We all want to help our children as much as possible with their learning experience and learning potential. It may seem like well known facts, but sleep and food are a major part of allowing children to reach their personal optimum learning potential.
I know it can be difficult to get your sweetheart to eat breakfast in the morning, before school. It sets the tone of the day and starts them off right. Choices of foods for breakfast are of major importance also. Proteins like eggs, or even a good protein bar can work. Oatmeal with some milk or almond milk will also get them going. Toast with peanut butter or almond butter is a great choice. Go for a protein shake maybe, but make sure that breakfast is NOT a sugary cereal, with added flavors and colors. Your child may be allergic to one of the color additives and of course all the sugar will only give them too much energy and then crash them down, making them tired when they study. Of course there are good cereals out there to choose from, and if milk is a problem, choose almond milk. This way they can easily maintain until break time, when they can refuel with a healthy snack. More protein is great or maybe some nuts or healthy trail mix, or some nuts and fruit or crackers and cheese. If their energy stays constant, they will learn faster and easier. Hunger can make them sleepy or cranky or have a hard time focusing. It may seem that they are not listening, when in fact they are hungry and have a hard time paying attention.
I know that children can be picky with what they will eat, but try different things to form the habit of having a good breakfast. As a side note, make sure your sweetheart is drinking lots of water. Children get headaches from dehydration and other problems. Most of us walk around somewhat dehydrated and don't even know it. Water is dire when the weather gets warmer and the kids are outside doing their PE when its 85 or 90 degrees outside. All this is common sense for you mom and dad, but not so for your sweet children.
Sleep is the next big thing that can have a huge effect on their learning. As an adult, we are sometimes forced to go to work with too little sleep. We do it, but we feel awful and things are harder to get done. Children are the same, but may not know it. A tired student will lay on their desk, stare at their reading, and seem uninterested in learning. I have 2 daughters and 3 granddaughters and am familiar with children NOT wanting to go to sleep. It can be a challenge for sure! I would suggest setting a specific bedtime for them. But an hour before that, start getting them to slow down and let their sweet little minds start to relax. Did you know that TV, phones, and computers all stimulate us and make it harder to go to sleep? If possible have them STOP using all these things an hour before bed. You too, mom and dad, see if YOU sleep better. Also, a colder room helps sleep, not a warm one. A dark room helps sleep, not one with lots of light or moonlight or a neighbor's porch light.
When I had my classrooms, I would start the morning asking the kids what they had for breakfast and what time they went to bed and woke up. I could usually tell if they had too little sleep, as studying was harder than usual for them. If they arrived hungry, I would have them go to their lunchbox and get a healthy snack, and eat it before they started their lessons. I know that this is not possible in most schools, but handling this before school starts will also set them up for a great day!
If you are wanting to hear more about healthy snacks and get more information on better sleep, I am happy to help. Please email me, and I will do my best to provide useful information.