School Success Tips

Elementary School Age Children Need 10 Hours of Sleep a Night!

Does your child get 10 hours a sleep a night? On average elementary
school children need ten hours of uninterrupted sleep a night to function at their best.
Children who get less than 10 hours of sleep a night are more likely to perform
below their academic ability at school. They also more likely to have problems
at school that include being inattentive, unable to focus, disruptive, or hyperactive.

Eating Breakfast is Important for Academic Success

Another key to success at school is eating breakfast in the morning.
Breakfast means "break the fast" because most of us go through the night without
eating which is the same as fasting. So it is very important to fuel up our bodies
and eat breakfast. Research shows that skipping breakfast can lead to weigh
t gain due to overeating later in the day. Research has also shown that children
that eat a healthy breakfast tend to have higher test scores than children that skip breakfast.

Does Your Child Have Test Anxiety?

Does your child get anxious before a test? Being nervous before
a test can result in a lower test scores because it is difficult to think clearly
when we are nervous.The way to "turn off" nervousness is slow, deep breaths.
Teach your child to do this any time they are nervous. Also encourage them to
imagine themselves successfully taking the test in a calm manner.
This can be done before falling asleep.

Successful test takers read all the directions and do all the questions
they know first. They then go back and do the harder questions. When they
finish the test, they use time left over to go back and check their answers but they only
change the answers that they are sure were wrong. Lastly, start studying for tests a few days
before the test not just the night before the test.

Helping Children with Grief

One of the things that can affect a child's behavior and academic performance
at school is grief. Sometimes it may look like a child who has experienced some type of
major loss is not grieving at all. Children do grieve but often grieve differently from adults.
For example, some of the ways a child grieves can be by acting out, being afraid to go to
school, having sleep problems, showing baby-like behavior, becoming a victim of a bully,
showing aggressive behaviors, becoming a loner, developing unusual eating habits, and
exhibiting behavior that looks like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.)
Please notify your child's teacher or the school counselor, if your child has experienced
loss of a close family member, life threatening illness of a close family member, or recent
divorce/separation within the past year or two. This will information will help your student's
teacher.

Friendship Skills

Is your child having trouble making friends at school? You can help your
child by encouraging her/him to look for another student who is alone on the playground.
It easiest to make a new friend by looking for someone who is alone. Encourage your
child to go up to the student that is alone and say "Do you want to play?" If the child says "yes,"
have your child suggest what to play. If the other student doesn't like the suggestion,
have your child say "What would you like to play?" You and your child can practice
this by role playing with stuffed animals. Also practice what to do if the other child says
"I don't want to play with you?" by having your child say in response "Okay, maybe another
day we can play" and walk away. Tell them not to take it personally because the child
just might want to be alone that day.

Monitor What Your Children Watch

Some elementary school children can confuse reality and fantasy
especially when watching movies and television. Some children believe what
they watch in a movie or on television are real because elementary children
are capable of magical thinking where the unreal seems real. For this reason,
the movie can be troubling for your children but they might not tell you. Also children
who are aggressive can become more aggressive after watching violent movies or
playing violent video games. Children also may imitate what they see on TV or a
movie without understanding the behavior is inappropriate for their age.