News Item: Helping with homework usually backfires

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It may seem like a perfectly reasonable thing to do: your kid has homework and needs help, so you sit down with them and provide a helping hand. Many of us can remember sitting with our own parents and puzzling through some tricky bit of schoolwork. But a new study by Tutor Doctor suggests that rather than helping, this “assistance” may wind up hurting.

According to the research:

"In the study, 8 out of 10 parents actually attempted to help their children with homework and the number of parents who reported their children as 'easily frustrated' was nearly 75 percent. As a result, nearly 93 percent of families reported that homework has had some impact on the overall stress levels of their home. Regarding specific subject areas children find most challenging, more than half of the respondents reported math as the most difficult subject area for their children."

In other words, helping with homework makes the whole experience a more stressful experience. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to start with!

In these days when both parents work, it can be hard to find the time to really give students the kind of help and support they need. And in fact, the data suggests that helping might only make things worse.

As Tutor Doctor’s president, Frank Milner said in the above-quoted article, “When parents attempt to help their children with difficult homework, they have all the right intentions … They just want their child to succeed in school. The problem is that it usually backfires. The parent is tired from a long day at work. Their patience runs thin. Both the parent and the child get frustrated. That’s when we get the call.”

Stress can be such an integral part of education that we don’t even notice it. But as our skilled one-to-one tutors know, it doesn’t have to be this way. The help of a talented, personalized tutor, especially one employing a personalized academic game plan, can work wonders on a struggling student.

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