Education Survey: Parental Involvement Key When It Comes to Your Child's Education

Armen Hareyan's picture

(NC) - A survey, conducted by Ipsos-Reid for Kumon Math and Reading Centres found that most (94 per cent) Canadian parents are confident they can provide homework support to their children. However, the survey also found that half (51 percent) of parents spend less than 10 minutes a day helping their kids with homework.

Homework Help

Dr. Donna McGhie-Richmond, Educational Specialist with Kumon offers these homework support guidelines for parents:

1. Kids need routine, so establish a regular homework schedule.

2. Provide a clutter-free and noise-free environment to make concentrating easier.

3. Help your children get organized. Provide the resources they need and make sure they know how to use them.

4. Have your child review the assignment with you so that he or she knows exactly what to do and ask where he or she needs your help.

5. Don't tell your children what to do or do the work for them. Instead, guide them in the right direction so they'll learn to work independently.

6. Meet with your child's teacher to find out exactly what is expected of your son or daughter during the school year and take advantage of homework guidelines available on school board Web sites.


Early Learning, Head Start

The Kumon/Ipsos-Reid survey found that only one quarter (27 per cent) of parents consider it appropriate to start home-based learning activities with their children before the age of one.

Dr. McGhie-Richmond says, "Parents are their children's first teachers. It's never too early to start teaching your children, and moms and dads should read to them from birth."

According to Dr. McGhie-Richmond, most parents recognize the significance of reading to their kids, but they may not recognize its significance to learning. "Reading sets the foundation for all other learning," she explains. "Materials such as Kumon Workbooks, available at large bookstore chains, provide parents with more structured tools to encourage math and reading skills with activities such as number games, tracing and mazes."

Young children with siblings notice their older brothers and sisters are involved in more structured learning activities and they want to do the same. If parents see their three or four year olds are ready and eager to learn, a program like Junior Kumon that's flexible can give them a head start and help instil a love of learning.

How Much is Too Much?

The survey shows that the majority (86 per cent) of children will be involved in at least one extracurricular activity during this school year, and that on average, children will participate in two. Parents often wonder how to tell if they are over-scheduling their children. Dr. McGhie-Richmond says, "How much you schedule depends on how many children are in the family, the amount of time parents have for supporting their children, and the time required for each activity. Strike a balance that suits your family."

"Kids who don't struggle with homework have more time to spend on other activities," Dr. McGhie-Richmond says. "That, in turn, gives them more confidence." But if children are struggling to get their homework done, or not doing it because after-school activities have taken priority, there is help available. Programs such as those offered by Kumon can teach your children good study habits so that homework isn't a burden and so that they can free up more time to pursue the activities that interest them most.


- News Canada

These are the findings of a Kumon/Ipsos-Reid survey that was conducted nationally in Canada among 1040 Canadians who have children 6 to 14 years of age that attend public schools and do not have learning disabilities or special education needs. The study was fielded from August 19-27th 2004. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within