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Parents busy with children’s summer homework tasks

Date Posted: 2003-08-22

As the schools’ summer vacation nears end, many parents wanting to ensure that their offspring get as high marks as possible for their assigned summer home work projects are finding that they are busier than the children who are supposed to do the study.

Japanese schools routinely assign special “free study” projects to students when they start their summer holidays. These tasks can be anything from astronomy to marine life to human social studies. Each child has his or her own project that they are expected to study in depth and then submit a report on the subject to their teacher when they return to school.

Some parents reportedly even take days off from their work to participate. Many bookstores set up special homework corners where parents and their children can study together. In many cases it’s the parent who ends up becoming a specialist in beetles’ eating habits or whatever the project entails.

Some parents have excuses readily available. “My child has been traveling almost the entire summer vacation, so he has had no time to work on his assignment. There’s no other way than help him out,” one father burying himself into books on Okinawan insects at an Urasoe bookstore said. At the same time, his 8-year-old son was busy studying paperbacks on the latest video games.

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