Home School Link at Harvington
Our Home School Link is:
Mrs Katie Thorp
As parents, we know when our child has not had enough sleep. Their behaviour is often more challenging, as they struggle to regulate their emotions and they find it difficult to get through the day, as they lack the energy to do all that is asked of them. This makes parenting stressful and even exhausting, resulting in us not having the patience when we most need it. The problem is, tired children don’t act tired, they actually become more active as they ‘wind up’, resisting bedtime and becoming more hyper as the evening goes on. This is all because they are overtired.
Children need differing amounts of sleep depending on their age. Whilst there is no hard and fast rule, the general guidelines below, given by the NHS and The Sleep Council are helpful:
3 to 4 years – around 11 hours 30 mins
4 to 5 years – around 11 hours
5 to 7 years – around 10 hours 30 mins
7 to 9 years – around 10 hours
9 to 12 years – around 9 hours
So, how do we make sure that our child is getting the sleep they need? Work backwards from when they need to be up in the morning and establish a set bed time. For example, if they need to be up at 7am, a child aged 6 would need to be going to sleep no later than 8.30pm. Set their bedtime at least half an hour before this, depending on how quickly your child gets ready for bed and settles down to sleep. Most children need around half an hour to get ready for bed and settle down, with many needing longer but it shouldn't take any more than an hour. Once you have decided on a bed time, make sure your child knows when this is and follow a simple routine each night so your child knows what is expected.
If your child then gets up after following this routine, just return them to bed and tell them it is time to sleep. Be prepared to stick to this, even if they repeatedly get out of bed asking for different things.
Make sure that all electronic gaming devices are off at least an hour before you want your child to be asleep. This may be harder said than done but worth it , as your child’s brain needs time to relax from gaming (and for older children social media and You Tube). Do not allow devices in bedrooms at bed time. Watching something on T.V. together is a good way of having some relaxing family time before bed.
If bedtimes are still problematic and you feel you have tried everything, there is support available. Some children may require a little more help getting the sleep they need, due to medical conditions or simply that they are not used to a bedtime routine and therefore need time to adapt. The main thing to remember is that it is essential that your child gets the right amount of sleep and that you can help them to get it. If you still feel you need help with bedtimes talk to Mrs Thorp who can discuss your particular difficulties with you and offer support.
Getting to school on time can be a challenge at the best of times. Whether you have one child to get up, dressed, fed, equipped for the day and out the door or several, mornings can end up being the most stressful part of the day. With a little forward planning and preparation the night before, as well as establishing a simple morning routine, everyone can arrive at the school gates relaxed and on time.
Step 1. Get your child's clothes ready the night before. This saves valuable minutes in the morning and if you include pants and socks helps avoid those mornings when you realise the washing didn’t get put on.
Step 2. Keep shoes and bags in one place. Find a place where shoes and bags always live, perhaps next to the front door. Get your child into the habit of putting their things there every day when they arrive home from school.
Step 3. Get your child to bed on time. This may be easier said than done, but you'll be glad in the morning that your child was tucked up in good time. Children who have had enough sleep will be much easier to get up. (Next month's topic will be on ‘Bed Time Routines’).
Step 4 . Prepare the night before. A little preparation once the children are in bed will make things easier in the morning. Try making lunches, and check there's enough milk in for the morning. And don't forget about yourself: choose your outfit for the next day, and if you work, prepare your bag.
Step 5. Have an alarm clock for your child. This will help give your child a sense of duty and let them know that it is their responsibility to get up when it goes off in the morning.
Step 6. Encourage your child to be independent. Help your child to get as far as they can with dressing themselves and brushing their hair and teeth and getting their own breakfast. You’ll be glad you did in the long run but a little patience at first may be needed!
Step 7. Keep breakfast simple. Offering too much choice or preparing a cooked breakfast will drag the morning out. Save these luxuries for the holidays.
Step 8. Reward yourselves. If you manage all,or most of these, on a daily basis remind yourself that you are doing an amazing job!
It is important that children arrive at school on time every day for the following reasons :-
The table below shows how lateness can add up over the school year:
*days means school days
Lateness = Lost Learning
School starts and children are registered at 8.40am but pupils can arrive at 8.30am and go straight into classes. If you are finding it difficult to arrive in school on time for a particular reason please discuss this with your child's teacher or with Mrs Thorp.
Top Tips for Good Homework Habits
Find a quiet place to use as a homework area, this may mean turning the television off for a while. Some quiet music playing can help a child to stay focused.
Try to work at a table and have the right equipment eg: pens, pencils, ruler, scissors, rubber and glue.
Plan a homework timetable and agree with your child when they will do their homework. Some need time to relax when they get in from school to recharge their batteries; others like to get on with it as soon as they get home.
If your child does their homework when they get in from school, make sure that they have a snack and a drink first as this will help them concentrate.
Don’t be tempted to give your child the answers in order to get it done or to help them get it all right. Show them how to find the answer.
Teachers are far more impressed by children’s effort, rather than a perfectly produced piece of homework which is not the child’s own work. It is better to help your child to produce their best effort.
Keep homework fun by showing an interest in what they are learning and discussing how it links to work they are doing at school. It is time spent together which is precious. Use it to find out what your child is learning at school.
Small children need little chunks of time rather than sitting for lengthy periods. Spread the homework tasks out over the week but remember to read with your child every day.
Remember to review homework with your child after it has been marked. Discuss what they did well and what they would have done differently. This way they will learn to reflect on their performance and gain skills in improving their work.