Duplicate or distribute
these activities. Students may work independently or cooperatively.
how much time you spend with members of your family. What activities
do you enjoy doing together? Which ones do you wish you had more time
for? Do you have any active family traditions? Many families in "Working
Family Values" have certain traditions or activities that they
do together without fail, such as having a family dinner. Are these
kinds of traditions important in family life? Work with three or four
other students. Have a panel discussion on what are the most important
things for a family to do together and why.
and the other panelists should each prepare to speak for five minutes
on this topic.
of you should explain why each activity you mention is important, and
how a family might adjust schedules and priorities to be able to do
might also comment on the cost (in terms of money and effort) of doing
each activity, and the cost of not doing it.
Will Durst says that the United States has the least generous maternity
benefits in the industrialized world. Why do you think this is? In Segment
5, Rosie Marchiano must decide whether to go back to work full-time
after her six-week maternity leave is up. Is this a typical amount of
time granted by an employer? Research law and policy about maternity
out what some other countries offer as standard maternity leave. Visit
an informative Web site such as that of the International Labor Organization:
to some adults to find out what kind of maternity leave is offered
at their companies.
individuals to learn what they think would be an appropriate amount
of time for maternity leave.
out whether any companies offer paternity leave for fathers. Should
are a number of Web sites dealing with Work
and Family, including paternity and maternity leave, on the Livelyhood
Web site (http://www.pbs.org/livelyhood/classroom/resources.html).
out these sites for more on the issues, and consider adoption benefits
an analysis of your results. You could also make a proposal for a parental
leave plan that you think would best suit both new parents and employers.
Cooking dinner can
seem like a daunting task after a full day at work. Such services as
Ideal Meals (Segment 6) prove that saving time on household activities
can increase a family’s time spent together, and maybe even their overall
health. Think about why services like this might help families. Consider
it worth paying for services like Ideal Meals that allow you to spend
more time with your family?
other services could help family members spend more of their time
together? Which of these already exist?
one such service in your community and research how it works.
much does it cost?
much time could it save?
it an affordable service?
might want to keep this in the context of a family’s average earnings
– Not everyone can afford extra services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics
offers a page with occupational employment and wage estimates for different
talk with some families including your own about ways they’ve come up
with to balance work and family. Ask what they think would be a great
time-saving business. Then create a plan for your own time-saving service
that could help families be healthier and happier. Outline your idea
and present it to the class.
Hours and Health
Rosa and Arturo Rivera together work an average of 130 hours a week.
By doing so, they have managed to buy a house, take care of all basic
needs such as food and clothing, and pay for private school for their
children. But working these kinds of hours can take a toll on health.
Are they paying a price by putting their health in jeopardy?
research to find out what effects—both positive and negative—spending
long hours working appears to have.
a list of pros and cons to the Riveras’ decision to work such long
hours. What do they gain? What do they lose? Does one side outweigh
a poster on which you summarize your findings, or write a creative
essay putting yourself in the shoes of someone in the Riveras’ family
trying to balance work and family while working long hours in order
to pay for education, a home, and day-to-day expenses.
that Rosa, Arturo and their children are a great team – all working
together to help the family get ahead, with the kids putting in long
hours afterschool at the store. If you work afterschool at a job, what
do you have time for? Does the lack of some of these things negatively
impact your health (physical and emotional) in the long run? What are
an extension, consider the idea of a "Living Wage" by visiting
Livelyhood’s Living Wage feature: http://www.pbs.org/livelyhood/ourtowns/sanjose.html
might a Living Wage affect yours or the Riveras’ work and family lives?
Full days at work can be exhausting
and stressful. When Will interviews kids at P.S. 169, they have some
humorous and insightful stories about how their parents show the effects
of work stress when they come home. What are some common—and some of
the uncommon—ways people react to workday pressures when they get home?
your classmates to find out how their parents deal with workplace
stress. List common and uncommon behaviors.
a group, assess whether or not each behavior identified is healthful
for the individual, and for the family.
your research to create a list of healthful, effective techniques for
dealing with the effects of work stress after returning home. A number
of Web sites deal with the serious side effects of workplace stress,
including the Center for Disease Control’s "Stress at Work"
After your research, write an article of advice to parents on this subject
and submit it to the op-ed page of your local newspaper. You could also
submit your findings to one of the "Work
and Family" Web sites listed on that section of the Livelyhood
Resource page (http://www.pbs.org/livelyhood/classroom/resources.html).