Children who are ahead of grade level have distinct homework habits compared with those who are behind, a new nationwide survey has found. The Kumon/Ipsos Reid “Back-to-School” poll surveyed 1,000 parents of school-aged children in all regions of Canada. The survey looked at the relationship between homework habits, homework environment and academic performance.
Among its findings:
– Nine out of 10 children (88 per cent) who are ahead of their grade level have a set homework routine, compared with only six out of 10 (59 per cent) of those who are behind.
– Children who are ahead of their grade level are more likely to ask for help with homework (68 per cent) compared to those who are behind (42 per cent).
– Parents of children who are ahead of their grade level are more likely to say that their child is self-motivated (26 per cent) compared to those who are behind (3 per cent).
– Television is one of the biggest distractions for children who are behind. Children who are behind are more likely to have a TV in their bedroom (50 per cent) compared with those who are ahead (33 per cent).
– Children who are behind grade level are also more likely to have video games in their bedroom compared with those who are ahead (36 percent vs. 24 per cent).
– Parents of children who are ahead are more likely to say their children face no distractions when doing their homework (22 per cent) compared with parents of children who are behind (10 per cent).
– Math and Language Arts are the two most common problem areas for children performing below grade level. Almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of those who are behind needed help with Math compared with those who are ahead (28 per cent). Over half (57 per cent) of those who are behind needed help in Language Arts compared with those who are ahead (17 per cent).
“The survey suggests that success breeds success. Children who do well seem to bring it all together – good routines, fewer distractions and enough confidence to ask for help when they need it,” says Dr. Donna McGhie-Richmond, Educational Specialist with Kumon Math and Reading Centres. “Parents need to be actively involved – keeping out distractions like TV, talking with their children’s teachers and being aware of what their children are working on so
they can help them when they’re needed.”
These are the findings of a Kumon/Ipsos Reid telephone survey that was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Canadian parents who have children 7 to 14 years of age that attend public schools and do not have learning disabilities or special education needs. For the survey, parents were asked to reflect back on the past school year. Scholastic achievement is based on parental perceptions. The study was fielded from August 17-29th 2005. With a sample of 1,000, the results are considered accurate to within (+/-) 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had this entire population been polled. The margin of error is larger for sub groupings of the population – parents of children ahead of their grade (n equals 395, +/-4.9%), right at grade level (n equals 531, +/-4.3%), behind grade level (n equals 73, +/-11.5%).
For full tabular results, please visit