Hooked on School Days: Report suggests 70% of parents think children are motivated at school

February 16, 2021

Friends and family are the biggest reason kids age 6 to 18 stay in school, but how motivated they are depends on many factors – Hooked on School Days

Hooked on School Days

One year into the pandemic, 70% of parents surveyed in Quebec think their children are motivated at school, according to a Leger survey1 commissioned by RQRÉ (Réseau québécois pour la réussite éducative). However, the findings also show that motivation is lower among secondary school students (63%), teens age 17 and 18 (62%), and children in lower-income families.

“During the past year, our young people have shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, which we should applaud. Their school routine, activities, interactions with teachers and friends—everything has changed, disrupting their normal lives and development. They’ve worked hard, every day. And we also know that this year is even more difficult for some of them. That’s why the theme for the 2021 campaign, which will run from February 15 to 19, is A moment. For them.” said Audrey McKinnon, Hooked on School Days campaign manager.

“We firmly believe that when their friends, family, and entire community support them and recognize their hard work, it really makes a difference in their motivation to stay in school. We need to keep working together to make sure every kid can succeed,” said Andrée Mayer-Périard, president of RQRÉ.

Friends and family are key to kids’ motivation

When asked what keeps their children motivated at school, the parents surveyed identified relationships with friends as the top source of motivation (28%), followed by family support and encouragement (22%) and achieving specific goals (19%), such as a report card or admissions exam. However, the factors vary by age group. According to their parents, half of teens age 17 and 18 are more likely to be motivated by specific goals, compared to 23% of students age 12 to 16. One third (33%) of primary school students are most motivated by relationships with friends.

Stumbling blocks along the way

Students have faced challenges to their motivation since the beginning of the school year. More than half of parents (52%) cited the lack of contact with friends as their children’s biggest challenge. Other difficulties have included the cancellation of activities, sports, and hobbies (35%) and staying motivated at school (33%). Once again, the challenges seem to vary by age. For 40% of young people age 17 and 18, the primary challenge has been to stay motivated at school, which is also the case for 12- to 16-year-olds (38%). For children age 6 to 11, the hardest thing is to not see their family (28%).

“Many students have been affected by the pandemic and are experiencing challenges, especially when it comes to mental health. We need to create the conditions for them to succeed and give them the resources they need to grow and do well in school. Recently, I was pleased to announce a series of adjustments to the sanitary measures in place in Quebec’s higher education institutions, to allow students to socialize and break isolation,” said Danielle McCann, Minister of Higher Education.

Parents are concerned, but committed

The pandemic has been difficult for everyone. Parents confirmed they’ve also experienced significant challenges that sometimes have an impact on the climate at home. Those challenges include the stress and anxiety generated by the crisis (40%), a lack of energy and ideas and feeling overwhelmed (34%), and the difficulty of balancing family and working from home (24%). The survey also found that 52% of parents are concerned that students are falling behind due to the pandemic.

Encouragingly, 76% of parents feel they can motivate their kids during this difficult time, and 63% of parents believe they have the resources they need to support them in their studies. But that percentage drops to 55% for families with a household income under $40,000.

Success at school comes first

Despite the ups and downs of the pandemic, school remains a top priority for parents. A large majority (69%) of parents are hopeful about the end of the school year and 89% of survey respondents said they have taken time to commend their children for their hard work during the pandemic. Which ties in perfectly with the theme of this year’s Hooked on School Days!

“We know this school year hasn’t been easy for anyone. But the findings from this survey show how important students’ friends and family are in keeping them motivated and believing in their ability to reach their goals. During these Hooked on School Days, I hope all Quebecers will take a moment to let the students in their lives know what a great job they’ve been doing since the pandemic began. Let’s show them how proud we all are of them!” said Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge.

2021 Hooked on School Days events

From February 15 to 19, events will be held across Quebec with the support and cooperation of local and regional organizations. Materials and webinars will also be made available to parents, service providers, and schools. Additionally, at 1 p.m. on February 17, Hooked on School Days will give Quebec students in Cycle Three of elementary school and in secondary school a moment with Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. More than 175,000 students from 7,000 different classes will participate in this giant virtual gathering. Laurent will be joined by surprise guests and will answer questions sent in by young people. To top off this week’s programming, employers across Quebec are encouraged to share on social media their willingness to welcome postsecondary students to give them confidence about their future in the job market.

To learn more, visit: journeesperseverancescolaire.com/english