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Parents and homework: It’s OK not to know the answer

Parents and homework: Is it OK to not know?

Parents and homework: Is it OK to not know?

This is our regular Tuesday Tips for Parenting guest post by Beckie Whitehouse from Be Confident Coaching.

This last weekend we reached a new milestone – we got to that parents and homework stage; where the oldest asked me to help with his English – reading a poem, thinking about it and answering some questions. That took me right back to ‘prac crit’ – practical criticism. Thankfully, a poem a bit more understandable than some of the stuff we studied at 6th Form. Still, I could see him struggling a bit and I had to check the meaning of similes and metaphors things I often get muddled up!!

In case you are not sure

  • A simile is a comparison when something is like something else ‘she smelt like a rose’
  • A metaphor is where a term or phrase is used to describe something which literally it is not ‘you are my rock’

OK English lesson over.

No biggy; he’s old enough to have realised I don’t quite know everything, but at a nice age that he also doesn’t yet realise how much I really don’t know!!

He was quite happy for me to find out and it was absolutely ok for me to say I’m not 100% sure, but I know where we can find out and we used a dictionary I didn’t just Google it. It’s a great example to set our kids to admit we don’t know, but we know how to find out the answer. It’s so much better than blagging it and getting caught out later.

His other bits of homework he will need no help with. Especially the powerpoint presentation – he can do that quicker than me! He asked if I would like to see it, but we decided I would have a viewing when it’s all complete.

There will be more and more of this, where he can do things better than me and that’s how it should be even, though we can find it a tough lesson.

We can feel a little redundant, but the world moves on and what we learnt at school/college may have been replaced by more recent information and technology.

I don’t know if you watched it but that was one of the points Andrew Marr’s was making in The History of the World about each new civilisation moving further forward than the one before…..

Well this has got far more serious than I intended beginning to consider human evolution – all from a little bit of literacy key stage 2 homework!

So are you worried about being asked as a parent about homework? Can you cope with the parents and homework milestone when it strikes? Or has it struck already – and were you OK? Let us know below.

Photos courtesy of Microsoft Clipart.

Beckie is a mum to three kids, and works in the Cambridge area as a coach. Feel free to get in contact for a no obligation discussion.

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Tuesday 25th of September 2012

Thankfully my little one is still at primary school, learning his basic reading and writing. Once things start to get complicated, I'm prepared to help him research the answer or ask family for help (my sister-in-law often texts me questions from my niece's homework). I think parents have to walk a fine line between helping a child, and doing his homework for him. If I can't explain something to him and help him to do it himself, then I think I'd send his homework back unfinished - with a note saying "he still doesn't understand this". After all, isn't it the teacher's job to make sure he understands?


Wednesday 26th of September 2012

I agree - I can cope with mine for now as they are still on about my level; 2+2, etc....but when they get into algebra and the like, I am done for!

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