Parents Doing Homework

Discussion in 'General Education' started by sue35, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    In my class this year a lot of my parents are doing the student's homework for them. I have one in particular that has done no homework the whole year. Her mother has done it all. I have proof of this is mutiple subjects. What would you do? She is a single mother raising three children and some other teachers have told me to just let it go, she would be very angry if I confronted her.

    I do not make homework worth a lot for this reason but it is ridiculous that she should get away with this. And I feel it is disrespectful to no even hide her own handwriting. What would you all do? I don't even know how to start.
     
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  3. Hamster

    Hamster Comrade

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    Don't record homework grades only classwork.
     
  4. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Same. All work to be marked needs to be done in class. Homework should be practice and in that case, parents aren't helping because they won't be there to write the test.
     
  5. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    That's a really good suggestion--- count classwork! I would try to talk to the principal about it at the least--- that poor child is being hurt by doing no homework (seriously I have no clue what parents are thinking by doing their kid's work). He or she might tell you to just let it go, in which case, I would let it go: certain messes are just not meant to be cleaned up by one person--- the harm that is being done is by the parent and you can't change a parent.

    I would secretly start grading the student based on their classwork and participation. Keep close notes on how they work, what skills they need to improve on, etc. I would then contact Mom and ask her for her help in getting any skills back up to par--- maybe if she's willing to do the homework, she might be willing to actually do something nice and help in this way.

    It's frustrating, I would be really upset myself--- but you'll just have to learn how to truly assess your student and not her mom's work.
     
  6. KAM

    KAM Rookie

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    I think it would be pretty telling to quiz students on the same exact material as the homework assignments and compare grades. It should be pretty obvious that the parent is doing the student's homework if the homework assignment grades are much higher than the comparable quizzes.
     
  7. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    why does a parent think this is helping their child?:confused::dizzy:
     
  8. blue-eyed mom

    blue-eyed mom Companion

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    Pop quizzes give a remarkable amount of information...particularly when the problems come directly from homework that was assigned.:cool:
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I staple class work that is of the same subject/concept to the homework that obviously shows different handwriting and different level of understanding and write a note that says:

    Johnny is having a hard time applying the ideas from his homework on class work. If this continues to be a problem for him, I would like him to complete homework in tutorials at (as early as you can make this by school policy) so that I can help him fully understand the work and be sure he retains it.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I REALLY like this suggestion. Thank you Tasha, I'm going to file it away for future problems.
     
  11. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I only count homework as 10% of the grade. We have to count it for something but that is what is so funny to me. Why bother go to all that trouble for something that is worth so little?

    The problem is, the girl is somewhat bright. She doesn't do that badly on tests. Not to the same level as her homework though. And her own writing is terrible!

    Maybe I will do what Tasha suggests. I just have a feeling that if I were to do that the mother would explode. It just makes me so mad that she would teach her daughter such disrespect towards me and towards homework.
     
  12. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Not to mention the blatant dishonesty! I like Tasha's suggestion as well!
     
  13. swtteacher

    swtteacher Rookie

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    I have parents do that for their FIRST graders! Drives me crazy!!
     
  14. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    There is a school of thought that suggests homework isn't really all that helpful, so parents might not feel bad about doing it for their kids to get them over a grading requirement.

    Personally, I think homework should be handled a little bit differently than it is. Teachers try to give a certain time frame of homework, say 20 minutes for grade 1. A lot of first graders take a LOT longer than 20 minutes. I've seen my sons take 2 hours to do work they're easily capable of doing in 20 minutes.

    With that amount of stress, it really may not be worth finishing the homework. We always do (we once delayed a vacation trip for two days in order to do it, actually*), but I wonder about the utility of it at times.

    You might send out a general missive to all parents outlining the problem and stress what you're looking for when children do homework and why it's important that the child does it. Sympathize with any stress caused -- and don't count whether it's complete as a factor in grading. If it's not complete, it's because the child didn't understand, or doesn't focus well at home, or something else that needs to be focused on. Consider offering some small incentive (or, better yet -- encourage the parents to offer a small incentive at home) for complete homework (if it's the parents offering it, they can give it immediately once the homework is done).

    Ultimately, it is the parent's responsibility to ensure their child does their homework. Some parents, aware of this, may not want to look like bad parents for not being able to get their children to do it. mmswm sent in the note for a foster child, but many parents would be reluctant to send in such a note for their own flesh and blood children.

    * the kicker: it seemed like half the class was almost two weeks late in doing that assignment
     
  15. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I had a parent once make all the corrections to their child's test questions (kids can do this to increase their grades.) It was clearly the parent's handwriting because it was so NEAT. I mean really, who did she think she was fooling? I sent the test home with a note saying something to the effect that I was impressed by how markedly improved Johnny's penmanship was on the corrections. However, he had reverted to his former penmanship on his notes and homework that day (and I made copies of the child's work and sent that home as well.) I never had them confront me, but his tests never got corrected for credit in the future. Oh well.
     
