SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Greg Ness, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Nearly Half of U.S. Parents Dread Sending Children Back to School, And Here's Why

National Center for Families Learning polls families and offers tips for heading back to school

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Early bedtimes and even earlier morning alarms signal a new school year, and students around the country are both excited and nervous about what the year will bring. As it turns out, these kids aren't the only ones tossing and turning in bed with knotted stomachs. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), parents also admit to experiencing anxiety related to starting a new school year.

The survey revealed that nearly half of parents (41.2 percent) admit to feeling uneasy as a new school year starts, and the stressors vary from the day-to-day logistics of school to spending money to in-school socialization.

A closer look at the numbers reveals that going back to school isn't just about hitting the books:

  • Just over 25 percent (27.4 percent) of respondents admit it's tough transitioning the family from summer back into the school year routine
  • Nearly 25 percent of parents (23.1 percent) are concerned about the social aspects of school like bullying and trying to fit in
  • 20.5 percent of parents point the finger at the numerous expenses—books, clothes, classroom fees and supplies – each school year brings
  • A little more than 10 percent of parents (11.9 percent) are worried about interacting with their child's teachers
  • And nearly 10 percent (9.2 percent) of respondents are afraid of being asked to help with homework they didn't understand

"As much as a teacher grades students, parents grade themselves and wonder if they're giving their child everything he or she needs to be successful," said Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president, NCFL. "NCFL wants to reassure parents that implementing straightforward, consistent educational support will make a realizable difference in their children's success."

As part of its ongoing mission to help parents play a meaningful role in their child's education, NCFL has a number of simple tips to ease back into the school year:

  • Teach within the time you have and learn before the school day even starts. Turn breakfast and getting ready in the morning into learning moments with activities found at the Family Time Machine
  • Keep talking to your child and his or her teacher. Not only will this keep you connected to the day-to-day happenings in the classroom, you'll be able to more easily identify and deal with classroom interaction problems if they arise
  • Involve children in everyday tasks and take one thing off your to-do list. Ask your kids to help build the grocery list or cut coupons to learn about nutrition and budgeting all at once
  • Stay on top of what your children are learning at school to guide enriching conversations with your children that support their learning experience and keep you connected to the classroom without physically being there
  • Encourage your children to teach you and give them a sense of accomplishment. Having them explain something to someone else is a great way to solidify their own understanding

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted by Google Consumer Surveys, August 12, 2014, to August 15, 2014, and based on 303 online responses. Sample: National adult Internet population.

For complete methodology, including weighting details, please contact Luisa Montes at [email protected]. For more information on Google Consumer Surveys and their statistical validity, please see http://www.google.com/insights/consumersurveys/static/consumer_surveys_whitepaper_v2.pdf

About the National Center for Families Learning

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping adults and children learn together. NCFL creates and deploys innovative programs and strategies that support learning, literacy, and family engagement in education. From the classroom to the community to the digital frontier, NCFL collaborates with educators, advocates, and policy-makers to help families construct hotspots for learning wherever they go. For more information on NCFL's 25-year track record, visit www.familieslearning.org.

SOURCE National Center for Families Learning

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