Friday, March 18, 2011

It's not helping, it's cheating

Several years ago, one of my sisters turned in a report on the history of music. The teacher told her “very good” and gave her an “A” on her paper. The only problem was, it wasn’t her paper. She didn’t write it; I did.

For as long as I can remember, we all took turns doing each other’s homework. My mom would do homework assignments, as did my older siblings. We thought nothing of it. Sure, it was cheating, but at least everybody got a passing grade. I can still remember how, in high school, another sister called her BFF up every night of the school week to get answers to her math homework. I can still remember how I was asked to do another sister’s assignment, which was to write a letter to her congressman about animal testing, and how I was asked to write a different draft because the one I wrote was too sarcastic. (I have always been something of a smartass.)

After a while, I finally wised up and realized something was wrong here. This system wasn't right. It didn't seem right I was writing everybody's book reports or essays. They should do it themselves. Just because I was the writer in the family, and that I could put sentences together more coherently, it wasn't fair I was being used this way by my siblings. And yes, it IS being used! Eventually, I declined requests to write somebody's paper for them. They had to write it themselves. After a while, they took their "will you please do my homework for me?" requests to other people.

Sadly, many of my siblings are doing their kids' homework, too. Apparently, all that matters is the grade they get on their paper, not that the kid actually learns anything!

But the thing of it is, even as my siblings continue that tradition with their kids, I don’t do that with mine. And I don’t do that for anybody else, either. I won’t help somebody cheat. I won’t do anybody else’s homework anymore. I won’t become some kind of homework mill.

Maybe some parents don’t think it’s a big deal, but I do. I mean, how are kids supposed to learn anything if somebody else is doing their homework for them? It’s not right. And, fortunately, my daughter also understands that this is not right. When I told her about this, and about how I refuse to do that kinda thing anymore, she gasped and said, “Cheating is bad!” I’m glad she feels that way. Maybe I'm on the right track in not doing her homework for her.


Anonymous said...

Dawn that is shocking, I would never ever do my kids homework. For one, if I did it, they wouldnt get as good a grades as they do, LOL!
Good for you for breaking that terrible family tradition. I knew a teacher once who said she did all her kids homeworks too, and guess what her kids do now? They certainly arent college grads, one works at Target, the other one at a convenience store.

Dawn Colclasure said...

Exactly! This kind of thing only tells the kid "you don't need to try to do anything great with your life." It also makes them look for a way out if things get to be too hard, instead of trying to do it themself! I agree about the grades thing. Same here! LOL Some of Jen's math homework just goes right over my head but she says it's so easy. AAH! LOL Also, in my later school years, my siblings would laugh at me because I spent hours studying every day. But I was the one laughing on my graduation day, because I'm the only one who graduated with straight As!