Kickstart your child’s critical thinking skills before school

Kickstarting students brains before school starts

(KSLA) - The coffee is brewing. The Pop-Tarts are in the toaster. The buses are running. Everything is ready for a new school day.

But your kids are still fast asleep — If they are awake, they are fighting your every move.

As many school districts begin a new year, parents may have problems finding a new routine for their children.

“We’re excited that your kids are coming and we’re ready to teach and for them to learn,” said Supervisor of Special Education for Bossier Schools Kimberly Stafford.

Stafford said many times, kids have to remember how to learn. She said that's one reason the Bossier Parish School District has a summer reading program. She encourages parents to work on simple tasks by talking and thinking them through.

“Any activity that engages that interaction, whether it’s writing or reading or even the verbal conversation of breaking down steps of a skill,” Stafford said. “It can be something as simple as cooking a meal together or if you are doing a project around the house, just breaking those tasks down so you’re starting to talk through those thoughts and processes.”

Stafford said one of the most important aspects of preparation begins with a good sleep pattern.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, preschoolers need between 10 to 13 hours of sleep. Older kids need between 8 to 11 hours of sleep.

“Those routines and patterns are going to be critical for them to get to a place where they can learn,” Stafford said.

Stafford said parents can set the tone about school early. She says parents and guardians need to watch the words they use when talking about school-related issues.

“I really think it’s all in the way that it’s delivered. Often it is hard sometimes as adults because we might even have a tendency to not be positive in our delivery of, it might come off as a dread thought,” Stafford said. “We need it to be, ‘this is awesome, this is exciting, we are getting to have a new opportunity, we’re going to meet new people, we’re are going to have new teachers, we are going to learn new things, this is an exciting opportunity in life’. So it’s about that enthusiasm for everybody.”

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