Study Reveals Parents’ Homework Challenges

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 8, 2002 — Summer vacation will soon be coming to an end, and kids aren’t the only ones dreading homework and test-taking in the upcoming school year. Microsoft Corp.’s Calling All Parents survey reveals that parents, too, could use a lesson when it comes to homework, with less than 10 percent knowing the answers to all their kids’ homework questions.

The survey, which asked parents with children ages 10–18 about their homework concerns, uncovered some of the biggest barriers encountered when helping kids with homework. One major concern: Children are better at using computer-related resources than their parents are. “In an age where kids are using technology resources to complete their assignments, and there are greater demands on time, parents are finding it difficult to keep up,” said Gary Alt, editor of Encarta®
at Microsoft. Those sentiments were echoed in the survey findings:

  • More than one-third of parents claimed time is the biggest factor affecting their ability to help with homework.

  • Parents said their children complete about two hours of homework each day; however, 50 percent admitted to spending one hour or less per week helping with homework.

  • CD-ROM resources were the most-often mentioned resource that parents said they need to help their children with homework but do not already have at home.

  • Finally, 51 percent of parents helping their children with homework said they are unable to remember information about the subject matter.

To assist parents, Microsoft and National PTA have worked together to create an innovative homework Web site, , where parents can discover new ways to assist their children with homework and learn about homework issues. The site includes information on how parents can use technology more efficiently to make homework easier.

Microsoft also has created a special give-back program that will help support National PTA activities in communities nationwide. From July 1 through Sept. 30, Microsoft will give back 5 percent of the product price of Microsoft® Encarta 2003, Office XP Standard for Students and Teachers, Windows®
XP Professional, and Wheel Mouse Optical to benefit National PTA up to a total contribution of $100,000.

About Encarta Reference Library 2003

The Encarta Reference Library 2003 five-disc CD-ROM set and single-disc DVD have an estimated retail price* of $74.95 (U.S.) before a $10 mail-in rebate. Volume discounts for all products may apply for schools, colleges and libraries. More information on academic pricing and licensing is available at the Microsoft Education Web site at Educators can find more than 500 engaging lesson plans to use with Encarta Reference Library in the Encarta Lesson Collection at the Encarta Schoolhouse Web site, More information on Encarta 2003 reference products is available at

About Office XP Standard for Students and Teachers

Microsoft Office XP Standard for Students and Teachers has an estimated retail price of $149* (U.S.) and comes with a variety of sophisticated features that help kids organize information and engage in critical thinking and analysis. Powerful tools streamline the document editing and review process. Integrated applications such as the Outlook® messaging and collaboration client make synchronizing communication with the MSN® Hotmail®
Web-based e-mail service and MSN Messenger Service fast and convenient. Office XP is designed to automatically save documents so they can be recovered quickly in case of mishap, helping put an end to lost homework.

About Windows XP Professional

Windows XP Professional, the new standard for efficient, dependable computing, gives users the freedom to experience the digital world by building on the momentum of the Internet and digital media with improvements that increase productivity and provide both business and home users with an easy-to-use and exciting PC experience. Windows XP puts the exciting experiences of the digital age at users’ fingertips by uniting PCs, devices and services, and brings the solid foundation of Windows 2000 to home PC users, enhancing reliability, security and performance.

About National PTA

National PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation. As a powerful voice for children, a relevant resource for parents and a strong advocate for public education, National PTA reminds our country of its obligation to all children and youth.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* Actual retail prices may vary.

Microsoft, Encarta, Windows, Outlook, MSN and Hotmail are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

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