A primary school in Jinhua, Zhejiang province, has announced it no longer requires parents to sign their children's homework, which was aimed at getting parents to supervise their children after school. China Youth Daily comments:
Putting an end to the requirement that parents sign off on the homework of their children eases the burden on many parents, as otherwise they would have to do primary school homework after a hard day's work. But there are worries that if parents stop having to sign off on their children's homework, the children will not get good grades.
However, the most efficient way for children to study is to cultivate their willingness to learn and do their own studies.
When doing homework, students practice and hopefully apply what they have learned. True, teachers are supposed to check students' homework and identify their mistakes. But some parents correct their children's mistakes by themselves when signing off on it.
It is the duty of students to do their homework, be responsible for their studies and correct their mistakes. Parents' supervising their homework, checking their answers and dealing with the harder problems, will only make children less aware of their mistakes and encourage them to wait for their parents' help when they face any problems.
Children have to manage their own learning and develop the ability to study by themselves, as competency will not be achieved if a student simply repeats rigid tasks in which he is assisted in school by teachers and at home by parents.
A delayed gratification experiment conducted by Walter Mischel in the 1960s proved that children with better self-discipline performed better in their studies and interpersonal relationships.
There is little doubt that parents' supervision can make children's homework better. But it does not give children the chance to practice their ability to solve problems independently.