82% of parents can't help with homework

82% of Parents Stumped by Children’s Homework

  • 82% of parents struggle to help children with homework.
  • Parents are watching YouTube videos and hiring their own tutors to better help.
  • 61% of parents say school curriculum changes too often.
  • Physics is the hardest subject to help with – 81% agree.
  • CEO and founder of Tutor House, Alex Dyer, shares his thoughts.

The back-to-school transition can be difficult for families. Especially when it comes to homework.

Children will sometimes rely on their parents’ help, but constantly changing curriculums have left many parents insecure in their ability to assist.

So which subjects do parents find the hardest?

The Knowledge Academy surveyed 1,633 British parents of children in secondary school, to reveal which subject they find most difficult to help with. Alongside the survey, theknowledgeacademy.com consulted the CEO and Founder of Tutor House, Alex Dyer for an exclusive quote.

The results reveal physics is the hardest (81%). In second place is maths (55%), and interestingly, history is the easiest subject according to parents (9%).

Please refer below to see where all subjects placed:

  1. Physics (81%)
  2. Maths (55%)
  3. Chemistry (43%)
  4. Economics (37%)
  5. Business studies (34%)
  6. Biology (31%)
  7. English language (28%)
  8. Languages (27%)
  9. English literature (18%)
  10. R.E. (16%)
  11. Geography (12%)
  12. History (9%)

Further survey results

The Knowledge Academy discovered that a whopping 82% of parents struggle to help their children with homework.

It appears some aren’t interested in becoming better at this either - 63% admit to encouraging their child to ask someone else (or figure it out themselves).

Of those that are interested, the preferred method to improve their ability to help is ‘watching informative YouTube videos’ (66%).

This is followed by hiring a tutor (45%), contacting teachers directly to ask for clarification (36%), teaching yourself some of the subject (23%), asking another parent (18%), taking an online course (16%) and finally researching the current curriculum (9%).

When asked if they would consider hiring a tutor for their child, 27% of parents admitted yes. However, the most common answer was only if they are really struggling (38%). Other responses include no (17%), depends on the price/ease of finding one (10%) and depends on the subject (8%).

Many parents believe that what their children are taught varies too much. When asked “Do you think the school curriculum changes too often?”. 61% said yes, in some areas/subjects. 27% said yes, whilst 12% disagreed.

Finally, parents agree with homework, but to a certain extent. When asked if they think homework is necessary, the majority believe if it is relevant and helps to reinforce what the child has been taught (34%). This is followed by yes (28%), for some subjects (27%), and finally no (11%).

The Knowledge Academy also spoke exclusively with the CEO and founder of Tutor House, Alex Dyer:

“There are a number of reasons why parents find it difficult to help their kids with homework. For starters, communication between schools and parents is often minimal, so they worry about teaching their child the ‘wrong thing’! 

And in a world of distracting stimuli, getting children engaged and focused on homework can be a problem.

There is also the issue of what the children are learning, and a parent’s ability to keep up with it. Subject matter and methodologies are constantly changing, so they’re always going to be unfamiliar with them! 

However, of course, there are benefits to changing the curriculum, particularly if it means an update. The incorporation/introduction of new and more relevant topics are all great reasons to change a curriculum.”

Alex Dyer also provides further insights as to how parents can help:  

  • Employing a tutor for their child – a personal tutor will help with their homework, but also reinforce knowledge and skills surrounding homework tasks.
  • Communicating frequently with the teacher so they can understand what their child is learning and how they might need help.
  • Cutting themselves some slack! Your main role, as a parent, is to encourage, motivate and inspire your child. Try to emphasise the enjoyment that can come of learning new things.
  • Connecting the things they are learning at school with the world around them - visiting museums, seeing theatre productions, building something together or even simply reading with your child, can enrich their entire academic experience.