PORTLAND, Ore. — Many kids throughout the area are heading back to class for the start of a new school year this week.

With that in mind, we sought out some helpful back-to-school tips from a local learning specialist, Jesuit High School Director of Learning Support Colleen O'Mahony.

When asked to come up with three healthy habits that lead to successful students, Colleen said, "You're not going to go wrong if you focus on sleep, nutrition, and good homework habits."


A good night's sleep


O'Mahony said there's a direct correlation between a good night's sleep and the ability to focus and concentrate in the classroom. "Memory consolidation happens while you sleep. So if you want to remember the lesson you learned today, get a good night's sleep and you'll remember it better tomorrow," O'Mahony said.

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A healthy breakfast


It's no secret that a good, healthy breakfast should be part of everyone's daily routine, and that's especially true for kids. "Part of that is because they [generally] sleep longer [than adults]," O'Mahony said, adding that breakfast helps kids' brains and bodies know that it's time to wake up.

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Good homework habits 


The one routine many kids would rather not get back into this time of the year is the homework routine. Kids should complete their homework as soon as they can after school instead of putting it off until later in the evening. "They might want to set a timer. Work for 25 minutes and take a brain break for 5. That's a really great habit that can start as early as first grade and go all the way through high school," O'Mahony said.

Colleen O'Mahony and Drew Carney
In the classroom with Jesuit High School Director of Learning Support Colleen O'Mahony.
KGW