When I was in elementary school, I sometimes helped one of my younger brothers with his homework. Occasionally, I did the homework myself. One afternoon, his teacher, Sister Columba, sent him to my classroom. He handed me a loose-leaf paper with a circled red F in the top right corner.
I wish I could say that the experience stopped me from doing homework that wasn't my own. It didn't. So I can understand why author Judith Newman is tempted to complete her son's assignments, "the nerd equivalent," she writes in this essay, "of the soccer dad barking orders to his kid on the fields."
But Newman will be the first to tell you, and I will be the second: Even just "helping" with homework, research shows, isn't all that helpful.