The strain on parents when it comes to transition is usually moving from the summer holidays back into school.
However, over the past year, it has been harder than usual. Many parents have opted to not send their children to school at all due to Covid-19 concerns, whether they are shielding or simply do not feel that schools are safe enough.
Sooner or later, normality (though a slightly different version of it) will return, so here we offer some advice on how to support your children to get back into learning mode.
Starting your school year routines early will help kids get off to a positive start. You can start now by adding these healthy habits to keep your children going all year long. Ultimately, you’ll help your kids be their best so they can benefit from all their school has to offer.
Set a regular bedtime and stick to it
We all know that sleep is important, but it’s so easy to let it slide. Sticking to a regular bedtime is an imperative part of your child’s daily routine. The lack of sleep puts kids’ bodies under stress and compromises their ability to concentrate. Children ages three to five should get 11 -13 hours of sleep per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Kids ages five to twelve should get about 10 – 12 hours of sleep per night. Anything less could affect their mental and physical development, studies suggest.
Serve a good breakfast
Focus on high fibre, protein-packed breakfast foods, such as hard-boiled eggs, natural yoghurt and fruit or whole-wheat toast. Greek yogurt and jam or some sliced turkey and cheese are also excellent choices.
Ease away from an open-door refrigerator policy
Start by setting specific meal and snack times. Remember, once your children return to school, their stomach gets put on a schedule too. Healthier eating habits will create better learners because a well-fed child can focus more clearly in the classroom.
Make time to move
Exercise creates endorphins. These “feel good hormones” can help kids feel upbeat and more confident. Walk the dog together after breakfast or do some morning stretches. Help encourage playtime and activities at your child’s school. Even short exercise breaks can help kids stay more focused and attentive. Short bursts of exercise in the classroom bumped up children’s attention spans by 8% on average and by 20% among the least attentive kids, in a study by researchers at East Carolina University.
Start reading everyday
One of the simplest (and most fun) ways to keep the brain active all summer and avoid losing learning momentum is by reading every day. Whether it’s comic books, magazines, chapter books or novels, reading every day helps to maintain active learning and helps keep young minds prepared for back-to-school.Sure, your children are the ones soon heading off to school but returning to school is an adjustment for everyone in the family. It’s important to be well organised and fired up for a successful beginning. While you still have plenty of time (well… maybe!), learn what you can to help make your family’s back-to-school transition a smooth one.