Making healthy lifestyle choices can have a positive impact on children’s learning and development. While we place a high priority on helping our children with their homework and encouraging them to participate in extra-curricular activities, it’s easy to forget how their lifestyle affects their ability to absorb and retain information. Here an independent school in Hertfordshire explains how your child’s lifestyle choices can impact on their education.
Children are rarely eager to go to bed, but getting a good night’s sleep can have a positive knock-on effect on their day. They’ll have improved concentration levels and better memory recall, and find it easier to understand what they learn in school. Conversely, if your child is sleep deprived, they’ll find it hard to pay attention to what their teacher is saying or grasp new concepts and ideas. It’s a good idea to help your child stick to a regular routine and set times for going to bed and getting up. Make sure they’re getting the right amount of sleep for their age, and that they’ve switched off any digital devices at least an hour before bedtime to allow their mind to shut down in good time.
Encourage your child to eat a healthy and varied diet, and not consume too many sugary or fatty foods. Sugary foods in particular can lead to energy highs followed by slumps, which isn’t ideal for learning. If they feel sluggish and tired, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to fully concentrate and understand what they’re learning. Try to make sure they’re eating a wide range of different types of foods so they get all the nutrients they need to thrive both mentally and physically.
Exercise also plays a key role in mental and physical health. Regular physical activity will not only keep your child fit and healthy, but also help with cognitive abilities such as memory and concentration. In addition, the social side of participating in team sports will boost your child’s self-esteem, which can in turn improve their attitude towards education and learning. Exercise is a great stress reliever as well, so engaging in frequent exercise will help your child relax and switch off.
Although it’s fine for your child to let loose and enjoy themselves at times, it’s really important to engage them in a consistent routine when it comes to diet, sleep and exercise so they can get the most out of their learning.