Back to School Checklist

As the kids enjoy their remaining time off, you can avoid back-to-school madness by mobilizing now. Here, our Facebook fans share a peek at their late-summer checklists.

See More

Get Involved in Your Child's Education

Getting involved in your children's education is a proven way to improve their school performance -- here's how.

See More

Which Type of Doctor’s Office Should You Visit?

Whether you've sprained an ankle on vacation or just don't want to wait three weeks for a doctor's appointment, you now have more health care options than ever. A variety of clinics, offering a wide range of services from stitches to wellness exams, are popping up in neighborhoods near you.

See More

Your Top Health Insurance Challenges–Solved!

Trying to understand health insurance, knowing how to appeal a health insurance claim, and trying to organize insurance paperwork is tough. In fact, we surveyed over 1,000 women who told us just how difficult it is to understand health insurance. We culled your biggest challenges and got advice from leading health insurance experts.

See More

10 Habits for a Healthy Life

Seems like a new study comes out everyday telling us what to eat, drink do -- it's enough to make your head spin. Deep breaths. Here's what experts say has true staying power, and how to easily follow their insights.

See More

12 Free and Fun Family Activities

Get ready for summer fun on the cheap with these 12 deals and steals for the family.

See More

Improve Your Home's Air Quality

You know that air pollution is bad for the planet. But what's happening to the air inside your home?

See More
Popular in Health & Family

The Real Meaning of Homework

It's not just about grades; here's the lowdown.

Good study habits have lifelong benefits.

The obvious aim of assigning homework is to get your child to practice and strengthen academic skills. By devoting the proper time to homework, your child stands a much better chance of making good grades.

But homework has other important values. Homework can and should be a character-building experience. Handled properly by teachers and parents, homework helps a child develop emotional and behavioral skills needed in the adult world.

Homework's Hidden Values

1. Responsibility: Homework is the child's responsibility. If you get too involved, you set the process on its head.

2. Independence: Because it's the first time someone other than a parent assigns frequent tasks to the child, homework breaks new ground. How this golden opportunity is managed will either enhance or obstruct your child's progress toward self-direction.

3. Perseverance: There's no point to a child's doing homework if every time the child becomes frustrated, you step right in and make it all better. It's OK to let your child struggle a bit with a problem.

4. Time management: Children need to be told when to finish their homework, not when to start it. That way, instead of learning to waste time, the child learns to manage it.

5. Initiative: Like a muscle, the ability to be a self-starter strengthens with exercise. That's why it's essential that the child decide when it's time to begin each homework assignment.

6. Self-reliance: Homework can affirm a child's feeling of competency. Mismanaged, it deflates that feeling. Unfortunately, there is no in-between.

7. Resourcefulness: The ability to be inventive in the face of problems is the very stuff of being human. Homework provides a wonderful setting for your child to practice such cleverness.

If you don't believe those are important lessons, consider an exercise done at a recent seminar. An audience of several hundred teachers was asked a series of questions:

"How many of you use algebra on a regular basis?" Three hands went up. "Physics?" Two hands. "How many refer to your world history regularly?" Twenty hands -- still only 10 percent. "Now, how many of you need to accept difficult responsibilities on a daily basis?" All hands up. "How many of you must persevere in the face of frustration every single day of your lives?" All the hands stayed in the air. "Manage your time properly?" Still no hands went down.

The point, and the teachers in the audience that day proved it, was that the factual material we learn in school is not the most valuable lesson being learned. The truly worthwhile learning happens "behind the scenes." This, not grades, is the stuff of future success.


Loading... Please wait...