From the periodic table to algebraic functions, kids nationwide are back to hitting the books as the new school year sets in—and many take their parents along for the ride. The National Center for Families Learning finds this year in its annual survey that 60% of parents with children in kindergarten through 8th grade admit to having trouble helping their children with homework, up from 49% from last year.
More than a quarter blame the difficulty on being too busy, up from just over 20% who cited that as the reason in 2013. Parents also frequently identified not understanding the subject matter (33.5%) and pushback from their kids (41%) as reasons for having trouble with homework help.
Education specialists said that either more parents are confessing about nightly woes helping their children with homework or perhaps lessons sent home are getting tougher after the national introduction of the Common Core State Standards.
The NCFL recommends three tips to help parents 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 younger children’s homework assignments with wonder by asking relevant questions, such as “How can math help you cook?” or “How are mountains made?”
The annual survey, conducted online in August by the National Center for Families Learning, is based on 1,039 responses.