Are you knee deep in back-to-school preparation yet? Thinking about getting those backpacks ready and lunch boxes backed? It can be stressful to get kids ready for school and get back in the school year groove, especially when you want summer break to last just a little bit longer. So how do you get them back in the groove and ready to hit the books?
Whether we like it or not, it’s that time of year again. Here are several ways to get kids ready for school and on the right path early in the school year.
15 Ways to Get Kids Ready for School
Get them moving.
Exercise boosts kids’ brain development and their academic prowess. In fact, a panel of experts from across the globe found that even a single session of physical activity can have immediate positive effects on brain function, intellect, and academic performance. Focusing more on physical fitness and physical education in school could result not just in healthier and happier children, but smarter children too.
Put them on the team.
Team sports provide not just the physical activity, but discipline as well. Student athletes have better study habits and spend less time on sedentary leisure activities than non-athlete students.
Have them put their cell phones and devices down.
Nighttime instant messaging negatively affects sleep, health and school performance. Students who turned off their devices perform significantly better in school than those who stay up late and text message their friends. Students with higher capacity for storing memories are better able to ignore distractions and stay focused on their tasks.
Get them interested.
Curiosity can be as important as intelligence in determining how students will perform in school. Studies show that when curiosity is stimulated, there is increased activity going on in the brain. So get kids ready for school by piquing their curiosity, because more curious kids may have an easier time with learning.
Get on a regular sleep schedule.
It has long been known that a good night’s sleep is associated with better academic performance. On the reverse side, there is also a relationship between sleep problems and poor academic performance. Building good sleep habits is important. Kids who sleep more efficiently tend to have higher academic performance.
Feel like your kids are already doomed? Don’t worry. There’s still time to get on the right track. As sleep habits improve, so does academic performance.
Give them an instrument.
That screeching violin may be painful to your ears, but it can be helping your child’s brain. Children who take music lessons show improved cognitive skills and memory compared to children who do not receive musical training.
Get a check-up.
Did you know that having a healthy heart and lungs may be one of the most important factors for making good grades? There are many physical factors that can impeded learning, so keep up with those regular check-ups. For example, even an unidentified minimal hearing loss can play a huge role in the educational process.
Asthma symptoms can also have a negative effect on sleep quality and therefore academic performance. And if your child suffers from sleep apnea, this is something to watch closely. Sleep apnea is linked to lower academic grades and behavioral concerns
Keep an eye on their friends.
As they say, you are the people with whom you surround yourself. Students tend to perform better with high-performers among their friends, because some people are capable of inspiring others to try harder. Encourage them to seek out friends with big goals, discipline, and determination.
Build their confidence.
One study found that self-inspiration, such as repeating the phrase, ‘I can do better,’ can make someone perform better at a given task. Positive self-talk and self-imagery can lead to better outcomes, so encourage them to want it for themselves.
Eat a healthy diet.
Children with healthy diets perform better in school. It’s really as simple as that. Studies show that students who eat more fruits and vegetables and have less caloric intake from fat do substantially better on literacy tests. On the flip side, fast-food consumption is linked to lower grades. Diets high in fat and sugar have been shown to impede memory and ability to learn. And a high-fat diet in adolescence appears to have long-lasting effects on learning and memory into adulthood.
Eating a healthy dinner that includes fish can improve learning too. Children’s blood levels Studies have found that levels of Omega-3 DHA fatty acids significantly predict how well children are able to concentrate and learn. Vitamin-D has also been linked to improved activity in the brain, and not surprisingly, Vitamin-D is found in many of the same foods as Omega-3’s, including cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.
Don’t skip breakfast.
Eating a nutritious breakfast can yield huge gains in academic achievement. It’s hard to focus on an empty stomach.
Breakfast is also another time of day when vitamin-D is generally consumed. Vitamin-D consumption leads to increased activity in the brain, and has positive association between good memory and adequate vitamin-D levels. Vitamin-D is often found in fortified dairy, soymilk, and breakfast cereals, which is perfect for a child’s developing brain.
Talk it up.
Got a chatterbox in the house? Don’t let it stop! Spending just 10 minutes talking to another person can help improve memory and performance on tests. Social interaction can improve cognitive functioning. If that’s not a solid reason to get off the texts and have an actual face-to-face conversation, I don’t know what is!!
Invigorate their senses.
Peppermint essential oil’s scent can stimulate the senses, while also inspiring a sense of peace. Many essential oil users like to diffuse it after school when their children sit down to do homework and study for tests. Roman chamomile has a warm, sweet scent that can be relaxing and calming. Its gentleness makes it especially valuable for restless children.
Drawing pictures of information that needs to be remembered is a strong and reliable strategy for enhancing memory. If you are one of those parents whose kids give you no information about their day at school, hand them a pencil and paper!
The bottom line is that students perform better in school when their parents are actively involved in their education. A child whose parents put more effort into his or her education does better at school.
And 1 Way to Get YOU Ready for School
Now that we’ve discussed ways to get kids ready for school, how do YOU get ready for school? Around here we do it with PayPal. We use PayPal to pay for our school association membership, and to purchase class supplies.
We can take advantage of PayPal’s exclusive offers with select retailers that can make your back-to-school shopping more affordable too. Visit https://paypal.com/backtoschool for offers that will help save money on school supplies! They also have a PayPal app that you can download via iOS, Android or Windows.
There’s an amazing in-app donation feature to the PayPal Giving Fund, where 100% of proceeds go to selected partnering charity organizations, such as Let Girls Learn, YMCA, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. During the month of August, donations made through the PayPal Giving Fund will receive a 1% match from PayPal. (Every bit helps, right?) To learn more about the PayPal Giving Fund and how to donate, go to: https://paypal.com/fundraiser.
Also, when you shop with PayPal Credit, you can break your payments up over time using Easy Payments with PayPal Credit, or receive more time to pay with special financing offers. And with PayPal One Touch, your settings can be adjusted so you don’t have to type in credit card information or re-enter usernames and passwords on every app or website.
Lets get kids ready for school by starting off on the right foot this year! So, what’s in your backpack?
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.