The 3 New “R”s Of Back To School
It’s that time of year again, summer vacation has flown by once again, and it is time for your child to get back to Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmetic . However those are the old 3 “Rs.” Not that the basics, are less important, but there is new research that suggests the new “Rs” of back to school should be Routine, Ritual, and Rest. That will be today’s blog subject.
Why are routine, ritual, and rest so important? Well these are the fundamentals of a top performing students versus ones that are barely getting by. In order for your student to improve at school, you should make sure each of these “R”s is part of their everyday life.
Let’s start with routine. When your child wakes up in the morning, it is a great idea, that you make sure they get into a healthy routine throughout the day. You want to make sure your child spends the first 90 minutes taking care of them self.
You need to understand a few things that happen at night. Your child during the night, has gotten dehydrated. The body naturally perspires, while at rest, and it is important that your child rehydrates in the morning.
However this does not happen in most cases, and your child will start school off without the proper amount of water in their system. This leads to less blood flow as I have pointed out in past articles. The brain needs oxygen transferred to it, in order to do its job. If your child’s blood is too dense because of lack of hydration then this oxygen will not reach the brain as fast. This causes sluggishness in thought, and may make your child drift off, or pay less attention during class time and studies.
This is why you should make sure your child starts the day with a half liter of water as part of their regular routine. Also you should make sure your child is drinking throughout the day, as part of their routine.
Another routine that is important is a proper breakfast. Many children decide to skip or skimp on breakfast. Those children that do eat breakfast often have a bowl of sugary cereal. This gives them a quick burst of energy, but by the time your child gets to school, that energy is running out.
They are better of having fresh fruits, nuts, and natural grain cereals. These will give them a long lasting evenly distributed energy, that will allow them to focus in their classes.
I also, unlike some people, think that eggs are a great source of protein and energy. The brain it self contains a good deal of cholesterol, used in its functioning. Research actually shows that the body needs a certain amount of cholesterol for the brain to produce it’s vital electrical signals. Yes too much cholesterol is not a good idea, for anyone with heavy deposits in their blood, but it has been shown that a certain amount of cholesterol is necessary as part of your child’s diet, and eggs a few times a week can provide this.
Now for rituals. The first thing many students want to do in the morning is turn on those electronic devices. Many a child wakes up and flips on the TV, or their smart phone.
It is a better ritual that your child does not do this. It has been shown that the over stimulation of electronics in the morning, can lead to poorer performance in your child’s education. These devices may be contributing to the attention deficit that many children experience. There is actual proof that the brain waves change when using these electronic devices, in a similar way to drugs and alcohol.
Yes they can become addicted to the dopamine this poor routine causes. The over stimulation, of these devices leads to boredom, and even depression in many students during school hours. Please try to limit your child’s interaction with these devices in the morning.
A better ritual would be for your child to wake up and take a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. If you go on these walks with your child, you will find it a great bonding time.
You will be able to discuss with your child, which subjects they are enjoying, and which they are struggling in. You will also be able to talk about your child’s goals for the school day. If you as the parent, make this a ritual, it will help build your child’s confidence in their education. also you will be able to get them help in any subject they might be struggling with.
It only takes a 10-15 minute walk, every morning. It might even improve your relationship with your child, as the research suggests. Much better for them than starting the day playing Grand Theft Auto.
Finally you need to consider the amount of rest that your child is getting. The recommended amount of sleep for middle school, and high school students is 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night. A government report came out this week suggesting that students would be better of starting the school day later. I truly hope that school systems will start taking this suggestion to heart, by not starting school until 8:30 AM.
It is natural for a teen to want to start staying up later, because of changes that are going on in their system. This is a major reason why this study suggested only 17% of children get enough rest.
The area of the brain, where new memories are made is called the Amygdala. Research has shown that this area transfers newly learned information, into long term memory during the sleep process. If your child lacks sleep, then this process does not fully take place, and your child is literally wasting their study time. This is why a student that is sleep deprived, also does poorly on standardized tests.
Don’t let this happen to your child. Have them put the electronic devices out of the room at night. Just the light alone from these devices can keep your child from getting a good nights rest.
While sleeping, your child’s room should be cool and dark. This ensures that their brain is going through its proper sleep cycle, and will help your child do better in school.
Speaking of doing better in school, may I suggest to you, that having a proven routine of studying, will make a huge difference in you child’s grades. The RockUrBrain—Fun Memory Game, when used as part of your child’s routine, is set up to accomplish this, quickly and easily. Much better than the rote system that most students use.
The good news is that you can get a free E-copy of the book I wrote, “Don’t Rack Your Brain, RockUrBrain—Fun Memory Game,” by going to: www.RockUrBrain.com/free .
Good luck in the new school year!
Jeffrey Grinel, founder