3 WAYS TO MENTALLY PREPARE YOUR KIDS
FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR
It may not feel like it yet, but summer is coming to a close, and summer break is ending along with it. Soon, the kids will be back to early-morning breakfasts before the school bus arrives and late-night study sessions. Thankfully, there are some steps your family can take during these closing weeks of summer to ensure your kids hit the ground running this school year. SET AN EARLY BEDTIME For many kids, summer schedules are flexible. They may have become accustomed to sleeping in and staying up late without any obligations. Getting back into the rhythm of the school year can take some getting used to. In fact, according to psychologist Cherie Valeithian, it can take upward of two weeks to properly adjust to a new sleep-wake cycle. So why not give your kids a head start and ensure they begin the school year bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? OUTLINE A HOMEWORK SCHEDULE Resuming a homework regimen can be a difficult transition for some kids. Late summer, when they don’t have assignments to worry about yet, can be a great opportunity to help them prepare a study schedule. Ask the following questions to help them get started: “Do you want to dive right into homework when you get home? Do you need to accommodate for a sport or extracurricular activity? Do you work best when doing your assignments in one large chunk, or would you prefer taking breaks in between assignments?” Your kids may find that last year’s schedule doesn’t work for them this year. Emphasize that this is okay; part of growing up is learning how and when you work most effectively. Don’t be afraid to help them switch things up as the school year progresses. ASK YOUR KIDS HOW THEY FEEL Maybe your kids are excited about the school year. Maybe they are anxious, or perhaps they’re just disappointed to see summer vacation come to an end. Starting a dialogue about the aspects of school your kids are looking forward to and those they’re dreading can help you dispel myths and identify problem areas. More than anything else, this can help your kids feel at ease about the coming year.
Every four years, the World Cup grabs international attention as teams from every section of the globe clash on the turf. And just as importantly, every four years, animals with psychic abilities are chosen to predict the outcome of each matchup. Here’s a look at some furry, fanged, and friendly creatures whose fortune-telling abilities were put to the test. PAUL THE OCTOPUS The tradition of having animals predict World Cup games began eight years ago with Paul the octopus, a cephalopod with quite a knack for choosing the winning team. Paul had an 85 percent success rate, CNN reported, with eight correct predictions, including the winner of the final game, when he correctly chose Spain. NELLY THE ELEPHANT Elephants remember everything, and they also seem to know everything. Nelly the Elephant, whose method of prediction involved kicking a soccer ball into one of two nets marked with team flags, had a 90 percent success rate during her stint as the World Cup oracle. ACHILLES THE CAT The 2018 Cup, which ended last month, was no exception in looking to the animal kingdom for clues into the future. Achilles, a snow-white, congenitally deaf cat who resides in the Hermitage Museum in Russia, was designated the official animal oracle — he even got a World Cup fan ID. Before each kickoff, Achilles was presented with two bowls of cat food marked with the flags of the competing countries. Whichever bowl he ate from was considered his bet for the winning team. How did Achilles do? He showed a strong start, predicting Russia’s win over Saudi Arabia, Iran’s win over Morocco, and Brazil’s victory over Costa Rica. But his perfect streak was ruined when Achilles chose Nigeria over Argentina. Argentina’s fans rejoiced when Marcos Rojo scored the winning goal in minute 86 of the game, and the feline was proven wrong. Achilles redeemed himself when he correctly predicted that Belgium would beat England in the third-place playoff, and he also correctly chose the winner of the final game, France. Achilles’ 2018 predictions were accompanied by forecasts from other animals, including Yakov the bear, who lives in Moscow and correctly predicted France’s win over Belgium, and Zabiyaka (it means ‘bully’ in Russian), a goat from Samara. So, how will animals like Achilles spend their post-World Cup days? They’ll likely return to their day jobs. For Achilles, that means catching rats in the museum basement in St. Petersburg. Let’s See How Our Furry Friends Did COULD A CAT PREDICT THE OUTCOME OF THE WORLD CUP?
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