As your child progresses from middle school into high school and nears college, the expectations will become much greater. It can be challenging for parents to know exactly how to continue to support their child outside of the classroom. While the level of parental homework help in elementary school is much more tangible, your involvement as your child grows and matures into an independent student should evolve accordingly.
For many parents, questions about how to assist older students during homework time abound. Should you be helping with homework? How much? What should that assistance look like? Huntington Learning Center addresses these questions and others:
How much homework is typical for middle school students? High school students?
Ask your child’s teachers what to expect when it comes to the amount of time that homework takes. A good ballpark is an hour of homework in sixth grade, 70 minutes in seventh grade, and 80 minutes in eighth grade. High school homework may vary widely from teacher to teacher, school to school. A recent survey by the University of Phoenix College of Education showed that teachers of high school students assign an average of 3.2 hours of homework per week (which equates 17.5 hours of homework per week for students with five teachers in different subjects).
What should your role be in middle school homework?
Being on hand for support and facilitating good homework practices are important, but too much parental help with homework in middle school can actually be detrimental. The best way that you can help your middle school student during homework time is by monitoring his or her study habits and productivity and helping nurture effective habits. If your child struggles on a regular basis, reach out to the teacher to develop a plan of action and they may also need tutoring help.
What should your role be in high school homework?
In high school, it is critical that students learn to become their own advocates and recognize when they need help—and seek help out when needed. Although you should intervene if you see your teen struggling with homework, in high school, completing homework is your teen’s responsibility. You can offer suggestions for breaking down bigger projects into manageable steps. You can serve as a sounding board as your teen identifies homework where he or she needs clarification with the teacher. And you can help your teen learn strategies for maintaining an organized planner. Under no circumstances should you take the lead on homework or help your child with its completion.
How about Advanced Placement homework?
If your high school student is taking any Advanced Placement classes, the amount of class work and homework may differ from your teen’s other classes. Advanced placement courses are on the college level and students can receive college credits for the courses at certain colleges if they receive good grades. Expect more homework in Advanced Placement classes.
Why is homework so important?
Homework offers many benefits as students move toward greater independence in school. It helps teachers reinforce what they teach in the classroom, extends student learning, builds students’ problem solving and time management skills as well as their sense of responsibility, and much more.
Homework is an important part of your child’s life as a student. If you’re feeling uncertain about the best way to provide guidance for your child without overstepping your bounds, contact his or her teachers. They can help you understand your role at homework time and the most appropriate ways to support your child’s learning without being directly involved in homework completion. Together, you can help your child become a self-sufficient, independent and successful student.