Watch above: A new study suggests parents are struggling to help kids with homework, especially when it comes to science and math. Aaron Streck looks at how parents are trying to stay ahead of the curve.
SASKATOON – It’s not just kids complaining about homework. An international study shows a large number of parents admit homework their children bring home is too difficult.
There are tools some have used to find the right answers.
“The best learning you can give them is by example, like if they see me caring about video games, which I do, my kids are going to want to play video games, they see me wanting to canoe, which they do, they’ll want to canoe,” said homeschooler Greg Benson.
Benson’s children are home-schooled and he’d be the first to admit he doesn’t know it all. Instead of leaving his class hanging, Benson searches for answers.
“I ask my wife, I ask my friends or I ask almighty Google how to do it and we figure it out from there. I think we’ve leaned on the system as a crutch, a lot, don’t get me wrong the system has a lot to offer but teachers are simply and I think the teachers would agree they’re simply not equipped to educate a child fully, they need parental interaction,” said Benson.
While Benson has his challenges teaching at the kitchen table, he’s not alone. According to an Insurers Aviva study, two-thirds of parents say they can’t help with homework because it’s too difficult.
The study of 2,000 moms and dads found the two hardest subjects are math and science.
“Many parents know when their child is in young elementary the most helpful thing they can do is read with their child and parents are pretty comfortable doing that,” said Wendy James, Saskatoon Public Schools’ curriculum instruction coordinator.
“But once you get into high level algebra or some of the more complex sciences parents sort of dimly remember taking that stuff and unless they go into it they flushed it from their brain.”
These days, most people Google absolutely everything including their homework.
“Many of our schools have literacy nights and math nights, encourage attendance, they provide lots of opportunities for parents to learn how they can support their child at home with homework,” said Terri Fradette, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ learning services assistant superintendent.
While the curriculum is ever-changing, assisting students is a team effort.
The Insurers Aviva study also showed that over a third of parents worry about being judged by their kids’ teachers for the quality of homework.