Math is a cognitively challenging subject. In order to do cognitively demanding activities, home routines can set an underlying foundation to help the brain along and prepare for back to school.
For Todo Math, building strong educational foundations is not only important for the apps we create, but also for the kids we are raising at home. Our ideas about home routines are universally shared across a team with diverse cultural backgrounds and unique family needs. In light of this diversity, all of us share a fundamental commitment to helping our children reach their full potential.
These five home routines help us significantly along the way, especially as we get ready for back to school.
1. Family time
Did you know that family life has changed drastically in the past 50 years? According to a study referenced in Time Magazine, a typical family of the 1960’s looks almost atypical among the range of family types that exist today. Are all of these different types of families still finding ways to spend time together?
Family time has been noted as being one of the bedrocks of child development. Families who spend time together open up new conversations, strengthen bonds, and form a sense of belonging.
As we plan our calendars for the 2016-2017 school year, let’s remember to save enough space for family time. When children have the security of family in place, the outside world becomes much less threatening, and much more interesting to learn about!
2. Healthy eating
It’s easy to tell when our team at Todo Math is getting hungry because the office conversation starts veering towards lunch. Eating lunch fuels our programmers, educators and game designers for the remainder of the work day.
Kids have some very important work to do, too. Kids need to grow and develop, and fueling their bodies also fuels their brains! Doing school work on an empty stomach can be tough on a young child.
Get into the groove of boosting back to school nutrition by heading to the grocery store together as a family. By making food shopping a family outing, kids can participate in making healthy selections for school breakfasts and lunches!
3. A good night’s sleep
Sleep plays a central role in physical health at all ages, and gives our bodies and brains a chance to recalibrate, rest, and get ready for the next day. Tired and cranky kids may drastically improve their condition with a much needed nap or an early bedtime.
Have you ever tried to learn, listen, or use patience while tired? Think of how hard this must be for a young child, especially when it’s already hard for grown-ups. If learning requires focus and the ability to absorb of ideas, then a well rested brain may be much more receptive to learning than an overtired brain.
So bring on the bedtime! Getting enough rest can be a great first step in helping our children learn. Check out these tips from the National Sleep Foundation for getting bedtime back on track before the new school year.
4. Playful activities
Happy sounds of children playing keeps homes humming with contentment. When kids play, they use many gears that can be applied to learning. They voice opinions, consider the thoughts of others, imagine scenarios, and create environments. Whether it’s ponies, cars, stuffed animals or trucks – kids are doing real work when they give their toys a voice!
In our quest for learning, let’s not forget the importance of pure play. The school year is a great resource for finding new playmates!
5. Physical exercise
After a long day in the office, it can feel great to get up and stretch. Maybe we take a walk to clear our head, or even ride a bike home from work. Whether running a marathon or just going for a swim, moving our bodies can help calm our minds.
Talk to a teacher, and they may confess that a good cure for lack of attention in the classroom could be a recess break. Moving the body gets blood circulating and oxygen flowing to the brain. It gets the wiggles out. It gets the giggles out. It makes space so learning can take place!
Moving together as a family, even as a walk around the block in the evening, can be a great way to end the school day.
Back to school with Todo Math
Our goal at Todo Math is to create tools that meet every child’s learning needs. As parents ourselves, we believe there is a light in every child, and aim to do our best in the quest to help all children learn – including our little ones at home!