Should Parents Help Kids With Homework?

Homework can be stressful. But help from Mom and Dad might be the wrong answer.

Lexile Level: 710L / Guided Reading Level: O / DRA Level: 34

Download Story

On Level

Learning Objective

Students will take a side on an engaging topic while practicing opinion writing.

Featured Skill

Main Idea and Supporting Details

Key Skills

Main idea and supporting details, opinion writing

Standards Correlations

This article and lesson support the following standards:

Common Core anchor standards: R.1, R.2, R.6, R.8, W.1, SL.1

TEKS: 3.14, 3.21

Teaching Materials

Activity Sheets

Download All
Quiz - On Level
Quiz - Higher Level
What Do You Think?
Opinion Writing Essay Kit

Lesson plan

Print All

Have students preview the text features. Ask:

  • What are the two opinions people might have about this topic?
  • What is the topic of the debate? (Prompt students to use the debate title and the heading on the chart as clues.)
  • Depending on the reading level of your students, read the debate as a class or break the class into groups.
  • Have students read the debate a second time. Prompt them to highlight evidence supporting each side as they come across it. Using two different colors of highlighters would be useful here.
  • As a class or in groups, have students discuss:
    • Which opinion has the best evidence to support it?
    • Is one side stronger than the other? Why?
    • What is your opinion? What evidence helped you form your opinion?
  • For more advanced readers: Do you think the author has an opinion on this issue? What is your evidence?

Teaching Extras

Starting a discussion

If you want to start a discussion on this topic but avoid getting any students (or parents!) in trouble, hand out this quick anonymous survey to your class. You can share their answers with the class to start the conversation.

A larger debate

You can let your students know that there’s a larger debate across the country about the effectiveness of homework. Some schools are even doing away with homework altogether (it’s up to you if you want to mention that!). Ask them: What would you change about homework, if anything?


Depending on your own philosophy about parents helping children with homework, you might want to share these tips, in the form of a colorful infographic, with your students’ parents.

A teacher-submitted lesson plan

One teacher has an awesome lesson plan for teaching our debates. Check it out on our blog, the Storyworks Ideabook, and be sure to take a peek at her free spreadsheet that is sure to make your life easier!