Best of the Web: Why Homework Matters, Helping Boys Enjoy Reading, and the Kids Beating Stress with a Journal

Why homework is worth the hassle, encouraging boys to read, and how journals can help stressed kids.

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

Homework: is it worth the hassle?

(Helen Silvester, The Guardian)

One of the great debates of education is whether students should be given homework. The article notes that increasingly, there’s a divide between supporters and those who suggest the time would be better spent with family and developing relationships. The author, a neuroscientist and head of science at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School, comes down in support of homework, making the case for revising what’s learned in the classroom and being able to use those skills in a variety of situations.

Enjoyment of reading, not mechanics of reading, can improve literacy for boys

(Laura Scholes, The Conversation)

The latest NAPLAN results for Year 3 reading show that once again, boys are underachieving compared to girls. The author argues that ‘teaching for the test’ can compound negative attitudes towards reading by boys. The focus needs to change from teaching reading to helping boys become successful and satisfied readers. The author draws on her own research that demonstrates a correlation between NAPLAN reading scores, and reading frequency and enjoyment.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes in the Toy Box

(Perri Klass, The New York Times)

Many parents have actively tried to break down gender stereotypes when it comes to toys for their children: trucks for girls, dolls for boys, or gender-neutral choices. It may be a matter of principle, but it might also have long-term consequences as children grow into adults. This article explores research that indicates the toys children play with can influence the skills they learn and the possibilities they see for themselves.

If your child is showing signs of stress or anxiety, this may help

(Sarah Hosseini, The Washington Post)

Those who keep a journal know that it can be a cathartic experience, a way of making sense of the maelstrom of daily life. For children, it can be an important tool to help them navigate the stresses they face. While having a journal alone is not a substitute for mental health treatment, it can help, giving kids a sense of ownership and control over their emotions.

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