While the jury is still out on whether brain-training games really work, there's no question that the following tips will help children stay sharp.
Hit the sack.
Here's an easy way to boost your kid's test scores – make sure he gets his zzzs.
Go out and play.
The experiences a child has during play include a long list of helpful developmental benefits. From practicing problem solving to mental planning – even building language skills – play is key.
Get some exercise.
Several studies point out the connection between getting exercise and doing better academically.
Read, read and then read some more.
"If I could give any advice to parents on helping their kids do better at school, I would say, 'Encourage them to read more,'" says Cory Sheridan, a fifth-grade teacher at Princeton Elementary School in St. Clair Shores. "All subjects involve reading. Students who are low readers are lower across the board in other subjects, even math."
Praise your child's efforts.
"There is a self-fulfilling prophecy that if you're told you're not very good at something, you will be," says Gabriella Meyers, a K-12 instructional technology consultant in Utica Community Schools. "If your child always hears, 'You're good at math, but not reading,' a child can feel like, and believe, it's true." Her advice is to praise your child's efforts, especially in subjects where she might be struggling.