Is it OK for my kid to chat, text, and FaceTime while he's doing homework?

A little bit of socializing during homework is OK so long as it's productive and instructive. In fact, lots of teachers assign projects for students to work on as a team using collaborative tools such as Google Docs, Collaborize Classroom, and Edmodo. The teamwork skills kids build as they work together virtually are as important as the subject they're learning. You can reinforce the teamwork lesson by talking to your kid about how it feels to work as a team, including what you give up and what you gain. Learn more about using media to teach teamwork skills.

Keep an eye on things to make sure the chatting, texting, and FaceTime are actually for school. And you might consider making homework "screen-free time." Kids tend to overestimate their ability to multitask, but studies show that multitasking can make it harder to learn. Teamwork has its place and may in fact be a part of an assignment, but kids also need to work independently without distractions.

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