Best of the Web: Celebrating the gap year, and more

Why gap years are good, school report talks, and being a kindness role model for your child.

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

‘I can always tell the students who’ve had a gap year’

(Jenna Price, Essential KIds, Fairfax Media)

As Year 12 ends, attention turns to ATARs and tertiary courses. Every year at open days, the author, an academic, tells parents about the benefits of a gap year, and every year, they rarely believe her. Extensive research shows that those who take a gap year do better at university. The author sees other differences: the gap year students don’t burst into tears over marks, and have a resilience that comes from working at a supermarket check-out or coping with travel disasters. You might also like Mind the Gap: the Benefits of a Break After Year 12, by Helen Green.

How to talk to your child about their school report

(Katina Zammit, The Conversation)

The end of the school year can also mean the arrival of the school report. Navigating a discussion with your child can be tricky when there are poor marks or other areas of concern. The author provides useful and practical advice for parents on dealing with a school report. The key messages are to be supportive, consider your child’s personality, and focus on their progress.

Children urged to play outdoors to cut risk of short-sightedness

(Nicola Davis, The Guardian)

We know there are many benefits of children spending time playing outdoors. Now new research has found that children should be encouraged to spend time outdoors to reduce the risk of myopia, or short-sightedness. Genetics play a part, but several studies show that more time outside reduces the risk of becoming short-sighted. Looking into the distance and exposure to outdoor light are considered key factors.

How to Be a Kindness Role Model for Your Kids

(Dale V. Atkins and Amanda R. Salzhauer, Greater Good Magazine)

In case you missed it amid all the tension and conflict of life, 13 November was World Kindness Day, where people were encouraged to focus of good deeds in their communities, a reminder of the positive force of kindness. The authors have taken this to a new level, with a book to help parents and grandparents encourage a child’s compassionate qualities. This essay extracted from the book offers suggestions on how to be a kindness role model for your child.

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