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Parents Not Supporting Kids Due To Confusion Over Teaching Methods

Monday, 13 February 2012

Confusion over modern teaching methods means that nearly half of parents can’t help their 10 to 12-year-old children with their maths homework.

Almost two thirds of parents think the way English and maths are taught has changed since they were at school, according to a survey of 1,000 parents by online tuition service, mytutor.

As a result, nearly 40 per cent of parents spend less time learning with their children than their own parents spent with them, and only one out of every 12 parents spends more than an hour a day helping their children learn.

Nick Smith, head of online tuition at mytutor, said: “It is hard enough for parents these days with the added pressures on children to reach expected attainment levels, and the pace of modern life is leaving them with precious little time at home anyway.

“But these figures show that confusion over current teaching techniques is also another factor contributing to the drop in time parents spend supporting their children’s learning.

“Other research has shown that children who make a slow start at school struggle to make strides to catch up by the time they reach secondary school, which means that they could spend a large part of their academic lives falling behind their classmates.1  

“Extra support in learning can help to bridge this gap. Children who receive one-to-one tuition can make a year’s progress with just 20 hours of tuition, helping them reach their full potential,” Nick added.

When Tina Jones’s nine-year-old daughter, Beth, began to struggle to keep up in class, Tina realised that the methods Beth was being taught were different to the ones she learned when she had been at school. 

Mrs Jones explained: “Things have changed since I was at school. I try to tell her how to do things and she goes blank.

“With mytutor, I have learned as well so now I can help Beth too. Beth has a half hour session with the tutor, then I work with her to build on those sessions. By the time she has come back to the next session she has really improved.”

Beth added: “I used to struggle with division. I’d forgotten how to do it. We did sharing things with pizzas on the online whiteboard and I don’t think I will forget it now.

“I have enjoyed it and I find maths much better now.”

mytutor asked 1,000 parents across theUKabout the time they spent learning with their children, and found:

  • 47% of parents feel they couldn’t help their children with their maths homework
  • 22% of parents couldn’t help their children with their English homework
  • 64% of parents think the way English and maths are taught has changed since they were at school
  • 27% of parents couldn’t explain maths and English to their children in the same way they had been taught
  • 39% of parents spend less time learning with their children than their parents did with them
  • 58% of parents spend less than 10 minutes a day – or an hour a week – helping their children learn.

mytutor offers tailored online one-to-one tuition in English and maths for children aged between seven and 14.

Parents can choose a UK-based tutor, who then provides tailored tuition in a safe, engaging online environment using a live interactive whiteboard – all in the comfort of their own home.

Find out more at http://www.mytutor.co.uk/.




1 Department for Families and Education, Primary School League Tables, 2011



Notes to editors


  • mytutor is an online tutoring company which is part of the AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) family.
  • Based inManchester(England), mytutor connects newly qualified, current, part time and retired teachers of maths and English with learners across theUK.
  • The system is web-based which removes geographical restrictions, allowing learners access to quality tutors in the country, regardless of where they are based.
  • It is available to learners in Key Stages Two and Three (ages seven to 14).
  • Learners and teachers use an interactive whiteboard for lessons, with the session recorded and available to parents for the next three months.
  • Research shows that tailored, one-to-one tuition can increase a child’s learning age against their chronological age in just three months, with these benefits retained (Ref: Every Child a Reader, Every Child a Chance Trust; Every Child Counts, Every Child a Chance Trust)
  • Increased engagement, academic progression and improved confidence are the three most commonly reported benefits of one-to-one tuition. (Ref: Every Child a Chance Trust Impact Report; Ireson and Rushforth, Mapping and Evaluating Shadow Education; Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Evaluation of the Making Good Progress Pilots)