Parent support can help keep students on track academically, but a new study suggests a light touch can be more helpful.
Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväskylä tracked 365 students who were participating in the longitudinal First Steps study, which followed 1,800 students born in 2000 through elementary and secondary school. The researchers analyzed children’s and their mothers’ interactions around homework in relation to the children’s academic progress from grades 2 to 4.
They found children whose mothers provided homework help when asked—but also gave students opportunities to work independently—persisted at tasks longer and did better in school over time. By contrast, moms who gave very concrete help—for example, sitting down every night to go over every assignment, even if the child had not asked for help—had children who were less persistent over time.
A version of this article appeared in the May 16, 2018 edition of Education Week as Homework