It’s time to re-train your child’s brain
Where did the summer go? Fall is just around the corner and “back to school” is on many parent’s minds. The challenge is getting school back on the mind of your “live-in” student. If you want your child to hit the ground running academically this school year, then it’s time to retrain their brain.
Schools around the globe provide a system of routines for maximizing learning that is specific to each student’s age and ability. Unfortunately, these routines have been breached with approximately 90-days of vacation and they need to be re-established prior to the first day of class. Here are 11 tips to help your student establish routines for a successful school year.
1. Re-set sleep patterns. Seven to ten days prior to the first day of school start the process of regular sleep. Wean the student off of going to bed late and sleeping late. Yes...you’ll probably cave to the “Mom, it’s my last weekend before school, why can’t I stay up late?” However, sleep patterns are crucial for reaching peak performance during the first class period and maintaining it until the bell rings to go home. Start this process sooner than later and help maintain it all year. Good luck on this one. Be bold. Be consistent.
2. Re-set eating habits. Once school begins the eating patterns of the student need to be set so that they can maintain a high level of energy throughout the day. The routines of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and after-school snack prior to homework need to be implemented. In fact, the entire nutrition of the student needs to be well thought out 7-10 days before school begins. Someone other than the student needs to be the chief, family nutritionist.
3. Exercise the brain. Just like NFL conditioning and exhibition games that prepare each football player for the upcoming season, your student needs to warm up and begin to hone the basics of math, reading and writing prior to the school year. To allow your brain to stagnate for three months without reading is a travesty for super-learning and learning itself. Is it too late? It is what it is. But begin now to encourage reading and writing at least 7-10 days prior to the first day of school. If school textbooks for the upcoming year are available, start there with the first several chapters. In addition, math skills can easily erode over the summer. Have your student review the previous year’s math basics before they go to the next level.
4. Set academic goals. Establishing well-defined goals is one of the hallmarks of a champion. Each student needs these academic goals with corresponding strategies and tactics for reaching them. Set goals for each class and hold your student accountable.
5. Identify priorities. Football games, dances, playing video games, watching television, social media, homework, sports, extracurricular participation and friends are all part of each school year. Does academics top the list of priorities? When is homework to be accomplished? Before dinner? After school? After dinner? When can I watch my favorite TV shows? This 90-minute to 120-minute homework routine needs to be placed in your student’s schedule before the school year. Sunday night is a great night to prepare for the upcoming school week. This is a routine they can take into their adult life.
6. Social media. This activity gets its own mention. I believe Smart phones aren’t always smart. This device is your student’s pipeline to the rest of the world with emphasis on their peer group. Self-discipline and concentration don’t a