Let kids do their own schoolwork, for cryin’ out loud

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We’re blessed to live in a nation where abundant educational opportunities exist. Parents are free to choose what type of education best suits their kids. Some choose private school or charter school, while others opt for public school or homeschooling.

Life itself is an education, especially if parents allow their kids to learn from it. After I wrote that sentence, I realized it was quite subjective because every parent might interpret it differently. What one parent sees as a teachable moment might not be the same for another.

What are kids supposed to be learning?

There’s lots of room on our planet for creativity and uniqueness. The purpose of education (from a Christian perspective) is to learn what we need to learn to know, love and serve God to the best of our abilities. We’re all striving to reach our full potentials as His children on earth.

As a homeschooling mother, I can design curriculum, activities and educational experiences that align with the needs, strengths and goals of my students. We can adapt to whatever fits our current state in life as a family. While lesson plans may change throughout the years, one thing remains constant. My kids are taught to do their own work.

Does doing work for kids really help them?

In “outside school” settings, I have noticed a trend in recent years. It  boggles my mind and also makes me sad. Parents who think — well, I’m not sure exactly what they think. I assume they think they are helping their kids by doing their schoolwork for them. I have heard mothers and fathers admit to doing work for their kids. One parent said, “My son had such a hard time with that essay, I ended up having to write it for him.” I’ve also heard a parent lament, “I pretty much do all my daughter’s math homework.”

On one occasion that astounded me (and my kids, who were nearby) a mother showed me a photograph on her cellphone. It was a beautiful, elaborate sculpture in the shape of something I can’t recall. She proceeded to tell me that she had made it for her son’s school project, for which he received an “A.” I asked her to clarify since I wasn’t sure if, perhaps, parents were supposed to help with the project. Sure enough, the teacher had instructed the students to do their own work. The high school boy’s mother not only did it, she boasted about the grade her son “earned” for the project.

Kids learn from doing their own work

I’m sorry, but these parents are not helping their kids, they’re crippling them for life. Okay, I took part of that last line from one of my favorite movies, “Remember the Titans” but the point stands. It’s time parents ask themselves some tough questions. Are they truly educating their children when they never insist that they do their own work? Does it benefit them to never have to fail nor learn from their own mistakes? Is it good when moms doing everything for their kids? There is definitely a question of ethics regarding children themselves receiving accolades for things they’ve never done.

Not cool.


Writer Bio

Judy DudichJudy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.

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