How Can I Avoid Homework Hassles With My Child?

By: Debra Eckerman Pitton, Ph.D. and Kelly Quinn

[Part of the "Q & A for Parents of Middle School Students" series]

Middle school students are developing the ability to think at higher levels. This means they may question things they have accepted in the past. A comment that comes up frequently is, ďWhy do I have to do this homework, anyway?Ē It is helpful to know the reason behind the assignment of homework so you can respond positively when your child complains. Teachers give homework for a variety of reasons. When talking with your child about the need to complete their homework assignments, it can be helpful to let them know that there is a purpose for this work. Here are some rationale behind the use of homework:

Homework . . .

No one likes to do something when they donít understand why they are required to do the task. Homework will often be accomplished will less complaining if you help your child identify the purpose for the assignment.


Hieligman, D. (1999). The New York Public Library kidís guide to research. New York: Scholastic.

Paulu, N. (1996). Helping your child with homework. Kidsource OnLine, Inc.. Santa Clara County, CA. (

Spolton, S & Spolton, C. (1998). Topmarks Education Website. UK (

Weir, K. (2002). A parentís guide to school projects, papers, and presentations. Los Angeles, CA: Mars Publishing.

Debra Eckerman Pitton, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Middle Level Education at Gustaus Adolphus College in St. Peter , MN and consults with school districts across the country on issues of mentoring and middle school education.

Kelly Quinn is a senior education major at Gustaus Adolphus College and will be graduating in May, 2005 with an elementary and middle school teaching license.

Article Comments: Leave Comment

Other Articles In: School and Learning