Saturday, September 8, 2012

Good Practices for Back-to-School Time

Summer is winding down
so here are a few tips to help you and your family this fall

1- As this kids head back to school help them get an advantage by playing games. It's true that brain-stimulating memorization games can make you smarter. These activities increase skills like reasoning and problem-solving. So get out that game of Concentration or Memory and have fun together.

2- While schedules may be getting busier, don't forget to have some family time around the dinner table. Teens who dine with their family five or more times per week are less likely to use drugs or alcohol. They have up to 25% higher grades than those teens who don't eat with their family. The fact is that most teens want to eat with their family, so take advantage of that! It doesn't matter if you are only having leftovers or peanut butter sandwiches!

3- Get it while you can! Vitamin D that is. Enjoy the last few weeks of nice weather by spending 10 or 15 minutes outside together. That will give you enough vitamin D to lower your chance of developing peripheral arterial disease which is when the fatty deposits start building up inside you arteries and cause decreased blood flow and oxygen. Sunshine increases mood too!

4- Relieve some of the stress you have over homework, piano lessons and football practice schedules by meditating 20 minutes each day. This reduces the hormone cortisol and increases your energy levels and improves your immune system. If you students are feeling stressed have them try it too! Meditation reduces anxiety, depression and anger. Great for that teenage angst!

5- Add nutrition to your diet. Kids with higher nutrient rich diets do better in school. So add veggies and fruits to those school lunches and to family meals. Visit the fruit stands or farmers markets and get some fresh new choices. Make vitamin loaded smoothies for a fast and easy breakfast as they run out the door to catch the bus!

6- Get enough exercise! Kids who get regular aerobic exercise have better strength, balance and coordination, and fewer injuries and illnesses. This is important because colds and flu season is just around the corner! Keep your students healthy by helping them enjoy walking or bicycling to classes when appropriate. Keep them active to lower stress and weight gain from sitting all day in class.

7- Last but not least, read together everyday! Find a great book and spend a few minutes taking turns reading together. This creates family unity and increases their reading skills at the sames time. Need a suggestion on what to read? We have a binder full of age level and genre specific reading lists available in the children's department here at the library.

Michele Schumann
Children's Librarian

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