Groundbreaking Study Examines Effects of Screen Time on Kids

Children ages 9 and 10 who spent at least seven hours on screens per day had thinning of the part of the brain that controls sensory processing, and those who had more than two hours of daily screen time had lower language and thinking test scores, according to an ongoing study from the National Institutes of Health. The study will follow over 11,000 children for 10 years to see how prolonged screen time affects the brain.

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9 Steps to Set Up a Kids’ Homework Area

Where you set up the homework area in your home isn’t as important as the fact that you have some kind of designated place where your grade-schooler has the comfort and quiet to relax and concentrate once the homework assignments start rolling in.

Younger children generally need more supervision and help with homework than kids in older grades. You may want to consider setting up an area for him at the dining room table or kitchen counter, even if he has a desk and chair in his room.

Some other ideas to keep in mind as you plan your child’s homework space:

1. Ask your child to help you set up the work area. Letting her have a say in how her work space is arranged will make it more likely that she’ll want to do work there.

2. Have supplies on hand. Put crayons, markers, pencils and other art and school supplies your child will need to do his homework in a portable bin so that he’ll have everything within easy reach.

3. Turn off the TV. Keep noise and distractions to a minimum so that your child can focus on her work.

4. Let there be light. Make sure his workspace is well-lit so that he can see comfortably.

5. Cut out the clutter.  Make sure your child’s work area is neat, organized and mess-free.

6. Give her time. Make sure you set up enough time each night so that she doesn’t feel rushed and can take the time she needs to settle comfortably at her homework station and thoroughly finish her work.

7. Give him a work buddy. If your lower-grade-schooler has an older sibling, they can sit and do homework together. If not, set up his favorite stuffed animal in a nearby chair with his own paper and pencil so that your child feels like he has a homework buddy working alongside him.

8. Sit down with your child. While dinner is cooking, try to spend part of homework time sitting next to your child doing your “work”—catching up on mail or reading a magazine.

9. Be flexible. Some days, your child may decide that she wants to fling herself down on the floor and do her homework on her tummy instead of at her homework area. Younger grade-schoolers generally don’t get homework that takes hours to do, so as long as she’s comfortable and gets her work done, let her choose how she wants to work.

Adapted from

Study Smarter: Studying Tips for Kids

Studying is one of those things that kids say they are either good at or aren’t good at.  But the truth is there are many things that you and your child can do in order to have a better studying experience.  We have compiled a list of good study habits for all children to benefit from.


Before you start studying, start moving

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 2.15.11 PMResearch shows that your brain is more active and better equipped for learning after 15 – 20 minutes of moderate activity.  So before you start studying, go for a 20-minute walk around the block.

Make sure to be hydrated and eat food

Did you know that your brain is 75% water?  If you are dehydrated your performance will decrease as well as your comprehension.  Additionally, make sure you have a healthy snack before you start studying.  Your body and brain need fuel to achieve academic success.

Pick a study spot that works for you

There might be lots of places in your house to study, but pick the one that you feel most comfortable in.  Make sure it is quiet and free of distractions.  This could be at a desk in the office, on your bedroom floor or possibly at the kitchen table.  The important thing is that it works for you.

Student StudyingHave all of your materials with you

Make sure that you have all of the materials that you will need with you.  If you are doing math homework this could mean a calculator, protractor and a pencil.  Whatever it is, make sure you do not have to get up and down to retrieve missing items.  This will distract you and break your concentration.

Take breaks

Studying is a marathon not a sprint.  If you are feeling overwhelmed at any point, stop and take a breather.  Try walking around or getting a snack as this will help activate your brain.  Then come back to your assignments and continue studying.


Have other study tips to share?  Leave them in the comments below or post them on our Facebook or tweet them to @HealthyKids2Day.