Families & the Community

How Are Parents Dividing Home-Teaching Duties During Coronavirus?

By Catherine Gewertz — May 08, 2020 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

With schools and most workplaces shuttered due to the coronavirus outbreak, parents are shouldering huge new roles as shepherds of their children’s schoolwork. In scores of stressed-out Twitter posts, parents are detailing their struggles to manage it all.

In two-parent households, who’s taking on the biggest role as schoolwork supervisor? It appears that the answer depends on who you ask.

A survey published Wednesday in The New York Times asked 2,200 parents with children younger than 12 who is doing most of the homeschooling or distance-learning supervision.

Nearly half of the fathers said they shouldered most of that duty, but only 3 percent of mothers agreed with that picture. Eighty percent of mothers said they, not their spouses, were handling the lion’s share of that supervision.

In another report, released Thursday by a parents’ group, 78 percent of women who live with male co-parents report that they’re taking on most of the schoolwork supervision duties.

ParentsTogether asked about 1,600 of its members how they’re handling distance-learning. The results echo the difference in gender-based viewpoints that the New York Times poll found: Nearly 75 percent of the women in the ParentsTogether poll said they manage most of the distance learning, and 57 percent of the men said they did. Men were far likelier than women to say that they and their partner shared the load equally.

ParentsTogether said in a statement that co-parents who aren’t already sharing the distance-learning responsibility need to “step up and do more.”

Each study has its limitations: By asking which “spouse” does most of the home-schooling, the New York Times study appears to leave out families in which the parents aren’t married. The ParentsTogether survey’s findings are based on a sample gathered through Facebook Messenger.

Image: Cathlean Snyder, a Caddo Parish, La., teacher, teaches classes online and manages instruction for her five children as well. —Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate

Graphics: New York Times, ParentsTogether

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Families & the Community Reported Essay Pandemic Parents Are More Engaged. How Can Schools Keep It Going?
Families have a better sense of what their child is learning, but schools will have to make some structural shifts to build on what they started.
6 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Families & the Community Opinion How to Preserve the Good Parts of Pandemic Schooling
Yes, there have been a few silver linings for student well-being in the pandemic. Let’s not lose them now, write two researchers.
Laura Clary & Tamar Mendelson
4 min read
A student and teacher communicate through a screen.
iStock/Getty
Families & the Community COVID Protocols Keep Changing. Here's How Schools Can Keep Parents in the Know
Parents and educators shared best practices for effective communication related to the pandemic. It all centers on transparency.
6 min read
communication information network 1264145800 b
cagkansayin/iStock/Getty
Families & the Community Teachers' Union, Education Groups Unite to Resist Critical Race Theory Bans
Some of the country’s most prominent education groups are organizing against efforts to restrict teaching students about racism.
3 min read
Image of a "stop" hand overlaying a circle with a red diagonal line.
DigitalVision Vectors