Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Help with homework no help

News Image

You can help a kid with their homework but there are ways to do it; too much help is a detriment to their development of persistence and self-reliance.

University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväskylä researchers in the longitudinal First Steps Study found that the more opportunities for autonomous work the mother offered the child, the more task-persistent the child’s behaviour.

It’s a feedback loop, as the children showed persistence with their homework it encouraged the parent to offer more and more opportunities for autonomous work.

However, if too much help was given the child became less persistent which led the parent to give more assistance. These associations between different types of maternal homework assistance and the child's task-persistent behaviour remained even after the child's skill level was controlled for.

"One possible explanation is that when the mother gives her child an opportunity to do homework autonomously, the mother also sends out a message that she believes in the child's skills and capabilities. This, in turn, makes the child believe in him- or herself, and in his or her skills and capabilities," Associate Professor Jaana Viljaranta from the University of Eastern Finland explains.

"It is important for parents to take the child's needs into consideration when offering homework assistance. Of course, parents should offer concrete help when their child clearly needs it. However, concrete help is not something that should be made automatically available in every situation – only when needed," Viljaranta says.

The First Steps Study is an extensive longitudinal study carried out by the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Turku. The study examines student learning and motivation among approximately 2,000 children from kindergarten onwards. Children currently participating in the study are in secondary education.


19 Sep 2018 | National
Uni courses for the most profitable career News Image

The more things change the more they don’t, especially when it comes to graduate earning potential says the Grattan Institute’s Mapping Australian Higher Education report. Read More

18 Sep 2018
The Territory Government reinvigorates school-based policing News Image

The Territory Government has reinvigorated school-based policing aiming to address issues raised during the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. Read More

18 Sep 2018 | Melbourne
25 years of the Educational Publishing Awards of Australia News Image

The combined efforts of educators and educational publishers will be celebrated in the 25th Educational Publishing Awards of Australia on Thursday 20 September 2018. Read More

18 Sep 2018 | National
Secret ATAR report ordered destroyed News Image

A secret report showing that students with low ATAR scores are being recruited into Initial Teacher Education (ITE) was reportedly ordered destroyed by the University of Sydney. Read More

18 Sep 2018 | NZ
Matific helps to incorporate Te Reo Māori in New Zealand Schools News Image

Matific, the game-based maths learning resource, will assist New Zealand to incorporate the Te Reo Māori language into their maths curriculum via a translation of its online program. Read More