Your Homeschooling Lessons Aren’t A Yawn, So Why Are Your Students So Tired?:
Setting structures for a home school can be difficult. After all, you’ve never done this before, and you’re learning as you go. Routines are guaranteed to fly out the window as you adjust, and decent sleep is often the first thing to suffer.
While school starts once dictated bed and awake times, many parents have loosened those reins recently. Worse, countless kids are falling into night time antics because they know that they don’t need to head out the next day.
This is a problem given that a lack of sleep impacts everything your kids do, especially from a learning perspective. Before you know, tired students could entirely unravel your best teaching efforts. But, what can you do about it?
First, it helps to catch your kids red-handed. Often, night time misbehavior goes under the radar, meaning that parents miss the signs. But, if you suspect, then it’s worth either keeping an ear out or investing in a wifi baby monitor which can help to keep an eye on older kids just as much as young ones. Whether or not you find evidence of disruption during your research, however, the following signs can be sure giveaways that sleep isn’t top of your student’s priorities.
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourselves to a lie in or two during the pandemic. Times are tough, and small treats like an extra hour in bed must be taken where possible. But, if your kids are repeatedly missing their alarm calls, they may be missing out on sleep during the early hours. After all, children typically have pretty early alarm clocks, with many waking up as early as six, and few sleeping past eight. Sticking to these parameters is the best way to make the most of prime learning hours. Make sure, then, that your kids wake up at the same time each day and look rested. Otherwise, you might need to take a little action to ensure they sleep better when they get the chance.
Concentration at homeschool can be difficult to come by. After all, kids suddenly have all the distractions of the household all day long. Not to mention that there’s a whole lot of other stuff to worry about right now. Still, a good lesson plan and an engaging teacher should be enough to get young minds on board. Unless, of course, you’re dealing with a case of no-sleep. It’s no secret that not getting enough shut eye can dramatically impact the ability to focus on even simple concepts. If your kids continually struggle to engage despite your best efforts, then it’s certainly worth looking to the bedroom for answers.
Early afternoon fatigue
It’s also worth looking out for afternoon fatigue in your young ones. After all, even tired little humans can be full of beans in the hours after waking up, but that won’t last if they aren’t getting enough sleep. Rather, you’ll find your students nodding off in the first after-lunch lesson, or altogether struggling to concentrate past a certain point in the afternoon.
While some level of afternoon fatigue is normal, with many of us finding ourselves particularly unproductive between two and three, repeated cases in your kids point to one thing and one thing only – the fact that they might not be getting enough shut-eye!
So, what can you do about it?
If you’ve put your detective head on and sniffed out all these signs, or just caught midnight antics on camera, then you’re going to want to take action fast. As well as missing out on significant educational aspects, tired kids can miss developmental milestones and more. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to improve sleep at last, including –
- Set a regular night routine (bath, book, bed, etc.)
- Reduce bedroom distractions (light, sound, technology)
- Set no-screen rules at least an hour before bed
- Avoid caffeine and sugar in the afternoon
- Make sure kids get plenty of natural sunlight
Aside from these efforts, vigilance is your best bet at overcoming this issue. By being aware of sleeplessness, you can certainly implement rules that change the game for your kids and their lessons.
Do note, however, that these are difficult times for everyone. Aside from anything, many kids struggling to sleep right now may be suffering with stress and anxiety about what’s happening all around them. So, be kind. Take the time to get to the bottom of the issue, and then try whatever you can to turn sleep around.