1. Start the day by walking or biking to school if possible
Fifty years ago it was the norm for children to walk or ride their bike to school. In more recent years it is much more common for children who live close to school to be driven by their parents. This may not seem like a big deal, but studies have been done to show how children who walk or bike to school have increased levels of concentration throughout the school day. The studies are beginning to see that not only is the activity of walking or riding bikes good for getting oxygen to the brain, but the actual act of navigating and remembering directions works parts of the brain in a way that improves concentration. Kids who mindlessly sit in the car while being driven to school are missing out on the opportunity to use that part of their brain. If it is possible, walking or biking to school is better.
2. Recess during the school day is a must
If you ask a group of 8 year olds what their favorite part about school is, chances are they will respond with “RECESS.” Interestingly enough recess is just as valuable as other academic subjects. Recess is not just a way for kids to let out their energy and have fun, it is also an opportunity to get oxygen flowing to the brain, which in turn will help improve their ability to learn. Without recess, learning subjects like math, science, reading and writing is less effective. Studies have shown that children perform better on tests after participating in recess or other physical activities.
3. Classroom activities that involve movement can improve learning
Children sitting down at their desks and listening to the teacher talk is the most traditional form of instruction but it might not be the most effective. Teachers are starting to realize that there is an improvement in retaining information when the body is doing some form of movement. Young children who are learning to count by 5s can stand up and do jumping jacks while counting “5, 10, 15, 20…” or they can recite their multiplication tables while marching in place. This seems simple, but more and more research is being done that supports the positive impact exercise has on memory and learning.
4. Rewards FIRST make homework time more effective!
When kids get home from school it seems logical to use playtime as a reward for completing homework. But since exercise improves learning and concentration then it makes more sense to encourage children to run around outside or play sports before engaging in homework assignments. If your child has a time with a tutor after school, then it is also better to schedule tutoring sessions after playtime.
5. In home tutoring sessions allow tutors to have the freedom to incorporate exercise with instruction to facilitate learning
The concept of incorporating exercise into the classroom is proving to be more and more effective, but it is not always easy to implement these practices in the classroom setting. Tutors have more flexibility with instruction methods and can easily incorporate exercise into tutoring sessions. Exercise during tutoring sessions will be more fun and engaging for your child, and it will also improve their learning capacity!