New York, NY — Many fathers today play an active role in their child’s activities, from homework help to volunteering, according to a new survey of parents of a child ages 5 to 15 conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Kumon Math and Reading Centers. Nearly all fathers (98%) say that they personally help their child with their homework when they have a problem, most commonly by observing and proactively helping their child when they are struggling (39%).
In fact, half of fathers (50%) name themselves as the one who most motivates their child to do their schoolwork. This is a stark contrast to the previous generation, as just 9% of parents surveyed say that it was their father who helped them most with their homework as a child.
Fathers tend to be more confident helping their child in a variety of subjects, particularly when it comes to math (85% are confident), history (82%), geography (81%) and science (83%) homework.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted April 3– 9, 2009. For the survey, national samples of 1,039 parents of a child ages 5 to 15 from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 1,039 and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire adult population of parents of a child ages 5 to 15 in the United States had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
In addition to helping their children academically during the school year, three quarters of dads (74%) are also aware of summer learning opportunities for their child in their community, and 63% report that they have enrolled their child in such an organized learning program for at least one week over the summer. Similarly, 30 percent of fathers enroll their children in supplemental education programs such as summer camp (22%), supplemental educational courses (8%) or tutoring (1%) to keep their academic abilities sharp over the summer.
Many fathers are not only involved in their child’s academic endeavors, but also their activities in the community. Seven in ten fathers (69%) whose child is involved in any activities with a charitable organization say that they volunteer with their child. On average, these dads spend nearly three hours per week volunteering with their child.
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