Monday, July 29, 2013

Common sense on sleep can yield big results in the classroom

-->Students want to learn.  There isn’t a soul out there that starts the year with a desire to fall behind, to perform at an average level or fail.  Parents can go a long way in helping their kids by doing just a couple things, and they don’t require you to know anything about Algebra or writing bibliographies.  It just involves making sure they get to bed, turn off the electronics at times and get up in the morning.

Sleep goes a long way towards assuring a student has a good day at school.  Many students drag themselves into school tired, for various reasons, and spend the day watching the clock, unfocused and inattentive.  When asked many will indicate they were up watching TV, on the Internet (or phones); while some have jobs and work late, are up studying or have a late school activity.  The first reason is unacceptable, while the others need careful watching and management.

Treat all electronics as a privilege not a right to have and you dictate when they are acceptable to be turned on.  Having to fall asleep with the TV on should not be an option, and if a student claims they MUST have it on or they CAN’T get to sleep before a certain time, it’s time to adjust things.  Eight hours of sleep is recommended, while six is a minimum.  It’s pretty easy to adjust bed and waking up times to fit these hours into a busy teen’s schedule. 

The other issue is some leave their cell phone on and receive and send multiple texts into the wee hours of the night.  Harmless or not they’re in bed but they are not sleeping.  Cell phones can be turned off and left in a spot that isn’t beside their bed where the temptation to use them can be strong.  Buy them an alarm clock if they insist they have to use their phone to wake up and are caught using their phone at night when they should be asleep.

Lastly, have a time when they turn off all electronics to study, do homework, or simply review the upcoming day and get things prepared.  To read and comprehend the mind cannot process right with most types of music playing.  Music is fine if they are creating things (videos, some types of writing and reviewing) but the first couple times they read something or study facts, having a calm mind is essential.  And put the phone away so the temptation to text or do other things is minimal.

Good luck in the upcoming school year!

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