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Helping Your Kids with Homework Doesn't Help, Study Says

Photograph by Emanuele Capoferri/Getty Images

Put those pencils down, parents! Turns out helping your kids with their homework—along with making it to every bake sale and volunteer opportunity—won't exactly boost their test scores, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Duke investigated almost 30 years of "longitudinal surveys of American parents and tracked 63 different measures of parental participation in kids' academic lives, from helping them with homework, to talking with them about college plans, to volunteering at their schools, The Atlantic reports.

Turns out helping your child with homework every night won't help him get better scores on standardized tests. In fact, once kids get to middle school, parents—especially those of us who've forgotten concepts like algebra and geometry—even hindered their kids' performance, according to Keith Robinson, a sociology professor at University of Texas, Austin, and one of the lead researchers in the study.

What else doesn't necessarily improve students' performance: meeting with the principal; observing a class; or punishing kids for getting bad grades.

What Robinson and fellow researcher Angel L. Harris, a sociology professor at Duke University, did find to be helpful was reading out loud to young children and talking with teens about college.

We can hear juggling moms everywhere exhaling.

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