Lockdown and home schooling

Well, I’m not sure about you, but I can safely say I am NOT a teacher nor am I a Chef,  or indeed a patient one of either of these.  Saying that I do understand that food/hydration plays an enormous part in brain health.

I’m one of the lucky parents who don’t have to sit with their little cherubs every day during lessons.  Mine are much older and hence get on with their respective classes on their own.   I actually don’t get involved at all,  this doesn’t sit comfortably with me as I’m a bit of a control freak but at their age, I wouldn’t know where to start with helping them.  And more to the point they would be like….urgh mum you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Which to be fair is actually quite accurate.   

Interestingly I have two completely different learners in our house.   One that thrives on learning at home and has seen his grades improve exponentially, conversely the younger one has really struggled to focus and enjoy his classes.   


That is until now…….


Food is so important for not only mood but for focus and concentration too.  

I’ve tried not to succumb to feeding them “trash” food as I know how that can seriously impede on all aspects of their lives. So I started about a month ago to implement some “rules” to the broader meaning of homeschooling.   

I’ve noticed that the less nourished my kids are, the grumpier and less motivated they are.   And what I mean by that, is not the amount of food that goes in, it’s WHAT goes in.   I’ve encouraged them to start the day with a bowl of porridge as this is a great source of energy.  

Oats release their energy slowly, due to having a high content of complex carbohydrates and soluble fibre, so if you eat porridge for breakfast, you’ll stay fuller for longer and be able to concentrate for longer.  

I’ve also insisted on them drinking at least a litre of water a day. Drinking water throughout the day is really important so that when you come to study your brain is hydrated and functioning fully. It’s important to remember when your brain has a full reserve of water to work with, you will be more focused, have greater clarity and be able to think faster.   There as been a recent study from the University of East London and the University of Westminster found that drinking just 300ml of water can boost attention by up to 25%.

The link between water and cognitive performance has been proven time over time and I’ve even seen the results from my youngest son who never drank water before and now drinks at least one if not two litres a day.  His performance in class and feedback from teachers has been very encouraging.   Who knows if it’s the water but he has even said he feels like he concentrates more.   

Lots of water =

*better hormone regulation

*neurotransmitter production
*more oxygenated cells
*waste toxins
*increase your concentration


Having boys means that you are dealing with hormones that can peak and fall at any minute!  The most frustrating thing I’ve had to deal with is the “CBA” (can’t be bothered) attitude which drives me mad.   I think it must be a boy thing, but the thought of going out and exercising is like asking them to climb Mount Everest, they look at me as if I’m mad by just suggesting it.   

Both of them have put on some weight (like us all) and I know they feel uncomfortable about it but seem not to be able to do something about it.   So as the mean mother I am, I’ve negotiated (I have to do this a lot by the way) that they can have the Xbox at the end of the day if they go out for at least 1/2hr a day.   That means either walking the dogs or going for a run or taking some exercise outside.   My goodness, what a difference it has made to their moods.   They actually come back into the house speaking instead of grunting and actually have even said how good they feel.  Who knew I would I right?  Well actually I did, but say I told you so.    


I know it sounds silly but having daily battles over food, screen time, working and revising it is a light relief to see the benefits of something you’ve instilled into their daily routine actually work. 


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