Best of the Web

Should you push your child to do better, why music makes stronger students, getting siblings to work it out, and more.

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


How hard should you push your children to do better at school?

(Dr Matt Beard, ABC LIfe)

Your child is capable, but isn’t putting in the effort – it’s the teacher’s report card lament. So the answer is obvious, right? Encourage your child to try harder. Not so fast, urges the author, a moral philosopher and ethicist. Is the teacher’s assessment an accurate view of what’s happening? Perhaps the teacher is failing to make learning fun and engaging? Maybe your child is already working harder.

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High school students do better in science, maths and English if they also take music lessons

(Eva Amsen, Forbes)

There is further evidence of critical role of arts in the education of children. A new study from the University of British Columbia in Canada shows that students who took music lessons in secondary school did better in other subjects, such as English, science and maths. And students who played an instrument did even better than those who sang. 


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How to teach siblings to resolve their own arguments

(Steve Calechman, Greater Good Magazine)

It’s a repeating scene in family life. In the next room, your children are playing, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. In a split second, it literally all turns to tears. You are summoned to intervene/help/resolve. What if your kids could work it out themselves? This article is a how-to guide to help your children productively handle conflict – skills they will need for the rest of their lives.


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Teenagers who play sport after school are only 7 minutes more active per day than those who don’t

(Harriet Koorts and Jo Salmon, The Conversation)

Children who play sport are seen to be more active than their peers who don’t. That’s true, but according to new research from Deakin University, the difference is marginal. This doesn’t mean playing sport isn’t important, say the authors. It delivers social and mental health benefits. But if we want to get young people moving, we need strategies that go beyond just sport.

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