Posted 17th November 2020
Our latest research reveals a quarter of British parents (26 per cent) admit to being completely baffled when it comes to their kids’ homework, with maths being the subject where help is most needed.
As many as three quarters (76 per cent) of mums and dads confess to feeling guilty because they don’t feel they support their child enough when it comes to schoolwork, with over a third (35 per cent) admitting they often ended up feeling utterly stressed out at homework time.
More than half (52 per cent) of parents said they have totally forgotten topics like trigonometry from their own school days and have no idea how to help their children. Other school subjects that left parents bewildered were Algebra (45 per cent), long division 25 (per cent), fractions (18 per cent) and averages (11 per cent).
We undertook this research to better understand the impact homework can have on families, and explore some of the barriers faced by parents when it comes to helping their children with their homework, and where they may need additional support.
It has been found the average parent spends one hour and 22 minutes helping their child with homework in a typical week, with 42 per cent saying their child wants to get it over and done with as quickly as possible.
More than one in five (21 per cent) parents said homework time in their house always leads to tears and tantrums, while a third said just getting their kids to start it is the tricky part.
A more cynical 16 per cent of parents complained that their children don’t try hard enough. But 50 per cent of adults are in agreement that their child has far more homework than they did as a child and 24 per cent feel it is too much.
Of the 1,000 8 - 13 year olds who were also polled as part of the study, 21 per cent revealed their parents often make mistakes when trying to help them and 22 per cent said they make matters worse by confusing them.
Jess Easton, Head of Training for White Rose Maths said: “The findings show that primary school parents can often feel frustrated and helpless when it comes to helping their children with their homework, particularly when it comes to subjects like maths. White Rose Maths is driven by our passion for transforming the teaching of maths and enabling every child to master the subject.
“During this challenging year, we have been able to adapt quickly to share hundreds of resources online and make maths accessible to everyone. We are proud to offer parents support through the free online resources. We want to continue to spread the word even further to help as many parents and children as possible, and make a real difference.”
Michael Underwood, TV presenter and newly turned teacher, adds, “As a teacher, I've seen first-hand the stress parents feel, not being able to help their children with their maths homework, especially during the lockdown earlier this year. It's been a long time since most people have had to simplify fractions or calculate the area of a compound shape. White Rose Maths is great because it offers free resources to help parents, by alleviating the pressure they're feeling and allowing them to continue supporting their children's education.”
According to parents, the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to getting homework completed are gaming (44 per cent), complaints that the work is boring (41 per cent) and the draw of the TV (37 per cent).
Over a third (34 per cent) of parents said their child was often too tired to do school work in the evenings. Surprisingly only a quarter of parents cite social media as a barrier to getting homework done.
Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of the 1,000 parents polled said they were often left feeling inadequate when looking at their kid’s homework and 18 per cent said getting the children to do it inevitably meant they rowed with their partner.
Almost one in ten (9 percent) said they often end-up doing their children’s homework for them, with dads more likely than mums to finish their child’s work. Dads are also more likely to make their child re-do it if they think they haven’t worked hard enough on it.
28 per cent of UK parents confessed they could really do with some help – especially in the maths department, with nearly half of the children polled claiming to know more about maths than their parents.
In fact, 43 per cent of kids said they were more likely to look online for help than ask Mum or Dad.
THE SUBJECTS TODAY’S PARENTS CAN’T HELP THEIR KIDS WITH AT HOMEWORK TIME: