Homework help is overwhelming for some parents
Helping with homework is too much for some moms and dads, but others say after-school worksheets will help kids in the long run.
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Today, most working parents juggle multiple responsibilities at work, home, in the community and even as coaches on the soccer field. I suggested to Regent that our kids will be better prepared for their juggling act. “You could say we’re trying to prepare them for a society where everyone is having heart attacks or is on some kind of drug for stress. If you call the real world a stressful, frustrating place, then I guess there’s a point to be had there.”Skip to next paragraph
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Cristy Leon-Rivero, vice president of marketing and human resources at Miami-based Navarro Discount Pharmacy, says that homework teaches responsibility, work ethic and time management — critical skills for workplace success. Today, with laptops and smartphones, few of us truly leave work behind when we exit the office. “I think it boils down to one word — discipline,” said Leon-Rivero, a mother of three. “We’re teaching our children from a young age that they have responsibilities and that their actions carry consequences and hard work will lead to results.”
Josh Merkin, a Miami public relations professional, offers a different prospective: “Generations coming up don’t want to work as hard but they will have to work even harder. If they are better prepared, it’s not because of homework.”
In fact, Merkin, father of five kids ranging from 13 to 3, asserts that homework, originally intended to reinforce learning, often gets assigned on concepts students aren’t being taught and are expected to learn on their own. He believes the unnecessary volume often forces kids to give up sports or other extracurricular activities that teach teamwork and other workplace critical skills.
The new generation of worker provides some perspective. Lindsay Parkinson, 22 and on the job as a nurse since July, said she sees value in having slogged through homework assignments. “I learned early on what happens if you procrastinate.” Parkinson said she and many of her friends are entering workplaces that are short-staffed. “There’s a lot expected of us and we know how to prioritize. We’re prepared for that.”
Still, Parkinson says she’s not an advocate of volumes of homework, agreeing with Merkin that it needs to be given in moderation.
Meanwhile, countless reports reveal the 20-somethings entering the workplace today put a higher value than other generations on work-life balance. It makes me wonder: Is this pushback? Are the next generation of workers burned out from years of homework insanity and college pressure by the time they land a job?
Alyssa Alonso, a 24-year-old Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., police dispatcher, says she and most of her friends will admit, even if they love their jobs, “life outside of work is way more important.” Many have entered professions where they’re expected to respond to email or client calls at all hours and take home paperwork. “We have the work ethic and we’re prepared to handle it,” she said, “but we want to avoid it as much as possible.”