Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Welcome back to the new school year!

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It feels great to be back at school and to be surrounded by the energy, 'zing' and excitement that a new school year brings. While holidays are wonderful, I wonder how many of us longed for the routine of school to begin again?

It is easy to underestimate how much we rely on routine to bring a sense of order and control into our lives. Rather than making for a boring life, it seems to give us a sense of personal power and accomplishment- we know that we have achieved things, because we know what it is we had to do!

The same goes for our children. A regular routine, which includes a regular bedtime is essential to give them a sense of well being, mastery and sense of understanding around how the world works. Which isn't to say that you can't depart from it, of course you can, that's why we enjoy our holidays so much!

So how much sleep do our children need? The National Sleep Foundation (http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/children-and-sleep) say that children between the ages of six to 13 need a solid 9-11 hours of sleep, with the younger a child is the more sleep they need.

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So, if your child has just started in Year 1, a good 12 hours of sleep will stand them in good stead for their learning. The National Sleep Foundation also reminds us that watching TV close to bedtime can cause bedtime resistance (something we all experience at times if watching a particularly gripping TV show!!), difficulty with falling asleep and anxiety around sleeping.
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We have had students falling asleep in school, only to find out they they are allowed to stay up as late as 11pm! This is not in the best interests of our children as it interrupts learning, which is the last thing we want to happen.

So please remember to establish regular and predictable routines for your child. This includes regular bedtimes, lots of sleep and regular routines for getting ready in the morning. (This was one of the most stressful times of my day when I was a parent of school age children!)

This will help us support the learning of your child and ensure a great year for us all!