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 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 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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