How To Help Your Kids Improve Academic Performance This School Year
Our brains have an incredible potential to learn, grow, and adapt but so often, our life experiences hinder our ability to fully unlock the brain’s potential. This is especially true for kids. As your kids are returning back to school, you’re probably wondering how you can help them improve their academic performance this school year.
While doing the obvious things like being more involved in their education, creating routines, and helping them with homework is important, today we’re going to take a close look at some of the bigger issues students face. Many kids today struggle with sleep, stress, and anxiety which negatively impacts their school performance.
Today, we’re going to talk about how each of these issues impacts academic performance and how a tool like neurofeedback can help.
Everyone knows that sleep is important for health but do you know the impact sleep has on learning and development? It’s easy to think that kids can push through inadequate sleep because they’re young. You want to help your kids get as much sleep as they need for their age and development. Sleep is so crucial for their growth and development.
Your kids need sleep to:1
- Form pathways for learning
- Form pathways to create new memories
- Allow brain cells to communicate with each other
Lack of sleep can affect your kids’ academic performance by:2
- Slower processing of information
- Slower reaction time
- Impaired memory
- Reduce creativity
- Decreased attention span
- Lack of motivation
Sleep is so important for academic success. Kids who don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk of3
- Behavioral problems
- Attention problems
- Low academic performance in school
If you’re kids are struggling with sleep, you can help improve their sleep habits by
- Creating a sleep schedule (and sticking to it)
- Avoiding caffeine 6 hours before bed
- Stopping screen time 1-2 hours before bed
- Ensure they get exercise every day.4
Stress has a big impact on academic performance. But first, as adults, we need to be aware that they’re experiencing stress. It’s easy to dismiss stress in a kid’s life or think they’re resilient enough that stress doesn’t affect them. Kids are impacted by their environment and some kids experience short term stress while others experience chronic stress. Both of these can impact academic success.
For example, stress can be something short term like when you move and your kids have to get to know a new school and meet new friends. Stress can also be chronic – meaning they feel stress most days. Chronic stress can be because of difficult situations going on at home, bullying, difficulty with friends at school, or they’re just stressed out about doing well academically and meeting their goals.
Whatever the causes of stress, it can have a significant impact on academic performance.
Stress can cause problems in school such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble retaining information
- Difficulty with recall which makes learning more difficult
Stress triggers a hormone called cortisol which makes it difficult for them to concentrate and learn. It even makes them more easily distracted. It’s easier to bounce back from short-term stress. For kids experiencing chronic or long-term stress, increased cortisol levels can really make learning more difficult.
You can help your child decrease their stress level by giving them the time and space to talk about stress. Talking to your kids about their stress can help them feel heard and understood. It’s also a great way for them to get a new perspective from someone they know and trust. You can also teach them appropriate coping skills such as mindfulness practices, journaling about their feelings, and exercising to reduce stress.
These days, kids experience more anxiety than ever before. Anxiety is one of the most diagnosed mental health conditions in kids, affecting 5.8 million kids in the United States.5
It’s important to know that there are many different types of anxiety. Your kids might experience:
- Generalized anxiety
- Test anxiety
- Social anxiety
- Separation anxiety
All of these impact a child’s day-to-day life, especially academic performance.
Kids become easily overwhelmed and avoid participating in things that make them anxious. Kids who are anxious at school often dislike school and even try to avoid situations they associate with the anxiety like going to school and doing homework.
If you’re concerned about your child’s anxiety, try talking to your child’s pediatrician, teacher, school counselor, or school psychologist. These are all great resources to discuss your child’s specific anxiety issues.
How Neurofeedback Can Help Improve Academic Performance
We discussed some strategies that you can try to help your kids improve their sleep habits and reduce stress and anxiety. Neurofeedback is a brain training tool that can help with all of these issues.
If you’re not familiar with neurofeedback it’s a brain training system that detects sudden changes in your brain’s electrical activity. When neurofeedback detects a sudden change (or turbulence), it gives a signal to your brain. Once you receive this signal, your brain shifts in a way that feels better. Think of it like physical fitness for your brain. You’re brain is learning to shift and work in more efficient ways that are best for you.
If your kids need help in their academic performance, using neurofeedback can help their brain shift from these unpleasant states of stress and anxiety to more calm, more efficient pathways. Brain training is a game-changer for kids struggling in school. By training the brain to function at its best, neurofeedback can help improve focus, attention, and cognitive processing, making it easier for kids to learn and excel academically.
Why NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback?
NeurOptimal® is a great brain training system because it’s the most advanced brain training program available and it can be done at home. NeurOptimal® is very easy to use.
Once you hook yourself up to the sensors that will monitor your brain’s electrical activity, you listen to music or watch a movie. As the system detects sudden changes in your brain’s electrical activity you will hear a brief pause. That’s it. This simple pause will bring you back to the present moment. Over time, your brain finds the most efficient pathways.
Brain training with NeurOptimal® can:
- Help manage stress
- Promote healthy sleep habits
- Help improve mental acuity and focus
- Help you become more flexible and resilient
- Help kids develop flexible thinking skills
- Enhance learning capacity
- Enhance focus, motor skills, and reaction time
Improving in these areas can have a positive impact on academic performance. For kids who need help socially, NeurOptimal® can help:
- Build greater self-confidence
- Improve or build resilience
- Improve their ability to connect with others and navigate social situations
NeurOptimal® at-home neurofeedback is great for kids because it helps train their brain to function at its best, improving their overall sense of well-being and optimizing academic performance.
Do your kids need to improve their academic performance this school year?
Do you have more questions about neurofeedback or just want to learn more about it?
Fill out this contact form and we’ll get back to you. We’ll answer all your questions and guide you through understanding Neuroptimal® neurofeedback and if it’s the right fit for your family.
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.
- Sleep Foundation. Improve Your Child’s School Performance
- CDC: Sleep and Health
- Sleep Foundation. Sleep Strategies for Kids
- CDC. Data and Statistics on Children’s Mental Health.