How much should I help my child with class projects?
Real Mom Problem
“How much do you 'help' your kids on their projects for school? I usually stay out of my son's regular homework, but it's difficult to find the balance when it comes to larger projects. ”
- 1. Let your child do the work, but be there to answer questions
- 2. Remember that letting your child do things on his own boosts his self-esteem and confidence
- 3. Praise your child for a job well done and for trying her best
- 4. Enjoy watching your child learn and grow
Real Mom Solutions
The moms of CafeMom seem to overwhelmingly agree that kids should be doing the majority of the work on class projects. Get their insight here!
I Will Help if Asked -- But Not a Lot
I make sure my son does his own projects. I'll only assist if he needs it, based on his ideas or direction.
Last year (first grade), my son had to make a science fair project and the theme was recycling. He had to use recyclables and create a new "thing" out of it. He made a spaceship. It was AMAZING! He picked out all the items, put it together how he wanted, Googled images of the planets to make pictures for the base, etc. The only thing I did to help was use the hot glue gun, but he told me where to glue everything.
My kids do projects with little or no help from me. The only time I help is if they need supplies or just want my opinion on what they have to write. Then I might correct their punctuation and spelling, but that is it.
We make our daughter do school projects to her ability. We will assist in anything that she asks, but we can't do her work for her.
With my third grader's posters, the teacher herself asked parents to help, but when he asked me to write his bullets on there about the country he was doing and to glue all the pictures, I drew the line. They have to do most of the work themselves, in my opinion.
I totally let my kids do crafty projects themselves. If they need some inspiration, I might give them a suggestion, but I never actually do it for them.
I guide my son on projects, but I do not do the work for him. Honestly, sometimes I'll want to step in to make the project look prettier, but I remind myself that it is his project and he needs to do it himself.
I Want Them to Be Proud of THEIR Work
My third grader had to make a diorama. She came home after turning it in and said hers was the worst one there. Why would parents steal the fun of doing their project from them?! I had a chance to be in the third grade when I was eight years old; now it's their time to learn and try!
Last year my daughter had a solar system project, and she did it all by herself. She came home upset because she thought hers was the worst. My daughter ended up getting the highest grade and a note sent home with it thanking us for having her do the project herself! Kids are never going to be able to do things for themselves if the parents are always holding their hands!
I think there's more pride in seeing their completed work than seeing a "perfect" project.
My son was in third grade and he had to make a shoe box habitat. He chose sea life. He was so happy to pick his supplies and he created it himself. The only thing we helped with was his dad cut holes in the plastic sharks so that my son could tie strings through them. My son did everything. He came home so disappointed. "My habitat is horrible." I said "No, you did it yourself and you should be proud of your creativity!" I went in to his class that week for "Education Week" and saw the other students' habitats -- they sure looked well done and high above what an eight-year-old should be able to do! Yes, some projects need assistance, but jeez, let the kids get credit for what they did. They need that self-worth and sense of accomplishment.
I let my son do a project by himself unless it specifically says the parents should help. Last year we got to work together to make a disguise for a turkey. It was so much fun! I know as he gets older projects like that will be fewer and farther between.
They are kids, for crying out loud! A project isn't supposed to be perfect and look like a 30-year-old, crafty woman did it. Let your child feel that awesome sense of accomplishment when they actually complete a school project on their own with absolutely no help from mommy.