involvement via test scores alone misses one of the ways in which parents most impact schools.Pesky parents are often effective, especially in public schools, at securing better textbooks, new playgrounds, and all the “extras” that make an educational community come to life, like art, music, theater, and after-school clubs.This kind of meddling could leave children more anxious than enthusiastic about school, Robinson speculates. Since the late 1960s, the federal government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on programs that seek to engage parents—especially low-income parents—with their children’s schools.“Ask them ‘Do you want to see me volunteering more? In 2001, No Child Left Behind required schools to establish parent committees and communicate with parents in their native languages.

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