  16. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    The students in the class I'm student teaching are only supposed to do 30 minutes of real work a night per teacher (they have two). Once they are done with the time, they are done working. Homework is counted as participation and only marked for an attempt not for a grade. Tests and writing assignments are counted for grades. So far parents have not done the student's work for them... except for two children who's parents scribe for them.
     
  17. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    there is NO WAY i would accept a student's homework done in the parent's handwriting. I'd have the student redo the work at recess and send the work home with a note that says very clearly that ALL WORK MUST BE DONE BY THE STUDENT.
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Back when I was a parent volunteer, I knew a girl - small, pretty, blonde - whose dad did her math homework for her in fourth grade. Spectacular in math, the girl wasn't; one presumes Daddy thought he was helping her.

    But one day the teacher had the kids do tangrams - and this little girl was amazing; by the end of the class, half the kids were ranged around her ooh-ing and ahh-ing.

    A few days later she came to school beaming, and she made a point of announcing to me that she had done her math homework all by herself, with no help from Daddy. And it wasn't perfect, but it wasn't significantly worse than anyone else's.
     
  19. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    I am amazed that a single mother raising three children would have enough time to do her daughters fifth grade homework every night. Is the work in the daughter's handwriting? Does the daughter seem to understand the work?I would not accuse the mother of doing the child's homework,but I might speak to her about the child's homework as compared to her homework,or how she has problems explaining how she arrived at some conclusions stated in her homework,or her handwriting is better on her homework.than it is in class.I know a lot of people will disagree with me,but if the child is doing well in class I would not make a big deal about it.
     
  20. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'd do it in a heartbeat for any of my own kids in the same situation (kindergarten being the exception, but I don't want to hijack the thread for my own opinions on the matter). My oldest is now only in the fourth grade, and he's a super-nerd. He LIKES homework and asks for more (crazy, if you ask me). The other two are in 1st and 2nd grade. They're homeschooled now, so it's not an issue anymore.
     
  21. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    It's weird actually. She turns in her own work and also her mom's. For example, they had an internet website they had to answer questions from and she turned in hers on a separate piece of paper (like I wanted) and turned in the sheet I gave them with her mom's answers (that she copied). She obviously didn't know that she had to turn in that sheet. Then, on the back of the original sheet her mom had written her S.S. questions for her also to copy down.

    It's almost worse that I have all this proof because I can't really let it go at all. I have to turn the work back to her. I had a big talk to day with my students about doing their own work but of course she was absent.

    I just can't believe parents would do this!
     
  22. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    This is a good idea. Give several quizes over the information that was on the homework. Then I would bring the mom in for a conference and tell her that you just don't understand why she can't show it in class when she does fine on her homework assignments. See if the Mom bites.
     
  23. cinaminsweet

    cinaminsweet Companion

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    I have the same problem with one of my students. He doesn't do anything in class, but is able to turn in perfectly correct and neat homework everyday that isn't in his handwriting. I asked his older sister (whom I taught last year) if she was doing his homework for him and she admitted that it was their mother doing it. She said her brother doesn't want to do it, so the mother does it for him. I've met the mother several times and honestly, I'm surprised she's even able to answer the questions correctly herself.
     
  24. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    ouch
     
  25. DaTeach

    DaTeach Comrade

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    I put the work completed by the parent in the child's file, and make them stay in at recess and redo it. I tell them that their parent/brother/sister etc. did a wonderful job, but I need to know what THEY can do, not their family.
     
  26. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    EXACTLY.

    I had a fourth grade student last year turn in an art project that was OBVIOUSLY not hers. I called her to my room and asked how much of it she did and how much of it her mom did. She said mom drew all of it and she helped color. I explained how I'd rather it NOT be perfect and be her own then for it to be amazing but be her mom's. She agreed and a few days later she turned in her own version.
     
  27. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I am guessing this single mother of three finds it easier to do the work herself rather than make her child do it. The daughter may pitch a fit at home (or whining constanly or complaining or magically "forgetting" materials) because she'd rather play outside than do homework or playing dumb and tricking her mom into feeling sorry for her. It is an uphill battle.
     
  28. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I think much of the time these parent behaviors to make their child look good or defend their child's bad behavior (or excuse it away or shift the blame) all come down to pride. For many parents, how a child acts is seen as a direct reflection on their parenting skills.
     
  29. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Maybe it is a direct reflection of the example they set ;)
     
  30. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Red flags go up when a student is happy to accept homework and practices avoidance in class.
     

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