I’m sure you’ve been getting them as well. The letters, emails, articles online and in the magazines. It’s back to school time. This year, I’m looking more carefully at what comes home. I figured I’d better, since I’m writing a book about homework…
There’s always been something that has bugged me about the advice for parents about how to help kids with school, and I think I’ve figured out what it is. We are being told two messages that contradict each other. Here they are:
1. Parents need to be involved in their children’s school work.
2. It’s the children’s school work, not your work. Don’t be a helicopter parent when it comes to school.
Schools certainly mean well. They want our kids to be as successful as possible. They want our kids to learn. But there are times when it’s pretty confusing. “How am I supposed to be involved, and not involved at the same time?”
I think the problem is that these two messages are meant to be heard by two different types of parents. Message number one, parents need to be involved in their children’s school work, is meant to be hear by those parents who are not involved enough. Message number two, it’s the children’s school work, not your work, is meant to be heard by the parents who are way too involved.
I’m working on a quiz to help you think about which type of parent you are, which might help you figure out which message is meant for you. As the school year gets in swing, I’ll be sharing some ideas you can use right away to get better at this.