How can full-time working parents assist kids with homework?

By: Contributors

Parents who work full time can still help their children with homework either when they come home after work or by calling home at a set time each day to ask their children how their day was or to inquire what the homework assignments were that day. Parents can give kids some direction, such as, "By the time I get home, I'd like you to have finished your math and science problems. If there's something you don't understand, go on to the next problem and I'll take a look at the hard stuff when I get back. We can do the English and social studies together after dinner."

The good news is that by the time your child reaches the age of 14, you probably won't have to do any homework with him regardless of whether you work full-time or are a stay-at-home mom. By then, your child will most likely either do his homework by himself or with a friend. The bad news is that according to research published in the "British Journal of Sociology," children whose mothers work outside the home spend almost half an hour more a day watching television than children whose mothers are at home. In addition, unless you consciously carve out time to help your daughter with homework, you may be spending an average of only seven minutes a day assisting her, in contrast to the 14 minutes a day that stay-at-home moms help their daughters. This study also revealed that working mothers end up helping their sons with their homework for only three minutes a day.


If the children's father is willing to help out with homework, this could alleviate the problem of children losing out on maternal attention, but the U.K. study found that father generally only spend a few minutes a day assisting with homework, and if their wives work they add on just one more minute to the amount of time they allocate. If you see that juggling work, food preparation, and laundry leaves you with very little time for homework, you can ask the school if they have a program where children can do their homework under supervision.