I read some stuff about being smart the other day – with exams coming up we could all probably use a little extra smarts!
English is a strange language because “smart” has four different meanings.
It can mean a person is clever and quick in thought or action. For example, Mpho is really smart – she passed all her exams.
It could also mean that a person is well-dressed. For example, Mpho looked really smart in her new outfit.
Another meaning is to feel a sharp, stinging pain. For example, Mpho’s arm smarted for ages after the wasp stung her.
Lastly, it can mean that you feel annoyed or resentful after being insulted. For example, Mpho smarted for the whole of break time after Sandile said she was fat.
We are talking about the first one… here are some ways to help make us smarter.
- Ask questions. It really is good to ask if we don’t know or understand something.
- Get some exercise. This is a no-brainer – we know we feel better when we get out into the fresh air and start moving. Cycle, jog, walk briskly, hula hoop…
- Eat healthy. Crunch apples and carrots instead of chips or sweets for snacks.
- Keep a journal. It’s good to sit at the end of the day and reflect on all that has happened. It makes your memory work a bit harder too.
- Learn a new skill. It does not have to be anything fancy – learn to knit, to code, or maybe how to bake – go nuts and try something new. Nothing ventured nothing gained!
- Hang out with other smart people. This is so true – if we spend time with people who are interesting and interested – we feel smarter too.
- Challenge your brain. Do crossword puzzles or Sudoku’s. Play memory games.
- Change your routine. Try not to do things the same old boring way every single day – vary the order in which you do things, or eat lunch outside instead of inside. Sit in a different spot at school break. As the saying goes… a change is as good as a holiday.
- Get enough sleep. Do it! Go to sleep at a decent hour our bodies need time to recover from a busy day.
- Read more. Join a library or swap books with friends. There are also plenty of eBooks free on the internet that are available to read on cell phones too.
Think smart peeps!
You all know how I like to read… well sometimes mum is really irritating when she interrupts me in the middle of a good story and says it’s time for bed. I beg for another half hour but she says that kids need to sleep for at least 10 or 11 hours a night to be happy and healthy. She reckons I get grumpy when I don’t have enough sleep.
Sometimes I cheat and read with a torch under my blankets. The other day Mum caught me out and I was in serious trouble – she took my book away for two whole days!
I was quite sure that Mum was fibbing about how much sleep in needed so decided to google and find out why exactly why so many hours are needed.
Firstly between the age of 7 and 12 years old, we really do need to sleep those 10 or 11 hours a night. This is not just to stop us from becoming cranky either. It’s the time when our muscles repair themselves during the night. And don’t just think arm and leg muscles – it also includes our heart muscle.
Sleep also controls the signals that tell us when we are hungry or when we are full up – which allows us to maintain a good weight.
While we are happily snoozing our brains stores up all the stuff we have learned during the day – so that we can recall it later when we need it.
If we don’t sleep properly at night, it is harder to pay attention at school during the day. We tend to make more mistakes if we are tired than if we are well rested.
If we don’t get enough sleep at night – we could always have a little nap during the day to make up the sleep time. Preferably not during school time though because we’d land up in trouble with the teacher.
Apparently – it should take us about 15 to 20 minutes to fall asleep from when our head hits the pillow.
Of course teenagers can get away with a little less sleep – like 8 to 9 hours a night. Half the time they don’t get anywhere near this amount of sleep and so they really do need to sleep in over the weekends.
Seems like the older you get the less sleep you need.
Sleep tight and sweet dreams.