Homework Help and Distance Learning
Babysits surveyed parents from 10 different countries in order to understand how they experienced online homework and distance learning while schools were closed due to COVID-19.
Parents that suddenly needed to work from home, the schools closing, online homework, teachers who are concerned about the learning gap of the children… 2020 is a year full of changes. As a consequence of schools being closed, many parents had to help support their children with online homework or other forms of distance learning that schools may have organized while balancing working from home.
So, Babysits surveyed parents from 10 different countries in order to understand how they experienced these times. As part of the research, parents were asked how they experienced helping kids with homework and distance learning, how homework went, and if they were concerned about their children having a learning gap.
Parents aren’t totally satisfied with schools’ organization of distance learning
Many schools underestimated or were unprepared for the situation where they would need to deliver online classes and distance learning on short notice. With schools closed, they suddenly needed to prepare online lessons, manage new regulations, and send online homework to the children. **Only 35 percent of the surveyed parents thought that the schools managed everything well. **
The leftover 65 percent had less of a positive opinion. They weren’t overly negative, however parents thought that the management from schools could have been better. This is likely due to the fact that at least 87% of the children needed help with their online homework and that for the most part, parents had to help them with this daily. Unfortunately, helping with homework didn’t always go well for parents.
Parents found it difficult to help their children with homework
70 percent of the parents responded that they had difficulties when helping their children with homework. This was often because** they themselves needed to work from home, didn’t have much time to help their children with homework, and sometimes didn’t have the patience or knowledge required to help.** The environment also played an important role. A number of parents responded that they couldn’t concentrate on helping with homework because, for example, there were other children running around the house.
Doing homework went worse for 40% of children
Despite 72% of children receiving online homework and lessons from school, 40% indicated that doing homework went worse than before the schools were closed. Doing homework appears more difficult when you don’t have in-person lessons anymore and when it is less easy to ask the teacher questions over how everything worked.
In general, teachers spoke up about their concern for potential learning gaps because lessons were temporarily no longer in-person. However were the parents also concerned that their children may fall behind? On average, parents indicated that their fear of their children falling behind was a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. This showed mild concern, however, thankfully they didn’t show any serious concern or fear yet.
Parents are open for different ways to deal with this next time
Despite the fact that things didn’t go particularly smoothly and they needed help, 86% of the parents surveyed said that they hadn’t thought about finding a tutor or homework helper for their children. This, while such a tutor could have had a really positive impact in helping them through this period. Looking back at the situation, **55% of the parents indicated that they are open to dealing with this in a different way in the future and would be open to looking for a tutor or homework helper. **
(Online) Homework Assistance via Babysits
“When Babysits heard that the schools were going to close, we called on all of our babysitters to help support parents in need. Babysits introduced a new function where babysitters can indicate that they are open to provide homework assistance for children alongside their normal babysitting work.” - Peter van Soldt, Founder of Babysits
As of July 13, 2020, there are over 179,000 babysitters who have indicated that they would be more than happy to help with homework assistance. Because of the interest and support, Babysits decided to dedicate several articles and resources to helping babysitters provide homework assistance and education for kids in a fun and interesting manner. Besides tips about the best ways to help kids with their homework, there are many articles on educational topics such as, languages, math, astronomy, chemistry, recycling, and more. With this, Babysits is trying to give babysitters tips on how they can be a great educational help for kids.
The new homework assistance feature gives babysitters a new way to help support families and can help take a large burden off of many parents. The babysitters and parents can contact each other via the platform and decide among themselves whether they would like to do in-person or online homework assistance, taking into consideration the guidelines from their local government regarding the coronavirus.