On Your Marks, Get Set, School!

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Ready, Set, Go! Get Ready for the School Start

The summer holidays are sadly coming to an end. The adventurous days with family and friends, the long summer evenings outdoors and the enjoyable sleep in the next morning have made the last few weeks really great. So that nothing stands in the way of a successful re-entry into the school life, we have some tips for you.

Organisation, Organisation, Organisation!

Pencils sharpened, coloured pencils, ruler and protractor are ready, the first day of school is here! A new classroom, schoolbooks and unknown faces – a new school year always brings some changes and some challenges. The best way to support your child is to ensure that everything is prepared and organised to allow the first days to run as smoothly as possible.

Step one: Make sure that they have the necessary school supplies.

Step two: Clarify when any extracurricular activities take place and hang up the new timetable in a visible place in your home.

In short: ensure an orderly deceleration of everyday life. So your child can fully concentrate on their new school environment and have a glittering start after the summer holidays.

When Eyelids Grow Heavy

You can be as organised as you want but if your son or daughter does not wake up on a morning for school, you have a problem! It is hard to drag your child to school when they can barely keep their eyes open. According to studies, primary school children and adolescent teenagers need 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep per night. In practice, this is only achieved in a third of the cases. Many children have a busy program after-school whether it be studying late into the night, meeting with their friends, or simply listening to music or spending time on their devices instead of sleeping. The importance of sleep is often unrecognised by the child and even their parents, but we all need rest and teenagers even more so!

Some schools have postponed the morning school start, taking the children into consideration. Partly, homework is completely abandoned so as not to burden the learners even further after school. These are good approaches, but they are not practiced at every school. If your school is not opening later than usual you should become active as a parent and help your child reach the optimal sleep target. Especially after long holidays in which the bedtime is handled rather loosely, this conversion can be a bit difficult. So try sending them to bed at least 9 and a half hours before they need to get up. So there is still some time left before falling asleep and still enough hours of sleep for an energetic day.

To Keep Moving

Even if the school life takes a lot of time, it is still very important to encourage your child to be active after school. After a long day of sitting at a school desk they need to balance it out with some exercise. This also helps keep a healthy balance of body and mind and should help your child sleep well at night. Learn more about outdoor exercise and the benefits it brings to the brain and your child’s performance in our earlier blog entry, The Wonders of  Nature.

Diet Can Influence School Performance

When the stomach growls, it’s no fun. Especially when your at your school desk. The unpleasant sense of emptiness distracts from what is really important and the ability to concentrate is greatly reduced. It is particularly important for adolescents to eat a balanced diet and keep sugar levels on a steady level. A high-fibre breakfast with wholegrain bread, oatmeal, quark or egg helps. Fibre saturates are long-lasting and provide the body with the necessary energy for several hours. As a snack, we recommend a small hummus dip, fresh fruit or a roll, which may also be sweet. The idea behind it is that your child can replenish themselves giving them just enough of a boost to get them through to lunchtime. If your child barely gets a bite down at the breakfast table, then try a snack bar with the balanced breakfast.

Creating a balanced diet for children with ADHD or autism can be somewhat more challenging. Recent studies have shown that the two proteins casein and gluten can have a negative impact on your performance and concentration. Gluten can be found in the seeds of many types of grains, such as wheat, rye, barley, spelled or couscous. So it can be difficult to avoid them, but it does not mean that your child has to give up their favourite foods altogether, but instead try to reduce consumption and avoid as much as possible before school.

Casein, on the other hand, is the protein in the milk that is processed into cheese. It is mainly part of soft and hard cheese, as well as cottage cheese. The potential negative effects of casein on your child should not be confused with lactose intolerance, as lactose intolerance has no direct effect on the concentration ability of those affected.

So if your child is affected by ADHD or autism, try adjusting their diet accordingly. You will quickly notice whether the change will bring the desired effect or not. It is worth a try for sure.

 

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