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Can parents be at school too much?

That's the intriguing question posed by Lisa Belkin over at the NYTimes moterlode page.

From where I sit, the answer is clearly "yes", but I think it's probably the wrong question. Better to ask if parents can be too involved in helping their kids have school success, and then I think the answer is: "Not if that involvement is done right".

Rare is the school that has to turn away parent volunteers and where teachers wished parents would be less connected. And parent involvement done right includes just the kind of balance and systematic loosening of the reins that Lisa is looking for. Moreover, involvement is a lot more than attending meetings and school events (though I love those for their involvement benefits and their community-building elements); involvement also includes appropriate partnering on homework and school progress and making sure your child has the support he or she needs to flourish in his or her own way.

Our feature on the value of getting involvement right is a key part of this site's DNA. We also have a good quiz to determine if you are a classic "Helicopter Parent".
(Note: the comments on the NYTImes site make for an interesting read, too, including a healthy, heated discussion about cultural and ethnic differences around involvement.)
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#1 Aish Agrawal 2008-11-18 08:24
One positive aspect of parents being involved a bit too much in their kids education is that they will be aware of the kids' learning styles better and will know how they can support their kids by helping them with more than just homework help.

They can decide for themselves for example if the child needs supplemental help because he is not getting the one-on-one attention and hence the poor grades or is it because he makes silly mistakes and not a good test taker. Of course, too much of nothing is good!

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?

Yes - 31.6%
Sometimes - 25.4%
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Total votes: 4919
The voting for this poll has ended on: June 25, 2016