How Important is High School Homework—Really?

Guest Post by Charles Fay of LoveandLogic.com

Today I’m featuring an important guest post by Dr. Charles Fay of LoveandLogic.com.

Charles’ book From Bad Grades to a Great Life! Unlocking the Mystery of Achievement for Your Child is one of the most highly recommended resources on this website. You can get wise parenting instruction from Charles sent to your email inbox every week by joining the free Love and Logic Insider’s Club at LoveandLogic.com.

By Dr. Charles Fay

Does almost every day feel like a blur? Do you often find yourself wishing you had five or six more hands so you could juggle everything that comes your way? Conscientious parents in today’s world face a dizzying array of competing demands upon their time and energy. When everything heading our way feels like an ultimate essential, it can be tough to determine where to place our priorities.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would we at Love and Logic rank the importance of homework, grades, sports, chores, and parent-child relationships? As you read, keep in mind that these rankings are based on empirical research as well as decades of experience with thousands of parents, educators, and other professionals… and of course my own subconscious biases. Ultimately, all of us have to decide what’s best for our unique children, families, and schools.

Homework

1——2——{3}——4——5——6——7——8——9——10

homework

Homework is important, but nearly 100 years of research has failed to give it a stellar grade. Much of the debate reflects researchers’ difficulty determining how much homework is done by kids… and how much is primarily done by their parents.

Provide a time and place for your children to complete their homework. Help them as long as it is fun for both of you… and as long as they are doing most of the work. Because homework only receives a three on the scale, let them be responsible for either getting it done or explaining to their teacher why they haven’t. Never fight with your kids over homework.

See: Trautwein, U., & Koller, O. (2003). The relationship between homework and achievement—still much of a mystery. Educational Psychology Review, 15, 115-145.

Grades

1——2——3——4——{5}——6——7——8——9——10

Grades are important but not as important as developing character and a passion for learning. Besides, too many kids begin to gravitate toward easier subjects and classes because they are more concerned with GPA rather than true intellectual growth.

Sports (and other healthy extracurricular activities)

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Achieve More While Doing LESS Part 1 (AUDIO)

We’ve all had those days. You have a mountain of work in front of you that you genuinely want to get done, but you find yourself procrastinating. Struggling to focus. Failing to get tasks completed.

What’s the problem? It’s probably not that your time management system has failed. It’s probably not that there “just aren’t enough hours in the day.” Instead, you’re far more likely to be suffering from a crisis of energy. You may have drained all your energy by running yourself too fast and too hard for too long, and you’re long overdue for replenishment.

The good news? It’s fixable.

Today’s episode is a must listen for both parents and students ages 12–26. Listen in the car on the way to soccer practice!debt-free college podcastJoin me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 7 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn how a simple kitchen timer helped a university student to invent a productivity method that is still in use around the world today.

You’ll also learn how to find an online quiz, designed by a medical doctor, that will tell you which of 7 types of rest you are likely low in. Correct your particular rest deficit, and you’ll be able to replenish energy and—as a result—significantly increase productivity and overall life and work satisfaction.

(10 min.)

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To Increase Academic Success, Ask Your Teen This, Now

Many teens believe deep down that academic success is only for “smart people.” For kids that got lucky at birth and were granted more brainpower than others.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Research by experts such as Stanford’s Carol Dweck tells us that the human brain is malleable and changeable throughout life, and that “dedication and hard work” actually increase brainpower.

This month, increase your teen’s potential for academic success by asking this one question:

academic success

“When your teacher explains something important, or gives you an assignment to do, where are you going to write that down?

Writing—not typing or tapping—most solidifies information taken in through the eyes and ears. (Learn here why laptops are not recommended for taking notes in class and keeping track of school assignments.)

To dive deep into this subject, see the article I’ve written entitled 5 Things to Ask a Kid Every September. This article will help you to play the role of “business consultant” for your kid—and get him to set himself up for greatest academic success.

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Reduce Study Time By Putting Your Laptop Away

Ask any student, “How’d you like to study less—while still getting the highest grades possible?” The response will be a resounding, “Are you kidding? Yes!” A student who figures out how to reduce study time while still achieving high grades is freed to pursue paid work, sports, volunteer positions, deep friendships, and other opportunities that will enrich her for a lifetime.

Today we’re looking at just one of the top ten ways students can reduce study time while still getting the highest grades possible.

Students, reduce study time by putting your laptop away.

