The majority of parents would struggle to help a seven-year-old with their homework, a study has found.
Helping a child with their homework is part and parcel of being a parent or guardian.
However, only a third of parents feel confident providing guidance to their children when tasked with helping with their school assigments, according to a survey conducted by Oxford Home Schooling, a home education course company.
For the study, 1,000 parents were given three typical Year 3 homework questions, written in collaboration with primary school teacher Victoria Humphreys.
Only one in 16 of the participants were able to answer all three of the questions correctly, which were taken from Key Stage Two syllabuses for English, Maths and Science.
Of those who took part in the study, nearly a quarter said they feel “pressurised” when asked by their child to help with homework, while more than three quarters admit they often use the internet to help them answer any questions they’re struggling with.
More than one in 10 also stated that they use virtual assistants, such as Alexa or Siri, to provide them with homework answers.
Only 38 per cent of the parents managed to correctly answer the mathematical question: “What is 23/6 as a mixed number?”
Furthermore, only 22 per cent correctly identified “and” as a subordinate conjunction in the English question of the test, and only 40 per cent were aware that a “key feature” of an amphibian’s life cycle is when the “tadpoles hatch”.
The study also found that men are more likely than women to feel confident helping their children with homework, with 39 per cent of the fathers tested feeling confident, in comparison to 28 per cent of the mothers.
“The results of the survey are quite surprising, but they will probably resonate with many parents across the country,” said Dr Nick Smith, principal at Oxford Home Schooling.
“For some, a large amount of time will have passed since they themselves were in the education system and so they will be unfamiliar with the current curriculum.
“Our research has found that over a third of primary school parents think their children are stressed because of work, so it is important that they strive to help out where they can, using assistants, like Google, if needed.”