Got a kid who's not quite living up to her learning potential -- say, pulling in Cs when she could easily be a report-card-carrying member of the A team? Threats and bribes might help, but these five strategies are smarter:
- Burn and learn. Body work + brain work = better test results. So toss some multiplication practice into your Frisbee-golf game, or quiz her for her geography test while on your bike tour of the neighborhood. Kids' test scores increase as much as 13.5% when they exercise while learning new information, say researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital.
- Tame the tube. The more time kids spend focusing on any kind of video screen, the less they'll be able to focus on a blackboard or book, new data suggests. That's because staring at screens causes a hypersurge of the brain chemical dopamine, which aids learning and concentration. Yes, that sounds like a good thing, but too much screen-induced dopamine can desensitize