Best of the Web

Is it OK to listen to music when studying, ATAR obsessions, prejudice against stay-at-home Dads, and more...

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.

Is it OK to listen to music while studying?

(Timothy Byron, The Conversation)

Have you ever encouraged your studious teen to stop listening to their music and focus on the work at hand? Does it drive you crazy? Do you drive them crazy? A Year 11 student wrote to The Conversation’s excellent Curious Kids section – where experts answer questions from kids – to find out who was right. The answer?  Music makes us happier, which helps you study, but also distracts, which hinders study. And there’s other factors, such as whether you’re an introvert.

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In year 12, I would’ve laughed at my degree choice because the ATAR for it is so low

(Brandon Jack, The Age)

This is a wonderful first-person piece about the author’s obsession with getting a high ATAR in Year 12. Everything was directed to that magic number, and when it came to choosing courses, it was all about those that required a sky-high ATAR, not what he was interested in. He lasted one law lecture, deciding it wasn’t for him. He’s now a writer. Who would have thought? Definitely not him, in Year 12.

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The reality of being a stay-at-home dad

(Mark Tamhane, ABC Life)

There’s been plenty of discussion about the need for men to step up in the raising of their young children. In the experience of the author, there are still barriers in place that make it hard for this to happen. As the primary caregiver or ‘professional dad’ to his two young children, he’s encountered prejudice. This includes men with young children being treated appallingly in public, based on the assumption that they aren’t capable of being a primary caregiver.

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Is screen time damaging for your kids? No study can tell you that

(Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian)

Another day, another study or news article about screen time and kids. For a parent, it’s a challenge to sift through the varying opinions and often conflicting advice. In this opinion article for the UK edition of The Guardian, the author makes the point research findings provide only a general guide – but not what’s necessarily right for your child. Is there an educational value to what they are watching?  What would they be doing instead? The list of individual, human variables goes on.

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