Lack of sleep can cause all sorts of problems in kids, including poor attention, behavior problems, academic difficulties, irritability and weight gain.
But even small amounts of additional sleep can have big impacts.
One study found that only 20 additional minutes of sleep can improve kids’ grades.
Most of us know that developing good habits (and hopefully a love of reading) is critical to doing well at school.
An important part of how young kids’ minds develop is through free, self directed play. D., author of , free play is more critical now than ever, as recesses are shortened or eliminated and kids’ calendars are busier than ever.“Through play,” Elkind writes, “children create new learning experiences, and those self created experiences enable them to acquire social, emotional, and intellectual skills they could not acquire any other way.”I’ve heard from countless friends about their daily battles with their elementary aged kids struggling to do homework, and the way it’s negatively affected their relationships.
Instead, of parents nagging their overtired kids to do homework that they are too young to do independently, families should spend much more time talking together about their day.
When kids knead clay or finger paint, they are stimulating their senses.
“Sensory experiences,” explains one early childhood educator, “provide open ended opportunities where the process is more important than the product; how children use materials is much more important than what they make with them.”Parallel play, or the type of play in which kids play next to each other, begins in toddlers.
For most of my teaching career, I taught fifth or sixth grade. Kids complained a lot, though parents rarely did, at least not to me.
I think parents mostly felt the same way I did: that homework was the best way to practice new skills, that it teaches responsibility, helps develop a strong work ethic, and that it’s an opportunity to reflect on new learning.