Most schools start their new autumn term on September 3, but new research shows their learning ability won’t be back up to speed for another seven days. The survey, by Haliborange Omega-3, questioned 743 mums with school-age children and found that 48% think it takes their kids at least a week to get back into their school routine. Amazingly, one in six thinks it takes their kids between two and four weeks to settle back in.
The research found that children are mainly concerned about settling down to work again, with 42% of parents saying their children are not looking forward to homework and 37% saying having to concentrate in class is a worry for their children. The fear of moving up a class or having a new teacher also featured very strongly, with 28% of mums saying this would worry their child.
The survey also highlights the fact that UK mums are now making the link between diet and concentration. Nearly one in three (29%) understand and strongly believe that diet has the greatest effect on their children’s concentration. However the majority of mums (two thirds) find it a challenge to prepare and serve up a diet rich in Omega-3, critical in helping children’s concentration levels.
And it seems that teaching professionals increasingly agree that summer holidays are too long.
One school – Greensward College comprehensive in Hockley, Essex – has introduced a radical five-term school year with four weeks off in August plus four, two-week breaks spread over the rest of the year.
Since introducing the new arrangements, several schools around the country have contacted Greensward to find out how it works.
However, if like most schools, your child’s school is sticking by the traditional three-term year and six-week summer break, there’s still plenty you can do to keep their minds agile in the run-up to the beginning of the new school year.
Haliborange Omega-3 is offering a selection of Gareth Moore’s brain training puzzles to download free from www.haliborange.com to help get your kids into the learning groove. And if they’re fussy eaters, why not give them a Omega-3 fish oil supplement as an extra boost to their diet?
To help kids get back into learning mode, Haliborange Omega-3 has teamed up with Gareth Moore, author of the Kids’ 10-Minute Brain Workout, to offer a free mini-brain workout for every UK schoolchild.
Dr Moore says that, aside from practising mind-teasing puzzles, it’s important that children take regular exercise, drink plenty of water and have a regular intake of omega-3.
Says Dr Moore: “Omega-3 fish are especially good for your brain.”
Dr Moore adds that to keep their minds active during the holidays, children should also try to invent their own mental challenges throughout the day. “They could start in the morning by eating breakfast with their other hand and close the day by learning a new word from a dictionary. Tactical games such as chess, cards or dominoes can also improve concentration.”