From the periodic table to algebraic functions, kids nationwide are back to hitting the books, and many are taking their parents along with them. For the second year running, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) asked a question few parents fess up to—are you ever unable to help your kids with their homework?
The annual survey revealed that more than 60 percent of parents with children in grades K – 8 (60.1 percent) admit they have trouble helping with their children’s homework, up from 49.1 percent in 2013. Additionally, more than 25 percent (25.5 percent)* admit the reason is that they are too busy, up from just over 20 percent in 2013.
Additionally, parents identified not understanding the subject matter (33.5 percent) and pushback from their kids (41 percent) as reasons for having trouble with homework help.
“Time is precious, and the responsibility for teaching our families can seem like a harrowing task, but truly the tools to make it easy and natural are readily available to all of us,” said Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president of NCFL. “Use everyday moments to your advantage, like breakfast or riding in the car, to spark children’s curiosity and create habits that feed their natural hunger for learning.”
The family learning experts at NCFL recommend three practical tips to help parents feel empowered throughout the school year:
Get in a routine: Set up a good sleep schedule, regular outdoor activities and a dedicated time for hitting the books—and be consistent, using positive reinforcement to create strong learning habits.
Stay one step ahead: Talk to teachers about classroom learning goals and how to build excitement around them at home.
Spur imagination: Infuse homework assignments with wonder by asking relevant questions: “How can math help you cook?” and “How are mountains made?”