Aussie parents taking on tutor roles in the home

Education Queensland is encouraging parents to become more involved in their child's learning, by teaching literacy and numeracy at home.
Education Queensland is encouraging parents to become more involved in their child's learning, by teaching literacy and numeracy at home. Larisa Lofitskaya

THE household dog has copped its fair share of blame when it comes to uncompleted homework, and while once in a blue moon the old 'homework got eaten' trick might be legitimate, for the most part it's because the student just didn't want to do it.

Mention the word 'homework' to most children and up turns the nose and roll goes the eyes, so it's not surprising sometimes parents need to step in and make sure their child is getting their work done.

But when does a helping hand become too much, and where do parents draw the line between allocating study schedules and swamping their kids in unnecessary pressure?

Education Queensland has set out an initiative, Parent and Community Engagement Framework, to encourage parents to become more involved in their child's learning by teaching literacy and numeracy at home.

EQ Assistant Director-General Marg Pethiyagoda said research showed children learnt more when their parents were involved with the teaching process.

"When parents and schools work together to support the learning of the child, evidence shows that children have stronger learning outcomes, stay in school longer and enjoy school more."

Director of the School of Total Education Richard Waters said while it sounded good in theory, it was important to know where to draw the line.

He said if parents got too involved, it could turn children off completely.

"It's a really tricky area because parents need to get alongside their kids and assist them in a parallel way.

"Parents need to make time and space available so children can do it by themselves and not get too involved."

Mr Waters said it was more important parents supported their children, than pressured them into doing additional study.

"In terms of supporting kids and creature comforts, they need a quiet place to study and parents should make sure they (children) have something to eat and drink when they get home so they have some energy," he said.

"Sometimes the homework that comes home with kids, the parents aren't familiar with it because they haven't been in school for 25 years so it can become problematic if they're trying to teach them new things," he said.

Mr Waters said with senior students, parents could assist their learning by doing things like reading the same novel so they could discuss it together.

Topics:  education homework parenting students

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