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How Much Homework Help?
       Students of all ages need some parental involvement in homework so that they know their parents value school.  The amount of involvement varies widely depending on the age of the student, the attention span and the skill level of the student (and sometimes the parent).  
       Young children (K-2nd grade) generally need a parent with them while they do their homework.  Even if no homework is assigned, students need to read, practice new skills and learn spelling words and math facts.  Parent's attitude toward homework is crucial at this age because it sets the stage for the student's school career.  Homework should be viewed as an opportunity to have fun, explore and learn. 
       As students continue through elementary school, they should become more and more independent.  They can read by themselves, study on their own.  If a student is very social, he/she may want to study with a parent.  This is fine, as long as the student is learning responsibility and doing the work him/herself.  
       By middle school, students should be pretty well independent in their homework.  Parents still need to be interested and see what the student is doing in school and for homework.  Often, this is the age of disorganization!  This may drive parents crazy!  If it's too difficult to teach your child organizational skills yourself, be sure they learn it somewhere!  Study Smart's organizational system is great for this.  Parents can help reinforce good skills with contracts and by helping the student keep up with all their "stuff."  
       High school students need to be well on the way to independence.  Keeping track of long-term assignments, multi-step projects and daily work is crucial for them.  In-depth knowledge of calculus is not necessary for parents to show interest in homework.  Casual talk about what the student is learning may be about it unless the student is unable to keep up or grades begin to slide.  
       At any age, be a consultant for your student; let them bounce ideas off of you and come to their own conclusions.

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