The Homework Hokey Pokey

Not helping with homework is like the Hokey Pokey.

You put your right hand in (because regrouping in subtraction is hard).

You take your right hand out (because you’re not supposed to be helping).

You put your right hand in (because regrouping in subtraction when there are double or triple zeros is really hard) and you shake it all about your head and remember you’re not supposed to be helping.

You do the Homework Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around walk away from the homework.

That’s what it’s all about.

Guiding but hot helping, advising but not fixing, and directing but not leading is a lot easier said than done. But at least there’s dancing.

My essay, “Confessions of a Former Homework Helper” has been syndicated on Sammiches & Psych Meds today. If you haven’t read it yet or you know a Mama who would benefit from my embarrassing (but liberating!) admission of homework helping guilt, please feel free to share this link:

Have you tried stepping back from your child’s homework? Have you stepped back in? Do you like the Hokey Pokey or does it give your horrid flashbacks of roller skating birthday parties from the 1980s? Tell me about it here or on my Runaway Mama Facebook page.

As always, thanks for reading!



Filed under homework, Uncategorized

2 responses to “The Homework Hokey Pokey

  1. my 8 year old likes to show me what a messy job he can do of his homework if/when i dont help. i mean, i am there, ask me and i will Help, but Help doesnt mean hover over and do, right? so, “mUm, if you had helped me more, it would be better…” hmmmmmmmm


  2. Homework right now, it’s fair to say, is almost ruining my relationship with my son. That dance is entirely too familiar. The balance is so much harder and feels more crucial when your child has learning and neurological differences…He’d be failing without oversight (MAJOR oversight) and yet is highly intelligent. I try to make sure he DOES and HANDS IN his hw, without ever doing it FOR HIM. If that makes sense…That alone is practically a full time job…


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