by Michele Carelse on March 29th, 2011 at 7:00 am
With the end of the school year upon us, many children are studying for numerous exams and tests. Thankfully, a lot can be done to optimize brainpower – so that information can be processed and retrieved from the far corners of the mind – pronto!
Check out our test-taking strategies and tips so that you can pass on this valuable info to your children or grandchildren, and in the process, help them to achieve their full potential! We’ve even included natural (and above all, safe) study aids.
Many nights spent studying are fuelled by sugary soda and candy snacks. What most students fail to realize is that the caffeine in these foods and drinks can have just the opposite of the desired effect – and actually negatively affect memory. Prescription medications to stay alert contain artificial stimulants that ‘jolt’ the brain while increasing heart rate, leaving you with that ‘jittery’ un-natural feeling. A more healthy and effective alternative would be to snack on naturally wholesome brain-boosting foods – like nuts, raisins and low fat cheese and veggie sticks, which all contain brain powering nutrients, to help focus without sacrificing brainpower.
A wonderful natural addition to eating well is Gotu cola, an herb known to improve cerebral blood flow to the brain, ensuring that wonderfully oxygen-enriched blood flows through the brain – a key ingredient for memory and concentration!
A healthy immune system
There is little point in keeping a student’s brain nourished if his or her immune system gets run- down. Added stress can lead to lessened health and a compromised immune system is likely to mean colds and flu, which in turn usually means a far more difficult time studying and learning!
Using natural means to support the immune system and give the body a firm grounding during the period of increased work and mental stimulation can provide benefits without compromising study ability. Two aids to promote immunity are Hypoxis rooperi (extract of African potato) and Echinacea, both considered nature’s own vitality boosters.
Another aspect of student life that is over-looked is test anxiety. There is nothing more frustrating and heartbreaking than learning all the material, only to go ‘blank’ and freeze up as the exam lands on the desk.
Homeopathic Anacardium and Gelsemium are known for their ability to reduce stage fright and boost confidence, while also naturally enhancing the brain’s own intrinsic ability to absorb and recall info – as it was designed to do!
More tips for success
Before your child begins studying in preparation for an exam or test, it’s important that he or she is mentally and physically prepared.
- Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Remember that old saying about getting eight to ten hours of sleep a night? Being well-rested is perhaps the most important, and unfortunately most overlooked, aspect of health when trying to stay focused. If your child is tired, his or her brain runs at lessened ‘speed’ and makes information assessment and storage more difficult. (Remember that yawning is the body’s way of trying to get more oxygen!)
- Ensure your child eats healthy. Most of the time in our busy schedules, we forget to take time out for our most obvious needs. If your child is not eating well, you cannot possibly expect him or her to perform well in school, or anything else. Eating the correct balanced proportion of protein (chicken, fish or eggs) and ‘good’ carbohydrates, like potato and wild rice, will provide mental stamina and good nutrition.
- Encourage daily exercise. Although walking at school or on campus might seem like enough exercise – encourage your kids to be active throughout the day. This doesn’t mean making them join a gym or start a rigorous program, but make sure they keep energy levels steady. This, by the way, depends on a well-balanced diet, and can also prevent insomnia!
- Help your child focus while studying. Try to limit distractions in the household while your child is studying. Re-schedule things like vacuuming, and record the game on television and watch it later. Make sure little ones in the house know not to disturb an older sibling, and try to keep them entertained outside in a quiet game. Remember that students need quality time to absorb information. The brain does not respond well to intermittent interruptions when trying to stay focused.
- Give your child support. Doing well in exams, while important, should not become the sole ambition in life. A healthy, well-rounded child is far more important, and more likely to flourish in the larger scheme of things!
BrightSpark™ Homeopathic remedy relieves hyperactivity, distractibility and impulsiveness in children with attention problems
A+ TestCalmer™ Settles exam nerves in students of all ages