A new survey reveals that 50 per cent of Canadian parents lack confidence in helping their children with reading, writing and math homework.
The survey was performed by Ipsos Reid Research and ABC Life Literacy Canada released the report after 1,000 Canadians were polled. Initial findings from a report released in August 2010 found that 93% of Canadians agreed that literacy skills are critical to quality of life.
“The numbers show that Canadians believe in the importance of literacy,” commented Ipsos Reid Senior Research Manager Sean Simpson.
“Despite this importance, the data reveals that many Canadians either don’t possess the literacy skills or don’t feel comfortable enough to use those skills to their fullest extent.”
Of those Canadians admitting that they did not feel confident in helping their children with these tasks, Quebec residents ranked the highest in lack of confidence at 12 per cent followed by 10 per cent for Atlantic Canada.
Kathy Buckworth, parenting expert and author of Shut Up and Eat!, doesn’t think she, as a parent, needs to be expected to have confidence about helping her own children with their homework.
“It is, after all, their homework. Certainly I help them in setting up a quiet space to work, have the right supplies available, and help to decipher questions where the need arises. But if the content they are studying is beyond my capabilities (for instance, Grade 12 Trigonometry) I direct them to get help through the school guidance and tutoring programs, or in fact have hired tutors for my children.”
Perhaps you choose to sit with your children while they are doing homework. But when it comes to correcting your children’s homework, you may want to think twice.
“I don’t correct my children’s homework – the teacher needs to know where they, and their classmates, are struggling in order to focus on that during class time,” says Buckworth.
“Also, I ask my kids every night if they have homework. If they say no, I don’t double check their bags. I’m not the one who gets in trouble for not doing it.
Homework is the first part of taking on responsibility for your own efforts, which they will need in high school, college, university, and ultimately in their jobs, and their personal life.”