Physical and emotional health are important factors in preparing your child for college.
At Centennial Academy, we help our students develop – and master – effective learning behaviours and we coach them to become autonomous and resilient learners. Our goal is to graduate students who are in control of their studies and who are ready for college. We work very much in partnership with parents, ensuring that routines and structures that support our efforts are maintained at home.
However, once a student graduates from Centennial, he is on his own to maintain his effective learning behaviours at school.
In my capacity as Director General of Centennial College, I have observed that the students who do the best in college are those who maintain a healthy bodies and healthy minds: students who incorporate physical activity and relaxation activities into their lives. As self-regulation expert Stuart Shanker points-out, exercise and relaxation are essential to helping students learn better and manage their stress. These are routines and structures that take root at home, so this is where parents come in.
Here is what you can do to help your child be a more autonomous, resilient and college-ready learner:
- Encourage him to do four hours a week of aerobic activity. This could be jogging, power-walking, dancing, rock-climbing, swimming, kayaking, playing a team or individual sport, horseback riding, skiing, skating, martial arts, or working-out a gym.
- Encourage him to practice a relaxing hobby or pastime every day that does NOT involve a screen (screens excite and stress the brain). This could be reading, painting, practicing an instrument, building models or robots, cooking, gardening, drawing, designing, playing board games, singing, or even meditating.
- Encourage him to mix things up and not stick to the same exercises or pastimes. Variety is the spice of life and it also creates new learning pathways and makes for better balanced individuals!