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Homework, Technology and Teens, Oh My!

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A homework time vignette: 

Mom (through the bedroom door): "Where is your cell phone and itouch?"

Tween or teen: "I have them right here. I need to check my Facebook to see if Matty got back to me about our group project and Sean is texting me about math."

Mom:  "I want you to put your cell phone and itouch downstairs while doing your homework -- so you can focus."

Tween or teen:"Mom, it's fine. I can handle it. I'll get my homework done."


... Sound familiar? Variations of this exchange have taken different forms in my house. Homework and technology are a constant battle.

A popular topic of conversation amongst teen parents is how their teens do their homework while texting their friends, listening to music, and checking Facebook. Some parents have resigned to this homework approach. As the parenting saying goes: You have to pick your battles.  Well this is one battle I have picked. But I have to admit, there have been times that I have questioned my resolve. As the video below points out, teens are very good at multi-tasking.  Maybe this is just is just the way of the new technology age? My kids do get their homework done.  But then I wonder... they are getting it done, but are they getting it done as well as they could be? Also, it is our jobs as parents to help our children develop good study habits and time management skills.  After all, high school study skills matter, right? 

Then I came across the video below. Yep, this is the one my kids wished I hadn't found. It confirms what we all suspect: that it's not efficient to multi-task while doing homework.  So watch the video -- it offers some interesting information about how the brain works relative to multi-tasking and higher order thinking. Bet you'll be joining the No Technology during Homework police brigade. 


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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?