Can you feel that? It’s the excitement of a new year, with new possibilities and almost endless opportunities to aim higher and do better. Listening to your teachers and doing homework are important for getting good marks at school, but there is more you should be thinking about. For example, how do you keep your things neat and organised? What should you have in your lunchbox every day? Are there ways to stay active at school that are fun? This article answers these questions, giving you the best advice for a super school year at EduExcellence!
Tips for staying organised at school
1. Make sleep a priority
The quality and quantity of sleep greatly influence brain power, so make sleep a priority in your routine at night. While children are sleeping, their brains are working. Their brains are busy processing and organising all of the information they were exposed to during the day.
2. Have a good breakfast
Eating a good quality breakfast before your day starts ensures you have the energy to concentrate at school. Did you know? All EduExcellence Campuses give students a low-GI breakfast daily.
3. Be punctual
Make sure you have a routine in the morning, your school bag is packed the night before, and your uniform is ready. Arriving at school in a timely fashion means you can start your day peacefully and without rushing.
4. Ask for assistance
Ask your teachers and classmates to help you stay on track during the day. Ask your parents to help you pack your bag so that it is neat and tidy, and you know where everything is that you need.
5. Limit your screen time
Too much time spent on phones, tablets and in front of televisions can have a detrimental effect on children's ability to think and focus. The potential benefits of reduced screen time include improved sleep and increased blood flow to the brain.
How to look after your belongings
Label your stationery and uniform clearly. This means that it can be returned to you should you lose it or leave it somewhere.
Use different colour subject sorters, or choose a themed stationery kit so you can identify your subjects immediately.
Tidy up your desk space between classes/subjects and pack away what you don't need.
Make sure your desk or learning space stays neat with a space case or desk organiser.
Ways to stay active while at school
Did you know that physical activity builds more than just muscles? It also sharpens the brain! Movement matters, and just 20 minutes of activity a day is good for your health.
1. Brain breaks: Ask your teacher or parent if you can have a "brain break". This can be five minutes of jumping on a trampoline, bouncing on a yoga ball, or even drinking water. This will help you refresh and reset.
2. Put on some lively music and have a dance party!
3. Go swimming! Swimming is one of the best exercises for proprioceptive (our GPS system in our ligaments and joints that tells you where you are in relation to your surroundings) input.
4. Animal Walks: Jump like a frog, hop like a bunny or run like a cheetah!
5. Trampoline: Jump on the trampoline to get your body moving.
Healthy school lunchbox pointers
The brain is a very hungry organ -- it is the first of the body's organs to absorb nutrients from the food we eat. A healthy diet is therefore especially important for maintaining your child's overall health.
Healthy lunch boxes help to maintain concentration and energy levels, which, in turn promote learning and favourable behaviour and energy levels during and after school hours. This will help your child to remain focused at school and at home whilst doing homework.
You are your child’s role model: model a healthy lifestyle and it will be easier for the rest of the family to follow.
It takes planning - you need to plan ahead so that you buy the correct foods for making snacks and packing lunch boxes.
Remember that children are different from adults - they have much smaller stomach capacities, so they need regular snacks and some children have a much higher energy requirement because they're more active than adults.
Packaging is important - buy a sturdy plastic container that's big enough to accommodate the food you want your child to take to school without it getting squashed.
Eating a variety of foods gives children and adults the best chance of obtaining a balanced diet, so try select foods from all the food groups every day.
A healthy lunchbox should be: 50% Fruit/Veg + 25% Low GI Starch + 25% Protein.
Try to include something from all the food groups:
Starchy foods e.g. low GI bread, seed rolls, whole-wheat pita breads, whole-wheat crackers, mini rolls, wraps, couscous, pasta.
Protein e.g. meat, chicken, tuna, salmon, sardines, egg, peanut butter, nuts, biltong, yoghurt, milky drink, cottage cheese, cheese.
Fruit e.g. fresh fruit, dried fruit.
Vegetables e.g. raw carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, roast vegetables.
Fat e.g. avocado, nut spread, olive or canola oil, thinly spread low fat margarine
It is important, as part of a healthy diet, to occasionally add a little treat as a surprise:
· Slice of banana bread
· Low GI muffin
· Plain biscuits e.g. digestives
What drinks are best?
Water is always first choice. Occasionally add diluted fruit juice, but steer clear of sweet, fizzy drinks.
Lunch box ideas:
· Mini pita breads stuffed with chicken, lettuce and tomato + small yoghurt + apple
· Low GI bread sandwich with avocado and cucumber slices + mini cheese triangles + dried mango
· Couscous with roasted vegetables and crumbled feta cheese + biltong sticks + banana
· Tuna mayonnaise with Provitas + mini tomatoes and cucumber sticks + fruit salad and yoghurt
· Pasta salad with chick peas + small yoghurt + pear
· Peanut butter and banana sandwich + smoothie
· Ham, cheese and tomato sandwich + slice of banana bread + peanuts and raisins
Private personal remedial schooling in South Africa
The EduExcellence family of schools is growing this year, with our new in-class Rondebosch campus opening in April. We have also added new offerings, including EduExcellence Tutors and EduExcellence FET Studio. We are proud to have this many opportunities to teach and grow the young minds of South Africa. Book a coffee & chat with EduExcellence to discuss the best way forward for your child’s schooling with a principal.