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Homework help: most parents need the internet

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

New research finds that three in four parents rely on the internet to help kids with homework.

As families prepare for the first half-term break of 2020, parents up and down the country will be faced with the task of helping their kids with numerous pieces of homework. Despite this being a daily occurrence in most households, 84 per cent of parents admit they struggle to keep up with their kids’ homework syllabus, according to a recent study from TalkTalk. 

Maths was found to be the subject that left us baffled the most. One in three parents admitted they have forgotten the basic formulas that they learnt in school and the difference between rational and irrational numbers remains a mystery to many. 

Differing specialisms

But, when dividing and conquering the homework, it seems parents have different specialisms they can capitalise on. Dads were five times more likely to confidently recite the order of the planets but were three times times more likely to struggle with English Literature than mums.

In contrast, British parents felt most clued up on questions relating to historical figures, with spelling and grammar close behind, suggesting that the age-old rhyme of Henry VIII’s wives doomed fates and the rule ‘i before e except after c’ has clearly stuck.

But while the internet has clearly changed the way in which we live, with educational resources available online at the click of a mouse, spare a thought for previous generations who had to tackle the challenges of homework unaided. 

Life offline

Among parents whose kids had grown up without the internet, TalkTalk found that while eight out of 10 tended to rely on their own knowledge (82 per cent), a cheeky one per cent admitted to simply making up the answer and hoping for the best.

As schools introduce online platforms for homework tasks, kids and parents nowadays are increasingly dependent on a fast, reliable internet connection. Three quarters of British parents admitted they would feel frustrated, stressed and worried if their broadband started playing up during homework time. That said, it’s not something we want our kids to necessarily know, especially the Dads amongst us. TalkTalk found that Dads were almost twice as likely than mums to be embarrassed or worried their kids would tell on them if they were caught copying the answer from the internet.

Nick Gunga, Chief Customer Officer at TalkTalk, said: “We understand the need for families to have access to fast, reliable broadband to help make their busy lives easier, and getting through homework is no exception. TalkTalk aims to support households across the nation whatever their connectivity needs – be that streaming the latest blockbuster or surfing the internet for Pythagoras’ Theorem.”

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