school life balance for kids

How To Help Your Child Plan Their Work-Break Schedule

Knowing how to get the correct balance between work and breaks is difficult even for adults, taking too many breaks can make you unproductive and not taking enough can burn you out – you can imagine that with shorter attention spans and many more distractions available this is even tougher for children. Learning when and how to take breaks effectively can help your child stay focused and have an easier and more positive working day. Here’s how you can help:

Figuring out their optimum work rate

Help your child figure out when taking breaks is most productive for them – this is how long they can stay ‘in the zone’ before their mind starts to wonder, figuring this out may take some trial and error but once you have figured your child’s optimum work rate and implemented it into a routine it’ll be much easier for them to stay focused. You can get them to start with a 30-minute work to 5-minute break ratio and repeat this 3 times before they take a longer half an hour break. If they find that they can work longer before needing a break and it disrupts their flow or alternatively, that they can’t work for that long without a break then help adjust it to what feels right for them.

Active body, active mind

It’s important that your child is working some exercise into their day. Being active will make the blood flow to their brain and will allow them to stay alert for longer and work better. If they have
been sitting for a while tell them to get up, stretch, and go for a walk. When they are at their desk make sure they are not hunched over, this is bad for their spine and will cause back pain – they will work better when their posture is straight and this is best for their health.

Help them stay motivated

Suggest that your child do something productive in their break that gets them excited to go back to their desk, this could include anything from watching a motivational YouTube video or creating a playlist with songs that they are inspired by. A great way to exercise their mind in an enjoyable way is to do a small puzzle or game that challenges them like a crossword, word games or trivia.

(Stay tuned for the answers in next week’s article!)

Relax… The right amount

Help them avoid the ‘break trap’, this is when they become so relaxed during their break that the last thing they want to do is get back to work because they have wound all the way down. One of the worst things your child can do on their break is to take a nap because unless they have mastered the difficult art of the perfect power nap they will wake up tired and cranky. What they should do instead is relax through breathing exercises and stretching – this will allow them to keep focused too.