What role do fathers play in homeschooling?

HOMEschooling 2020: Nationwide survey of parents published

The HOMEschooling 2020 study focused on the daily challenges and the success of teaching at home on the quality of teaching. "We wanted to know whether and how good teaching can be guaranteed in the course of homeschooling. Among other things, we asked about the quality of the assignments, the frequency and structure of assignments, and the feedback behavior of the teachers," says Professor Dr. Anja Wildemann, educational researcher at the University of Koblenz-Landau and with Professor Dr. Ingmar Hosenfeld from the Center for Empirical Educational Research (zepf) head of the study.

According to the results of the study, the majority of parents would like more feedback from the teachers. Around half of them do not recognize a regular rhythm in the teaching of assignments by the teachers; they also perceive the learning assignments as not very varied. The majority of the parents found the clarity of the task to be positive, which enables the children to work on the tasks independently.

Overall, the amount of time parents spend learning has increased significantly, according to another result of the study. Almost half of the parents stated that they had spent a maximum of 30 minutes with their child's schoolwork prior to Corona, while homeschooling was up to an hour for 24 percent, up to two hours for 26.7 percent and up to three for 25 percent Hours a day. With over 80 percent, mothers are responsible for homeschooling with a clear majority.

Motivation of children and young people to learn

With regard to the children's and young people's motivation to learn, the picture was almost balanced: According to the parents' assessment, at 48.5 percent, slightly less than half are very or fairly motivated, while slightly more than half (51.1 percent) lack motivation. In homeschooling there are few opportunities for interaction compared to normal everyday school life. Almost 60 percent of parents state that their children do not exchange ideas with classmates. 9.7 percent of parents stated that they exchanged several times a day, and 14.1 percent named an exchange several times a week.

Learning support of the children done by the teachers, almost 75 percent of the parents see it done through email contact. In addition, materials are made available for download (54.5 percent), websites (41.6 percent), YouTube videos (28.9 percent) and own videos (15.4 percent).

“Based on the study, we see two central development areas for further homeschooling or a change from face-to-face and distance teaching ", says Ingmar Hosenfeld,"the structure of the teaching and learning offers and the feedback". The researchers recommend submitting the tasks in the form of weekly schedules in a fixed rhythm. This could make an important contribution to self-regulated learning as well as to the orientation of the students and, through better planning, also to relieve the parents. In addition, there should be close interlinking of assignments and individual feedback on the part of the teachers so that each student knows their own level of knowledge and learning needs and can develop them appropriately.

Planning the learning week based on partnership

Learning motivation is very important so that learning also works well at home. “The majority of the participating parents motivated their children to learn through their social and communicative affinity. That is a good way, ”emphasizes Wildemann. It also plays participation a major role. “When parents and children plan the learning week together, they act as partners. The generally increases the children's acceptance and motivation“, Explains Hosenfeld. Both of them have one important piece of advice for parents: Don't put yourself under too much pressure, because that is what parents are first and foremost: parents and not teachers.


The detailed study report (PDF, 1.9 MB) is available online.

All parents residing in Germany whose children attend general schools could take part in the study. Between the beginning of April and the beginning of May 2020, 4,230 parents took part in the survey, most of them mothers. Of the children and adolescents, 43.1 percent attend a primary school and 52.6 percent a secondary school, of which 64.9 percent attend a grammar school.

Original publication: Anja Wildemann, Ingmar Hosenfeld: Nationwide parent survey on homeschooling during the Covid 19 pandemic. Findings on the implementation of homeschooling in Germany.


University of Koblenz-Landau, portal for child and youth welfare professionals