Did you know there are four key elements to academic success? 

If your child is in the education system, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the two key elements of Skills and Knowledge – but did you realise that Mindset and Wellbeing also have a big impact on your child’s academic potential?

In fact, if a child’s wellbeing and mindset are not prioritised, then it doesn’t matter how much knowledge we try to pour in or how much skills practice they do – they simply won’t be able to learn effectively…if at all. 

And, of course, as caring parents, we’re sure you’ll agree that your child’s wellbeing is more important than anything else. So, how can you start the new school year with a healthy mindset, tiptop wellbeing and less stress – for you and for your child? 

Sian Goodspeed, founder of award-winning local tuition company, Flying Start Tuition, and mum of two, shares her back-to-school tips for making this year your child’s best yet.

1. Quality sleep: A ten-year-old child needs between nine and eleven hours of good quality sleep each night. Any less than that and it will impact on their learning, not to mention their moods! Introduce regular early bedtimes and wake-up times in the last week of the holidays and try to stick to them. Start a wind-down routine at least forty-five minutes before bedtime and make bedrooms a no-screen zone – phones and devices keep the mind engaged and the blue light they emit directly interferes with the brain’s ability to go into a restful state.

2. Nutrition & hydration: A healthy, balanced diet will help your child to concentrate and the brain needs regular water in order to function properly. In fact, water is essential for all-round health. The average ten-year-old child needs around six to eight cups of water each day…is your child drinking enough?

3. Exercise: We all know the benefits of regular exercise…and yet it’s so easy to push it down the priority list. Schedule regular, daily exercise time (ideally outside) to help elevate your child’s mood and improve their concentration. Why not join in the fun and get fit together?!

4. Fun time: We all need joy in our lives! Make sure your child has plenty of time to do what lights them up – whether that’s sport, music or playing with friends. Not only will they thank you for it – it will have a positive impact on their mindset and ability to focus when they do sit down to study.

5. Meditation: Just ten minutes per day can have a big impact on your child’s (and your) emotional and mental state. Meditation has been proven to calm the nervous system and decrease stress hormones so it’s a handy practice to instil to help your child through their school years – and beyond. 

7. Make time for your child: Whether you’re a working parent or the stay-at-home variety, ensure you make some time for your child every day. Even just fifteen minutes of quality time before bedtime or after school pick-up will help to open the channels of communication. Remind your child you’re there for them and encourage them to share their expectations, worries and fears.

8. Don’t over-schedule: Children need down time. Of course you need to encourage them to engage in activities and they should have the space to try out new things. But make sure they still have plenty of time to relax and do nothing. Tempting though it may be, don’t sign them up for activities every day of the week – aim to keep it to no more than three. And if they really don’t want to do an activity any more, accept it. 

6. Be a role model: If your child struggles to get down to their homework, a positive example from you will rub off on your child, saving tears and time in the process. Is there an admin job you need to do? Sit down and work together. Throw in a plate of biscuits and homework might even become an event to look forward to!

9. Make learning fun: We all learn more effectively if we are engaged and enjoying what we are learning. If your child is finding their homework tricky, be creative in how you support them. Younger children respond well to props, e.g. Use cuddly toys to act out stories or use grapes as counters which they can eat when you’re done. Play board games, open a play shop or find a website that offers maths games for children of their age. Rather than being stuck indoors on a nice day, suggest working outside in the garden…or pop into a local coffee shop and enjoy a hot chocolate or smoothie while you work together. 

10. Remind them to breathe: When we’re anxious or stressed, our heart rate increases and we switch to rapid, shallow breathing, which, in turn, causes us to feel even more anxious. If your child is struggling with anxiety, encourage them to take some deep, steady breaths, in and out through their nose and down into their belly. They should try to focus on their breath and say some reassuring statements in their head, such as, ‘I am fine, I am calm, I can do this.’ Repeat for around five breaths and then gradually return breathing to normal.

At Flying Start Tuition, we understand the importance of all four elements. That’s why we take a holistic approach to education that views each child as a whole being – with interconnected mind, body and spirit – not just a brain to be filled with information. We’ve understood this since our inception in 2009. And we’ve won awards for our unique approach.  We’ve helped thousands of students to achieve their educational goals whilst also maintaining their health and happiness. And, of course, this has a positive knock-on effect in all aspects of their lives.

Want to give us a go? Enrol your child on one of our FREE trials – taking place at our Chesham, Little Chalfont and Beaconsfield tuition centres! Click here to book!

If you’d like to learn more about Flying Start Tuition, check out our website or get in touch:

w: www.flyingstarttuition.co.uk  E: hello@flyingstarttuition.co.uk   T: 01494 772898 

FREE TRIALS – Book here!