By now, your children have been in school for about 6 weeks. How are things going? It is a great time to re-evaluate your child's habits and needs. For this post I decided to review some helpful tips to encourage a more successful school year.
1. By now, you should be in a pretty good routine and schedule. Here are a few things to remember and evaluate when it comes to schedules.
- How much sleep is your child getting each night? From the ages of 6 - 12, children need 10 - 11 hours of sleep. Sleep plays a very key role in your child's education. Think about what time your child needs to get up and to get ready WITHOUT having to rush. Work backwards 11 hours to determine what time he/she should be asleep. From that time add a half hour of wind down time to insure that he/she is ready when it is time for bed.
- Get rid of TV's. Okay I am going out on a limb here and against all popular belief! Get the t.v.s out of your children's room and do not allow them to watch it right before bed time (within 30 minutes). Instead encourage a more relaxing activity such as reading together.
- Are you making homework time a priority? Have you set aside a time and quiet place for you child to do his / her homework. If not, I would highly encourage you to set a time (let's say from 4:00 to 5:30 to work on homework, study and read) and set a quiet place to work. I would recommend the dining room table where you can be easily accessible if questions arise and also so that you can occasionally check on the progress.
- For younger students, go over homework together. Check for completeness and whether it is done correctly.
- Are you spending a little bit of time every night studying? As I have mentioned before in previous posts, spending even just 15 minutes a night studying improves understanding and helps relieve test taking stress! No CRAMMING!
2. Besides schedules, how about your child's nutritional needs?
- Are you making breakfast a priority? All children NEED breakfast. Studies have shown how eating breakfast increases test scores. Breakfasts could include an hard boiled egg with a banana, or a whole grain muffin with milk or a breakfast burrito with a side of fruit. All of these breakfasts can be made ahead of time and reheated in the morning. Notice I didn't mention cereal. If cereal is your child's favorite, please make sure it isn't a sugary one. Although, a sugary one is better than no breakfast, the sugar high does run out before lunch.
- Speaking of lunch? A low fat lunch packed with fresh fruits/veggies, lean meats and whole grains will allow your child's blood sugar to remain constant through the end of the day. Most kids blood sugars drop right after the lunch recess, making it very difficult to learn during those last couple of hours of school.
3. Have your child prepare his book bag the night before. If organization is an issue, come up with a list together that he can check off every night to make sure he has everything for the following day. More organizational tips to come in future posts!
4. Eat dinner together EVERY night. The best part is, that research has shown, it ISN'T what you make, it is the time together that makes the difference. Although a healthy, home cooked meal is ideal, take out or delivery pizza eaten as a family, every night has the same benefits.
5. Do you know all the names of your child's teachers? And do you ask/talk about them on a regular basis? This communicates to your child that his/her education is very important to you. In turn they will live up to the standard of school important to them also.
These are just a few things to consider. I will be doing a similar post in a few weeks with some more items to evaluate. How are you and your kids doing so far? Are their areas that could be improved upon? Do you have a specific routine that works well for you and your family? I would love to hear about it!
For a complete list of "Ask the Teacher" posts, click HERE
Find my Ask the Teacher Tuesdays Helpful? - Grab my Button - it is in the right sidebar.