As a savvy parent you already know that basics like nutrition and sleep can significantly raise your child’s grades. But here are three hidden things you may not have thought about that play a huge role in higher grades. The good news is, you can implement these three things quickly to help boost your child’s grades.
- Indoor Air Quality. Did you know that the EPA says that air quality has an enormous impact on learning, test scores, absenteeism, grades, dropout rates and your child’s health? (See citation sources below).
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is long-proven to be many times more polluted than outdoor air. All that bad air can be holding your child back from doing their very best and bringing home those higher grades you want to see.
Schools overall, tend not to be well-ventilated and for a variety of reasons, things like formaldehyde in furniture, nitrogen dioxide, mold, mildew, chemicals in cleaning products, airborne allergens, dirty hvac systems, and more… are often the hidden culprits making kids sick or lethargic and causing them to not be at peak performance.
When kids suffer from the problems these things create, including allergies, they often don’t feel well enough to do their best.
Here is the great news! An indoor air purifier can work wonders on the air quality and negate nearly every culprit listed above.
As a learning expert, I wanted to see whether better air quality could first, affect me, and then verify that with the kids I work with. I know I tend to spend way too much time indoors and suffer from some allergies, along with brain fog at times.
If it affects me, you can be sure it is affecting your kids, since their immune systems are far less developed.
So, I did some research to find the very best air purifier I could and voila – the Molekule air purifer came out on top every time. In 2017 it was noted as a Time Magazine product of the year.
From everything I can see and feel, I agree! The Molekule is unlike any air purifier you’ve used before. It works not by attaching dirt to a screen like a hepa filter, but by using nanotechnology to destroy the bad air irritants.
I contacted Molekule and they sent me over a unit to test out, both for myself and with kids in a learning situation.
Wow! From the first day it arrived, I noticed and felt a huge difference. Normally, just like your kids at school, I work indoors, and spend many hours on my computer.
This translates into breathing in the poor-quality air from the carpet with dust mites (no matter how many times I vacuum), the mold and mildew from the constant air conditioning and all the nasty things lurking in furniture and plastics.
The first night I used the Molekule Air Purifier, I slept really well, with no coughing or runny nose. This is a big one, because those things tend to wake me up at night, interrupting my sleep.
The Molekule Air Purifier was a piece of cake to set up, comes with an app for your phone and great customer service.
The only tiny tradeoff I noticed is that it puts out a glowing bluish light at night. While the Molekule can switch that light off, it affects the efficiency a bit so I just toss a t-shirt over my eyes to block that light along with all the other tiny electronic lights in my room, like the one from the smoke alarm. (Hint for you and your kids – studies show that you should sleep in full on darkness with no electronics messing with your sleep).
I continued to use the air purifier and soon found my family coming into my work space a lot more often.
They loved the clean air I created in the room I converted into an office. Everyone said they could actually feel a real difference – enough to visit me more often when I was working (ha ha)… we will have to save that one for another day.
Overall, I give the Molekule a score of 10 out of 10 because it helped me to feel a whole lot better and to think more clearly. Plus, it had the added benefit of nixing the runny, stuffy nose I had from all the allergens in an indoor environment.
- Learning Modality. The second little-known item affecting your child’s grades is how they process information – i. e. does your child like to visualize new information, learn it by listening or is your child more of a hands-on learner?
Schools tend to cater to those who think more visually – notice that grades tend to be based on written tests and kids who see pictures of everything they learned tend to do really well on written tests.
Brain research shows that thinking in pictures is a lot faster and more accurate, hence kids finish their tests sooner. Visual pictures are far more reliable than trying to remember things word by word (listening) or in a hands-on way.
You can have your child take the learning styles quiz at HowtoLearn.com to find out how they prefer to learn best.
3. Excellent Visual Skills. The third most overlooked item affecting your child’s grades is how strong their visual skills are. Visual skills (beyond excellent eyesight skills) are very important because they impact reading so significantly.
Most parents and teachers do not usually ask how the printed page looks to a child. And, a child does not realize that a printed page does not look the same to everyone.
Often, kids struggle when reading and parents and teachers don’t even realize it. Kids can re-read material over and over just to recall and learn it and think this is normal. Or what is worse, they think they are not smart because other kids seem to read and understand everything with very little effort.
This is only because undiagnosed visual skill issues like eye-tracking (the ability to follow smoothly from line to line and not skip lines) and teaming (using both eyes together) and others are not as strong as they need to be.
I always recommend that every child, beginning before school even starts, have a learning related vision exam. And, I recommend that they have one exam at least every two years after that.
This type of exam far exceeds the usual 20/20 eye chart exam (which is meaningless as it relates to reading at near point).
All the eye chart tells you is that your child can see a certain size letter from 20 feet away and who reads their book while covering one eye from 20 feet away?
Take your child to a developmental optometrist who does this type of thorough vision and eye health screening and you can find one by typing in your zip code at https://www.covd.org.
Overall, these 3 factors have a tremendous impact on your child’s grades but tend to be the most overlooked.
Part 2 of this article reveals how these three things work together to raise your child’s grades.
Cited Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Pat Wyman is the CEO of HowtoLearn.com and known as America’s Most Trusted Learning Expert. Her lifelong commitment is helping kids learn how to learn, showing them how to get better grades and succeed in school and beyond. She has written numerous books such as Smarter Squared: How to Use Personalized Learning to Master School Faster and Create the Future You Want; Amazing Grades: 101 Best Ways to Improve Learning Faster; Spelling Made Easy: Learn Your Words in Half the Time; Math Facts Made Easy: Learn All Your Facts in Half the Time and more…