Google+ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas: 10 Ways to Help Kids Get Ready to Learn

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

10 Ways to Help Kids Get Ready to Learn

The First Day of School - whether your child is entering school for the first time or just headed to a new grade - it's a BIG Deal! A new year means a whole new set of experiences, challenges and opportunities. As parents we all want our children to be successful. To help our children be successful in school we have to think beyond the academics. Today, I am sharing 10 Ways to Help Kids Get Ready to Learn. These simple tips have been instrumental in my house. They not only ensure that the Lil Divas are ready to learn each day, they keep this mama sane - that my friends is priceless! 

How do you ensure that your kids are ready to learn when you drop them off at school? 

1. Get a good night's sleep. Think about it. No matter how old you are, you perform better when you are well rested. School-age children typically need approximately 10 hours of sleep each night. Setting up a night-time routine is crucial. Allow for some unwinding time before bed. We start our night-time routine an hour before our target bedtime. In that hour we do baths and our nightly reading. It's a great way for the girls to unwind and get ready for bed. Whatever your night-time routine consists of - remember that consistency is they key. Try to have children in bed at the same time each night. Even if they don't fall asleep right away, at least they are resting. 

2. Have a morning routine and adhere to it. This is a BIG one. On the few occasions that I forgot to set my alarm and woke up late our entire morning was thrown off. By thrown off I of course mean that I was running around like "frazzled mom", rushing everyone, barking orders out and not having a moment to catch my breath. You know what happens in response to that? Children feed off of the frenzied and negative energy. Nothing seems to go smoothly and we're all left in a bad mood. Been there? I'm sure you have to some extent. 

An established morning routine that you can all count on and that allows ample time for dressing, eating & even doing a little relaxing before heading off to school makes a big difference. When our morning goes smoothly, my girls are calm, refreshed and ready for their school day. I'm not saying you won't have a crazy day here or there (let's be honest, it's bound to happen some time) but with an established morning routine everyone is definitely better equipped to handle their day - parents and children alike. On those days where I was "frazzled mom", my day definitely wasn't ideal. It not only affected my girls, it affected me as well.

3. Eat a good breakfast. Empty stomachs = tired, lethargic and unfocused children. I don't think I need to say much more than that for this point, do I? 

4. Be on time for school. Ok, for this one I am going to speak to you as a teacher. It is important that your child is on time, at school and ready to start their day at the first bell. When a child comes in late, it disrupts the whole class and they miss important information/work. If your child is late repeatedly - it will affect their learning. Do your best to get them to school on time. It's important.

5. Make sure all homework and assignments are completed and turned in on time. If you are the parent of a school-aged child you will need to be proactive and keep abreast of any homework or projects that need to be completed at home. While we want to teach our children independence, at this age they need your help and guidance. Setting up a specific time for homework and providing a quiet work area with access to all the tools they will need (paper, pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, etc) is a great way to help your kids keep organized and on top of all their school assignments.

6. Provide love and encouragement. This one is a no-brainer, right? So why did I include it? Trust me, there are days when things get hectic and our children might be struggling with homework and we are frantic to get dinner on the table and we're short on time and patience. It is in those moments that we need to remind ourselves that our children look to us for the love and encouragement they need. When children feel confident, they are open to learning.

7. Provide a healthy lunch and/or snack. Mrs. Teacher here, again. I can not tell you how sad some of the lunches and snacks I see kids eating make me feel. A child with nothing but sugar, sweets and junk food to eat is not getting the vital nutrients they need. Do I need to tell you that a "sugared up" child is unfocused? Sweets are great for a special treat. They should not make up your child's entire lunch. 

8. Give children time to play and be physically active after school. Fresh air and exercise is important. We all need some time to unwind after a long day. Children are no exception. School is hard work. They are active, engaged and learning for a large portion of their day. Remember to give them time to just play, relax or unwind each day. It will help them be ready to learn the next day.

9. Encourage your child to Read, Read, Read and set aside time for it EVERYDAY! I know you get hit over the head with how reading is important all the time, from many different sources. It is. It doesn't have to be torture though. Reading should be FUN. Don't force your child to read a big, fat book because you think it's what they are supposed to do. At home, let their interests guide you and be the focus of their book choices. If they want to read a comic book, a magazine, a graphic novel, a cookbook or a book below their reading level - let them! School is full of "required" reading and they will get their fill of it over the years. Home is the perfect place to read for fun. The more your child reads, the more it will help them in school. 

10. Provide opportunities for your child to see and do new things. Whether it be weekend adventures, after school/extra-curricular activities, projects at home, etc - letting your child explore new things nurtures their curiosity, creativity and desire to learn. This doesn't have to be time consuming or cost you lots of money. Visiting new parks, exploring new libraries, trying a new art project, conducting a fun experiment at home or meeting up with friends for a fun playdate are all great ways to provide your child with new and exciting experiences.

Did I leave anything off my list? Do you have a tip to suggest to help kids get ready to learn? I'd love to hear about it.

Thank you to My Cute Graphics for the use of the superhero kids graphic.

This post is part 8 of an 8 week series being hosted on 6 blogs to help kids Get Ready for K Through Play. Can you believe it - it's the end! This has been an amazing series to share with you. Your feedback has been truly wonderful and I am so glad that you have found our topics, posts and resources useful. 

If you've missed any of the Get Ready for K Through Play series. You can catch up on all topics below:
For even more Back to School ideas
check out our other posts and our Pinterest Board. 

Be sure to read this week's posts shared by my series co-hosts:
(by Coffee Cups and Crayons)

Scholastic Success
(by Mama Smiles)

 (by Toddler Approved)

Setting Up a Homework Station
(by Rainy Day Mum)

and be sure to follow our Get Ready for K Through Play Pinterest Board for lots of awesome Kindergarten Readiness resources, ideas and activities. 

Have fun getting ready for K!


  1. Such important tips! The small things usually end up having the biggest impact, great list!

  2. Fantastic tips, I think I do most of them, but so nice to see it reinforced here.

  3. You nailed it! FAb list for any kid.I hope parents read this to help their kids on their way to higher learning!

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