A growing body of research finds that music lessons make kids smarter. Control groups showed that children who attended music lessons exhibited a greater IQ. However, the effect was relatively small. Nevertheless, research finds that musical training gives students learning advantages in the classroom. In fact, it was found that musical training doesn't just benefit the young, but the elderly too, offsetting some effects of aging.
2. Have them participate in sports
Studies conducted found that being in good shape increases your ability to learn. According to a 2007 study, German researchers discovered that people learn words 20% faster following exercise than they did before exercise. In another study, a group of volunteers were put on a three-month exercise regimen and took pictures of their brains after. They found that the capillary volume in the memory area of the hippocampus (the area of the brain that focuses on memory and learning) increased by 30%.
3. Read with your kids, not to them
When reading to your kids, don't let them just stare at the pictures in a book while you do all the reading. Share the reading with them, as this will help them build their reading skills. When reading is shared between you and your little one, it promotes early literacy ability, even among disadvantaged children.
4. A good night's sleep is vital
Studies have shown a correlation between grades and the average amount of sleep. In fact, it has been found that a loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to a loss of two years of cognitive maturation and development. In the studies conducted, it was found that teens who received A's averaged about 15 minutes more sleep than students who received B's, who in turn averaged 15 more minutes than C's, and so on.
5. Success is determined by self-discipline, not IQ
Studies show that willpower is what determines success. Students with high levels of willpower were more likely to earn higher grades in their classes. They had fewer absences and spent less time watching television and more hours doing homework. The study also found that self-discipline determined which students would improve their grades over the course of the school year, whereas IQ did not. It proved to have a bigger effect on academic performance than intellect.
6. Real learning isn't passive, it's active
Brain training games and apps don't work. In fact, they have no positive effect on the vocabulary of infants aged 17 to 24 months. Some have actually been shown to do more harm than good. It was found that for every hour children spent watching baby DVD's and videos, the infants understood an average of six to eight fewer words than infants who did not watch them. This is primarily because our brains evolved to learn by doing things, not by hearing about them. It is therefore more beneficial to apply a rule of two-thirds. For example, if you want to memorize a passage, it is better to spend 30% of your time reading it, and the other 70% testing your knowledge.
7. What children eat affects their grades
Research shows that high-carb, high-fiber and slow-digesting foods like oatmeal are best. Furthermore, what you eat a week in advance matters too. In one study, 16 college students were tested on attention and thinking speed. They were then fed a five-day, high-fat, low-carb diet rich in meat, eggs, cheese and cream, then tested again. Results showed that their performance had declined. It was also found that caffeine and glucose can have a beneficial effect on cognitive performance. Results suggest that combining caffeine with glucose increases attention.
8. Happier kids are more likely to become successful, accomplished adults
On average, happy people are more successful at work and in love. Results show that they get better performance reviews, have more prestigious jobs and earn higher salaries. They are also more likely to get married and are more satisfied with their marriages when they do.
9. A child's peer group affects their grades
In a study conducted at Dartmouth College, a child's peer group has powerful influence over them. It was discovered that when students with low grade-point averages mixed with higher-scoring students, their grade-point average increased.
10. Believe in them
A study carried out by Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson (1968), conducted a classroom study telling elementary school teachers that they had certain students in their class who excelled at academics. These students were selected at random. At the end of the school year, 30% of the children selected had gained an average of 22 IQ points, and almost all had gained at least 10 IQ points.