How much homework help is too much?

My daughter is in fourth grade. I want to be a homework support for her, but how much help is too much?

Homework is meant to be done with a certain amount of autonomy. At the elementary level, teachers typically use homework as both a form of assessment and review, so they really want to see what the child can do — not the parent.

Many children like to know that someone is around for them in case any questions do arise, so being in close proximity to your child while she is completing her homework is a good idea. Look it over after she has completed it by herself. Doing so holds her accountable while still upholding her feeling of independence. Keep in mind, having a few questions per assignment is appropriate. It is okay to help your child if you feel that she is struggling with something and to have her go back and look something over and try to correct it. However, if you find that she is having a hard time independently answering 50 percent of the homework assigned more than 50 percent of the time, this is a good time to reach out to the teachers and let them know the amount of help she is needing at home.

In general, if you’re ever worried that you may be helping your child too much or too little, reach out to the teachers and ask them their homework-help policy. Then, you can work together to make sure your child is getting the most out of her homework.

Lauren Rosen (MrsLRosen@gmail.com) has been teaching in Manhattan private schools for 10 years, and she lives in Manhattan with her husband and daughter.

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