Friday, September 4, 2009

Why a Duck?

In the latest issue of the Yellin Center Newsletter, Dr. Yellin writes about signs children may be struggling in school. One sign he mentions is when children are working harder than their teachers may realize -- in the same way a duck's smooth movement across a pond doesn't reflect the effort of his feet paddling away beneath the surface.

This got us thinking about the effort of parents to help keep these student "ducks" afloat. There is no one measure of how much support a parent should provide with homework, projects, or organization. The age of the student, the school environment, whether or not she has significant learning challenges, and the preference of parents will all contribute to how much and what kind of support parents provide at home.

One thing all parents should keep in mind when helping their child is that the ultimate goal of all support should be independence. We all want our children to succeed. But we need to resist the impulse to improve our child's homework. Teachers need to see where students struggle and parents need to find the right balance between providing answers and teaching their child to figure out the answers on his own. It's hard to remember this when it's a half-hour after bedtime and there is still homework left to finish!