Thursday, January 13, 2011

Parents lack confidence in helping children with homework

Ipsos Reid Research shows that 50% of Canadian parents lack confidence in helping their children with reading, writing and math homework New year perfect time to refocus priorities on family and lifelong learning

(Toronto, ON – January 11, 2011) - ABC Life Literacy Canada released new research findings concerning literacy in Canada from a report conducted on its behalf by national research firm Ipsos Reid. The report uncovered insightful perception on literacy from the over 1,000 Canadians polled.

The Ipsos Reid survey found that 50 per cent of Canadian parents surveyed admitted to not feeling confident in helping their children with their reading, writing and math homework. Of those admitting that they did not feel confident in helping their children with these tasks, Quebec residents ranked the highest in lack of confidence at 12 per cent followed by 10 per cent for Atlantic Canada.

When asked about hours spent per week engaged in family leisure activities such as playing cards, board games or cooking with a recipe, 15 per cent of Canadians admitted to spending no time engaged in these activities. Provincially speaking, the figure jumps to a high of 21 per cent in British Columbia and 18 per cent in Alberta.

According to the survey, despite the approximately seven out of 10 Canadians who spend between one and 10 hours per week engaged in leisure reading, whether alone or with someone else in the household, 11per cent of Canadians aged 18 – 34 spend no time reading.

Initial findings from the Ipsos Reid report released in August 2010 found that 93% of Canadians agreed that literacy skills are critical to quality of life.

“The numbers show that Canadians believe in the importance of literacy,” commented Ipsos Reid Senior Research Manager Sean Simpson. “Despite this importance, the data reveals that many Canadians either don’t posses the literacy skills or don’t feel comfortable enough to use those skills to their fullest extent.”

“We know from international studies that 42% of Canadians don’t have a high school graduate’s level of literacy proficiency, so perhaps these results are understandable,” commented Margaret Eaton, ABC Life Literacy Canada President. “We also know that the greatest predictor of a child’s success is the literacy level of their caregivers—if we want to improve the literacy of children we need to ensure that all adult Canadians have the literacy skills they need to support their children in their learning.”

By spending a minimum of 15 minutes a day engaged in a literacy activity as a family, Canadians have the ability to make positive changes both in their own lives and in the future potential of their children. As Canada prepares to Play for Literacy on Family Literacy Day, January 27 provides a platform on which everyone can come together to learn. For additional information or tips and activity ideas on how you can Play for Literacy, please visit

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About Ipsos Reid:
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader and the country’s leading provider of public opinion research. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 300 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in Canada, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and on-line panels. To learn more, visit

About Family Literacy Day:
Family Literacy Day, held annually on January 27, was developed by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 to celebrate adults and children reading and learning together, and to encourage Canadians to spend at least 15 minutes enjoying a learning activity as a family every day.

About ABC Life Literacy Canada:
ABC Life Literacy Canada is a non-profit organization that inspires Canadians to increase their literacy skills. We envision a Canada where everyone has the skills they need to live a fully engaged life.

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