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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Helping Your Child Succeed In School

           Are my children smart because of genetics?


       I received samples from Hugaroo and Superfood Crumble to facilitate this post.

  I have five kids and all them are above average students. Two of the three older children were high school valedictorians and the two youngest are in the gifted program. I also have a child attending the Merchant Marine Academy, this child got a 96% on his first physics test!  I was smart as a child so some may say my children are smart because of genetics. I think genetics may have a small part to play in kids succeeding in school but I really think it all has to do with how a parent helps them. This not only means starting early with teaching kids through play and reading to them but it also means things you can do throughout each school year. Here are some things that I do to help my child succeed in school.


1. Start the day with a healthy breakfast

 Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. If your child is hungry they cannot think or learn as they are focusing on their hunger. Think about when you may have been on a diet and all you could think of was food. Give your child a breakfast of healthy food like whole grains and protein. I wanted to be a nutritionist when I was younger, but a bike accident in college took that dream away. So I am the mom who serves healthy meals. My boys usually have fruit, milk and a peanut butter sandwich or oatmeal for breakfast. They may also have a yogurt parfait or chocolate protein pancakes. My boys love SuperFood Crumble on their yogurt. This gluten-free granola like crumble is loaded omegas and fuels their body with plenty of healthy energy. I love eating the chocolate dairy free crumble straight from the bag!



2. Get plenty of sleep

 Sleep is so important to learning. I know when I don't get enough sleep because of my allergies, my mind just can't concentrate. My boys get 10 hours a sleep a night but younger kids may need more and older kids less. My teen who is in the academy used to tell his girlfriend he could not stay up talking on the phone because he knew he needed his sleep.


3. Start homework right away

 We have a rule about homework in this house. When you get home from school, have a snack and then start your homework. My boys are still in learning mode so I know it helps them to concentrate better on homework. They also know once they get the homework done, they can then play. I think when homework is done later, like before bed, kids are too tired to think. My youngest has a hard time concentrating so he uses a cute soft weighted lap pad to help him focus on his homework. The Huggaroo Plush Puppy Weighted Lap Pad is weighted so it lowers anxiety and induces a sense of calm. This furry dog is so snuggly so it also makes a great friend for bedtime.

4. Read at bedtime

 My boys still love bedtime stories so we always make time before bed to read a couple of chapters from a book. I do the reading and I know this is great for their learning. Sometimes when this mom is too tired, we may read a book with pictures. My boys love reading and still read on their own after school for homework. Reading is great for kids and they are never too young for books. I started reading to my children when they were babies.

5. Give your kids quality time

  I know that me choosing to be a stay at home mom has something to do with my boys being so smart. Kids need/want time with their parents. That quality time could be as simple as just talking to them at dinner or going for a walk. I know staying at home is not a choice for everyone so if you are a working parent, cut back on outside activities and use that time with your child instead. My boys also have plenty of free play time as I believe it is great for their creativity. They don't do organized sports until middle school. They do participate in Cub Scouts with their dad as again it is great quality time.

6. Exercise

  Exercise is great for the brain and so is fresh air. So after homework is done, my boys go out to play. If I have not had a chance to run that day, they hop on their bikes and I get some running in. Going to the park is also another great way to get some exercise. When winter comes, my boys love running around the house and having Nerf gun fights.

7. Visit the library

  My boys love reading and are awesome readers. They both read above 2-grade levels. I know that visiting the library at least once a month has helped them learn. Books are always a good choice for learning. My boys check out chapter books, comic books, and books that teach them how to make things. The point is they are reading.

8. Limit video games and TV

 Have you ever watched your kid as they are watching TV? Mine look like zombies. TV is great for relaxing but too much is not good for anyone. I limit my boys to one hour of TV as they need to be using their time for play and school work. You won't find a video game system in my house as I feel they can be addicting for kids and I don't want to have to have those arguments about turning it off. On occasion, my boys do play on the computer but that is after homework, chores, and free play time. Then they each get 30 minutes on the computer. I feel that free play and reading are better options for learning.

9. Do math while shopping

 I am always teaching my children and look for opportunities for learning. When we are at the store, I have my boys figure out the lowest price of products. When things are on sale, I make them figure out the cost of the product after the sale. My boys love weighing the produce and I will have them figure out the cost. Cooking is also great for learning fractions and science. Let them make messes, outside of course, or in the bathroom. My boys love combining baking soda and vinegar when I clean the bathroom drains. They also love making slime and playdough. My youngest learns math when he helps me make his homemade toothpaste. Learning can be through fun.

10. Use big words

   I remember my mom always saying words that I did not understand or she would talk in bits of Spanish or German. I would always want to know what the words meant so my mom would explain them to me. So I am thankful for the internet so I can use big words around my boys and then turn to the internet to explain the word to them. These big words increase my boy's vocabulary and knowledge. When my boys need help with their homework, I never give them the answer. I make them look up the words or help them solve math programs. My son tried to use a calculator for a math problem the other day and I would not let him. I instead showed him how to set up the math problem so he was able to figure out the answer.

Do you have any tips to share with me about helping children learn?

I would love to hear them as I am always looking for new ways to teach my boys.


16 comments:

  1. I completely agree that starting the day out with a healthy breakfast can help a kid do well in school! I know when I was in school if I had a healthy breakfast I always felt better during the day.

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  2. These are some great tips. My kids need to eat breakfast more often, but we are not morning people. Normally I toss at bagel at the back of their heads. Maybe that's why my kids were never in the gifted program.

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    1. I am just a teacher by nature I guess. My boys would love catching a bagel but I don't throw well and would probably hurt them. I make them make their own breakfast as I am not a morning person either

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  3. It's so true that parents should help children succeed in school. No one can do it better than parents! I'm a teacher so I know something about that! :) If I ever have my own kids, I'll try to follow your tips to help them succeed in school. :)

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  4. These are great tips. Don't have kids now, but surely this will come in handy later in my life.

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  5. Genetics can only take you so far if you accompany it with great habits such as the ones that you mentioned. I'll make sure to remember these things so I can ask my nephew to do the same. Just like his mom, I'd like to give him all the advantages that I could. :)

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  6. We need to be better about being consistent and fostering good habits. Thanks for sharing all your great tips!

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  7. These are such great tips! I definitely need to make sure my boys do these things. Sleep is definitely important too!

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  8. This is really a great list! I definitely am a firm believer on a healthy breakfast and good sleep. And making sure homework is done early on a routine. My parents made sure I had those things and it was definitely a key to academic success.

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  9. Yes to all of this! We try to help my niece as much as possible. Teaching her also becomes are bonding time as she enjoys that our focus is one her. Healthy breakfast and enough sleep are really important.

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  10. Simple but effective tips. I should take a print out and stick to my refrigerator door.

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  11. Healthy breakfast and sufficient sleep I'd agree!

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  12. I too make my boys do their homework as soon as they get home from school. I may need to look into one of those lap pads for myself. So that I can stay calm and not get overwhelmed while working. Thanks for this post :)

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  13. this is so intriguing. I remember my parents would do math when we were out and about. It definitely helped me enjoy it more!

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  14. A healthy breakfast is by far a must.

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  15. I don't know if its true or not but I think genetics have to play a role. I was advanced as a child and my boys are too!

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