Frustrated mom doing homework with son. The son's head in down on top of his homework

Parenting and Homework Don’t Mix: Why Parents Need More Tutoring Support With Homework

*This is a sponsored blog post in partnership with Paper. All opinions are my own.

As my kids get older and further along in school, I thought they would need me less and less. But that is a parenting myth that has quickly proven not to be true. The truth is that the older and farther along my kids get, the more they seem to need my help with homework. But I think every parent can agree that parenting and homework don’t always mix. 

The Truth About Parenting And Homework

We all want to help our kids do their best in school but the truth is “helping” sometimes does more damage than good. How many times have you tried to help your kid with homework only for everyone involved to end up in a big mess of tears and frustration? Sometimes you spend more time researching how to answer the dang question than you do explaining it only for your kid to tell you, “that’s not how the teacher did it.” And I don’t know about you, but common core math is making me go gray. 

Most of us parents no longer have the academic skills to help our kids through homework. Even if you do, you are probably simultaneously juggling work responsibilities, after-school activities, multiple kids, and dinner in the small window before bedtime. And frankly, I don’t know any parent that wants to spend those precious evening hours hashing out homework with an overly tired kid sensitive to every word you say! 

Mom sitting at counter top with preschool age child on lap. She is helping her daughter do homework on an iPad.

This is coming from a parent that used to tutor other people’s kids professionally. And I was good at it, so I thought helping my own kids with homework would be a breeze. But boy, was I wrong! It sometimes seems that just my presence sends my kids into a tizzy of grunts and eye rolls. And did I mention two of my kids are in a Spanish immersion program, and I don’t speak Spanish. So you can probably imagine the scenes that play out during homework time in my house.

What Options Do Parents Have For Tutoring Support With Homework 

So what can parents like you and me do? Some of us struggle through the dreaded homework time and pray that we are not completely ruining our relationship with our kids. Some of us gladly sign our kids up for all the homework tutoring programs or hire a private tutor. And if you are fortunate, you can find a neighborhood high school or college student willing to help out for a few bucks. But not every parent is able to help their kids with homework and not every kid wants help from their parents. And tutoring can get extremely costly.

African American teenage boy is doing homework on a computer. He is wearing headphones and there are school papers scattered on his desk.

Many schools offer tutoring support during school hours that parents can sign up their kids to attend. After school programs usually set aside time for homework that program counselors oversee. And many teachers offer office hours outside of school time for parents and students. As great as these options are, they don’t work for everyone. Not all kids attend after-school programs, and some students’ schedules are already jam-packed, especially at the high school level. And you can’t exactly call up your kid’s teacher on the phone when you have a homework question at seven o’clock in the evening.

There is clearly a gap in support for many students and at a time when so many students are already behind grade level. And now more than ever, every child should have access to quality tutoring, and no parent should feel like they don’t have the resources to support their kid’s learning. Can you imagine if your child had access to homework tutoring services 24/7 at no cost to you? What kind of difference would that make for you and your child? Such a service actually exists, and it is called Paper.

What Is Paper

Paper is a tutoring service free for students that is offered by way of your local school district. They offer students unlimited, 24/7 on-demand live help from tutors—typically within 15 seconds of requesting it. Tutors deliver homework help, writing feedback, and study support. And students are intelligently paired with specialized tutors based on the topic area of inquiry.

Paper tutors are high-performing college students and graduates that are screened, aptitude-tested, and trained. When students come to Paper with a question or challenging concept, tutors work to identify what students know and don’t know. They ask guiding questions and help clarify points of confusion so that students leave the session feeling confident with a solid conceptual understanding. Tutors also offer multilingual support for English learners who prefer working in Spanish, Mandarin, or French. 

Paper is on a mission to help every student reach their potential by providing unlimited academic support to any student, anytime, anywhere. They believe getting help with learning should be as easy as shopping on Amazon or watching Netflix. And they are working to make their services accessible to every student district by district, state by state, to turn their vision of education equity into reality.

If you think that Paper would be a great resource for your kid and you, the first step you can take is to get it on your school district’s radar by sending information to decision making administrators. Some resources you can share are a case study of Richland School District located in Shafter, CA, Paper’s K-12 Leadership Guide, or Paper’s Ebook High-dosage tutoring: A path for K-12 recovery.

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