Best of the Web: Teaching Kids Dollar Smarts, Why It’s Okay to Fail, Focus on Wellbeing and Dirt is Good

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

(ABC News)

There’s been concern about the level of financial literacy among secondary school students, with a survey showing most were confused about credit cards, and calculating repayments and interest rates. Griffith University’s Dr Rakesh Gupta says it’s up to parents to lead by example. The senior lecturer in financial planning offers five top tips for parents, including letting your child see that you do not spend money that you don’t have, and talking about money in a positive manner.

The school teaching students that it’s OK to fail

(Henrietta Cook, The Age)

In a world that often values academic achievement over all else, Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School has taken a bold initiative, holding Failure Week. ‘We are trying to curb an increasing trend we are seeing in students around perfectionism and concerns about grades, outcomes and achievement,’ the school’s head of counselling Bridget McPherson said. ‘We want our students to recognise that failure, and making mistakes, is a really crucial part of learning.’ You can also read our articles How Perfection Hurts Girls, and Conquering the Fear of Failure, by Ivanhoe Girls’ Principal Dr Heather Schnagl, AM.

Australian schools turn spotlight on wellbeing in bid to tackle student anxiety

(Natasha Robinson, ABC)

Schools are increasingly focussed on the wellbeing of students. The annual NAB Independent Schools Survey reveals nine in 10 Independent schools have programs to support the mental health and overall well-being of students. What’s on offer includes mindfulness, meditation practices and special buildings equipped with swimming pools, yoga studios and spaces of quiet reflection. The article also notes a similar trend in government schools.

‘Dirt Is Good’: Why Kids Need Exposure To Germs

(Lulu Garcia-Navarro, npr)

Our desire to protect our children can sometimes extend to becoming overly concerned about maintain a clean and hygienic environment. Scientist Jack Gilbert counters this thinking with his book Dirt is Good, The Advantage of Germs in Your Child’s Developing Immune System. Gilbert embarked on an investigation about children and germs after the birth of his second child. In this Q&A, his advice is to put the hand sanitiser away.