Do You Correct Your Nanny Kid’s Homework?

img_5852-1Reading the book The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey has been life-changing for the way I support my youngest nanny kid during homework.

I admit I used to hover, tried to help when they moaned or cried, and would double check the answers for children instead of having them double check the answers for their homework themselves.

In The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed Jessica Lahey explains that homework is the child’s job, not ours. Our job is to support, encourage, and redirect children when they are young, and as they get older, to make our expectations clear and then get the heck out of their way.

img_5851-1Lahey says, “When children are young, our job during homework time is to be nearby, busy with other activities, so that we are available to be supportive, but not intrusive.”

The author urges us to be available if children need support, encouragement, or redirection, but keep busy and don’t be tempted to intervene every time they hesitate or makes an attention-seeking moans of frustration.

Lahey points out that, “Kids learn the most about sticking with a task when it’s hard, when they are sure they will never figure something out, or when they are suffering the consequences of their own procrastination or botched planning. Even more important, homework that’s challenging is more valuable from a learning perspective than easy homework, so stick to your guns.”

The author writes, “It may seem harmless to step in, but the damage is cumulative. Every time you take over, and rescue your child from working out a challenging math problem or thesis statement on her own, you undermine your child’s sense of confidence, and autonomy. Completing the task herself is its own incentive, a reward infinitely more important than grades or test scores. Think long-term goals.”

Lahey describes studies show that homework before middle school has little academic value. Instead, elementary school homework teaches students important studying skills. Homework encourages the ability to initiate, delay gratification, see a task through to completion, and persist through frustration and challenge are incredibly important skills.

We should always cheer students on as they progress. But when we are tempted to take over a child’s homework we deprive them of feelings of competence. Let them experience both failures and successes, so they can take ownership and pride in their work and abilities.

You can purchase your own copy by clicking the links above or below.

The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: