Primary education: listening and observing
Primary education: listening and observing

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

4 Homework around the world

A survey of more than 27,000 parents in 29 countries found a quarter of parents worldwide spend seven or more hours a week helping their children with homework (Varkey Foundation, 2018).

Parents in India helped the most, spending an average of 12 or more hours each week helping with homework and reading to their children. Parents in Japan spent the least, at about 2.6 hours. Parents in the USA spent 6.2 hours, just below the global average of 6.7 hours.

But the survey also found that children whose parents help a lot with their homework did not perform any better on tests than children who do their homework all by themselves. Educationalists generally agree it's important that parents at least know what their children are working on and how much time it's taking them to complete it. Taking an interest in a child's homework also helps to create a home in which learning is valued.

While a quarter (25%) of parents worldwide spend 7 or more hours a week helping their children with their education, this figure rises to 62% in India, 50% in Vietnam and 39% in Colombia. Parents in richer nations are spending less time, with only 5% spending 7 or more hours a week in Finland, 10% in France and Japan, and 11% in the UK. Parents in lower income economies are more likely to spend significant amounts of time helping their children outside the classroom than those in established economies. The most commonly occurring reason that parents don’t help their children – cited by over half of parents (52%) across the survey – is lack of time.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371