1.      Make sure your child is getting enough sleep


  •  If your child is having trouble in school, it may be time to look at your family's sleep habits. To thrive academically, kids of all ages—preschool through college—need to have energy, the ability to focus, concentrate, retain information, and be creative problem solvers. Success at school also requires kids to control impulses and manage emotions and behavior to keep on track. All of these skills depend heavily on healthy, consistent sleep.
  • Across all ages, signs of sleepiness turn up as behavioral and learning difficulties. Children who seem excessively sleepy during the day are more likely to experience problems with learning, attention, hyperactivity, and conduct than kids who aren't sleepy. Sleepiness causes problems with concentration and mood, and can even make it hard for students to stay awake in class.



  Hours Of   Sleep

0 - 2 months

   10.5   - 18

2 - 12 months

   14   - 15

1 - 3 years

   12   - 14

3 - 5 years

   11   - 13

5 - 12 years

   10   - 11


2. Make sure your child is getting good nutrition


  • Nourish your child’s brain with healthy food and water - you will optimize the internal environment, enabling your child to truly engage in the classroom environment and achieve their potential. What should we feed our children to ensure their brains have a healthy start to their learning?

                            i.    Healthy fats or good fats, such as omega-3 fats, are essential to physical and emotional health. (Examples are nuts, peanut butter, tuna)

                           ii.    Protein – White meat poultry, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, beans

                          iii.    Carbohydrates – whole grains

                          iv.    Micronutrients – found in leafy green vegetables, seeds and nuts, fruit and vegetables (5 – 9 servings a day is the recommendation)

                                        v.    Water (8 glasses daily is the recommendation) Neurons store water and is essential for optimal brain health and function.

  • Missing meals and experiencing hunger impair children’s development and achievement. Studies document the negative effects of hunger on children’s academic performance and behavior in school. Children are also are more likely to repeat a grade, come to school late, or miss it entirely. If hunger is an issue for your family, please talk to your Teacher, Family Services Coordinator, School Counselor or Principal to help connect you to resources.


3.  Exercise!


  • The CDC states, “Physical activity can have an impact on cognitive skills and attitudes and academic behavior, all of which are important components of improved academic performance. These include enhanced concentration and attention as well as improved classroom behavior.”
  • Exercise directly impacts the behavior and development of the brain –especially in the “plastic phase” of brain development (birth – 12 years. This is when the majority of brain growth is occurring).
  • Specifically – exercise affects the brain’s executive function in:

                                          i.    Increased oxygen flow to the brain

                                        ii.    Increased brain neurotransmitters

                                       iii.    Increased brain-derived neurotrophins that support neuronal differentiation and survival in the developing b rain. Neurotrophins assure the survival of neurons in areas responsible for learning, memory, and higher learning.

  • Consider how much screen time (computer, tablets, TV) your child is experiencing. Is it getting in the way of much needed exercise?


4. Parent Involvement in School

  • Make sure to set aside some uninterrupted time each evening to listen to your child talk about their day (even 10 minutes is good). The benefit of this is not only to actually know how your child is doing in school, but to build the parent - child relationship. This relationship is critical when your child needs to tell you about problems they are having, when they need help, when you need to talk about hard topics, etc.
  • Check in with your child’s teacher
  • Check your student’s Edline account
  • Set aside time to help support them during homework time. Even if you don’t know how to figure out the new Math, your presence relays the message that you care about their education.