Oh don’t worry—you can still use your laptop in the library, for doing research and for writing papers.

But when you walk into the college classroom, leave your laptop turned off, put away in your backpack.

6 reasons putting away your laptop during class will reduce study time:

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Tee Your Kids Up For Career Success (In Just 2 Min.)

You desperately want your kids to succeed academically in school and in college so they can have a shot at lifetime career success—but cajoling and hovering and pushing them is just so exhausting.

Here’s fantastic help that will take you under two minutes to implement.

career success

According to world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck (who’s done decades of high-level research on achievement and success), the difference between academic and career success and academic and career mediocrity boils down to whether the child has a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

Carol Dweck describes the difference between these two mindsets this way:

“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

—Carol Dweck

This is fantastic in and of itself, but here’s even better news.

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3 Reasons Every Teen Needs A Part-Time Job (AUDIO)

This episode also includes a hilarious idea for making your teen want to go out and get a part-time job!debt-free college podcastJoin me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 4 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn:

1. How working a part-time job increases the odds that a teen will be academically successful in college.

2. How the advice of author Meg Jay can help your kids leave behind fake, empty confidence and develop genuine professional confidence.

3. The most interesting points Jeffrey J. Selingo made about this subject in his acclaimed Washington Post article.

(10 min.)

You’d rather read than listen? OK you can do that here!

Do you worry that having a job might damage your kid’s GPA?

Read the helpful, reassuring article I’ve written on this subject here.

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Could Graduating High School With an AA Degree Hurt a Kid?

Today I’m writing on topic I never, ever thought I would. Could graduating high school with an AA degree in any way do a student more harm than good? My eyes are bugging out just writing that.

graduating high school with an AA degree

Could graduating high school with an AA degree HURT your kid?

For many moms and dads, one of their proudest parenting moments occurs when their 17-year-old walks across the stage at high school graduation with two years of college already completed. An entire two-year AA college degree already sewn up—entirely at state expense. An amazing, stunning achievement! All while dodging the pitfalls of AP classes—and still enjoying a rich, full high school experience.

Parents who get to experience this proud moment get tingly with excitement thinking of their child confidently diving into third year college courses at age 18, finishing college with a bachelor’s degree at age 20, slashing college bills by half, and having extra years of life before age 22 to tour Europe, volunteer, or start piling up real world work experience that rockets their careers far ahead of their peers. (Making them stellar candidates for grad school or medical school, I might add—if that ever becomes a goal.)

Other parents aren’t so sure.

“Might graduating high school with an AA degree keep my child out of the Ivy League?”

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Secret Weapon for Multiple Choice Tests

Which of these multiple choice testing strategies have you never heard of before? That’s your new secret weapon.

Share this article with a student you care about.

multiple choice

1. Before you start, note the structure of the test and plan your timing.

Here’s a nightmare you want to avoid. You turn to the final page of a test with two minutes left on the clock, only to find that the last question is a long-form essay question worth half the test points—and you’ve got zero time to write it.

If you know what’s coming, you can plan your time accordingly.

2. Read the question stem twice, then try to think of the answer yourself—without peeking at the choices.

The “stem” means the question itself, not including the answer choices.

Reading the question stem twice will help ensure that you won’t get answers wrong due to easily avoidable reading errors. And thinking up the correct answer in your head on your own—when possible—will help you instantly recognize the right answer when you see it.

3. Always read all the multiple choice answer choices.

Yes, the correct answer might jump right out at you, but carefully read the other choices as well. Sometimes you’ll realize that your original prediction actually needs to be reconsidered.

4. Don’t assume that the most familiar sounding answer choice is the right one.

Sometimes, the familiar sounding choice was planted there specifically to distract you from the right answer. When you’re choosing a correct answer, quietly ask yourself for some logical reasons why that answer is probably right.

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Top 9 Books I Most Love For Parents and Students

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can literally change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20-somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

(Are you worried that your teen won’t read a non-fiction book? See my helpful article on How to Get a Teen to Read a Non-Fiction Book.)

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can actually change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

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The Meme Every Kid Needs to See

Here it is—the meme every kid needs to see.

the meme every kid needs to see

Copy and forward this meme to the kids you love right now.

Tweet this meme out to the people who follow you!

When you’re a parent, it feels great to know you’re taking practical steps to set your kid up for successful college and career life.

For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free, get your copy of my book:

You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:

bit.ly/burlowski

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