mum helping with son's homeworkThere comes a time in our children’s lives when they are given a piece of project work from school. There is a time frame for when the piece has to be in and until that deadline they are responsible for the research, content and putting it all together or are they……..?  I think it can be overwhelming for some children when faced with such a project. There seems so much to do and sometimes they are not sure of the type of information to include, how they should present the material and what structure they have to follow. I see many overwhelmed children who feel swamped by lots of work and project work can feel the same too. So what do you do as a parent? Are you going to be doing their homework for them? Do you do it with them? Or do you let them find their own way and get them to do it alone? Let’s face it – most of us want our children to do a great project and get good marks but we also know that there is so much learning putting a project together and that it needs to be their work and their words. They learn how to research and work on their own, they learn how to form strong sentences and make the content interesting. There is scope for them to add their thoughts and views on selected areas. Projects can and should be fun.

Doing their Homework Doesn’t Teach Them Much

The homework is set for them not us. If we take over it undermines them yet if we leave them to it, it can portray to them that we are not interested. My happy compromise would be to encourage them to do it alone, talk about the project at intermittent stages so you know they are doing the right thing and then be on hand to help when required. Show interest and prompt them to think of a few ideas if they struggle.

One thing that we do need to remember is that how a child does a project and how we would do it is very different. Let them use their ideas and their way of presenting facts. They need to put their stamp of originality on their work. How do you feel when it comes to project work? Do you just want to do it for your child?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /