Teens sleeping

6 Tips for Teens to Sleep Better

Teenagers can worry a lot. They may go to bed too late because of too much homework, earn some extra pocket money and work too much, use their tablet or mobile phone too much or their parents set too few rules to prevent children from developing sleeping problems. Young people know very well that they go to bed too late, but they just don't go to bed early. How can we, as parents, help teens sleep better? What can parents do differently or better? Here are some tips.

Type 1. Kids will appreciate you helping them plan better.
For most college students, teens, and adolescents, homework is a reason to go to bed late. They think it's the teachers' fault that they get too much homework or they complain that the teachers give a lot of homework at times and no homework at other times. They feel irregularity in this. When children learn how to better organize their homework, they can sleep better at night and go to bed earlier without stress. You can help your child with:
* Teaching the child the best times during the day to do his or her homework. As a teacher, I know these times are right after school and after dinner.
* Teach your child how to plan breaks and fun things in a week and get the child to use an agenda instead of just finding homework in an online environment! A real old-fashioned diary works best.
* Show your child the best place at home to do homework. I suggest a quiet place, but not necessarily his or her bedroom where there is no control and a lot of potential distraction. A quiet space in the back of the living room or an office-like space downstairs is a good place to do homework. If there is no option but to do homework in their bedroom, make sure there is no phone, no TV, and a clean desk without too many distractions like computer games and social media, etc.

Type 2. Make sure the teen doesn't have his or her phone next to the bed at night!
We all know that the phone is an extension of themselves, like everyone who has a phone these days. So we all understand the importance of the phone and want to have it near them as much as possible. It's your social life, your source of information, your alarm, your everything. Who wants to miss a Whatsapp conversation in some group. Yes, tempting as it is, teens realize they can't go to sleep with their phone on them because it keeps them awake. Adolescents will understand if a parent sets rules for the telephone in the room during the night. They won't like it at first, but they know it's necessary for adequate sleep. You can buy your son or daughter a real alarm clock, so that the mobile is no longer needed!

Type 3. Help your teen stop worrying right before bedtime.
When will that mark be for the French test? Did I hand in that assignment correctly? Do my classmates like me? What time does school start tomorrow? Why did I tell her I didn't like her lipstick… stupid me. All kinds of questions can arise right before going to sleep. Wouldn't it be great to have all these questions answered before going to bed?
This brings us to the “puzzle your head for a 15 minute break”.
Your teenage son or daughter can find one regular time each day to worry and think about anything that comes to mind. In those 15 minutes, they write down all their questions and concerns and look for answers and solutions. Thus thinking before sleep becomes superfluous.

Type 4. Only sleep in the bedroom!
Teenagers love their room and it is very important to them. They do whatever they want there, such as gaming, YouTube or binge-watching, chatting with friends and checking Instagram and so on. Secretly, however, they know that it is not appropriate to do all those fun things at night. But they need parents to set rules for this! Not every teenager is the same. Some need rules and others don't. But as a parent you know if they are needed or not. Parents can also create a separate gaming area somewhere in the house, other than in the bedroom, so that the bedroom is really only used for sleeping.

Type 5. A clean, organized, tidy bedroom.
We all know that students and teens don't like to clean or tidy up. They throw their clothes on the floor and make a mess of their whole room. They use a cup or glass, eat something and throw away the wrapper. This can cause anxiety just before going to sleep. You can teach your teen to clean up right away if they make a mess. Then every teenager can sleep in a quiet bedroom every night! You can remind your teen of this from time to time, which will be understood.

Type 6. Make rules together and don't be too strict.
If you set all kinds of strict rules, children will not listen because they will create more resistance. Even though they know that rules can sometimes be positive and useful. If you give them control and make these rules together, there can be a discussion about what works and what doesn't. Just listen to them and try to agree on realistic rules that everyone is happy with.

I hope you found these handles useful!

Maarten Janssen

Books written by Maartje Janssen

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Music lesson from paper

“Music is great fun” is different from the digital methods. How so then?

The music method for primary education "Music is great fun" is, just like other digital methods, instructive when it comes to music lessons. Children learn rhythms, different styles of music and the like in all digital teaching methods. However, this music method for primary education “Music is great fun” is on paper! Nice and old skool, just wonderful learning and doing from a book and not from an IWB. As described in a previous article of mine, children learn better from paper than from IWB or screen. The fabric sticks better, the concentration is higher and it is easier to scroll back and repeat.

Physical books, that is the solution for really good durable and deep dust, unlike what you would expect nowadays in this digital age with so many digital teaching methods. Another advantage of the music method for primary education "Music is great fun" is that you can take the music lesson book home with you and leaf through it as homework together with mom and dad. This way the whole family gets music lessons! The music method for primary education “Music is great fun” also teaches the children what a fanfare orchestra is, what a concert band is and what a symphony orchestra is.

The students are offered a piece of instrumentation in the music method for primary education, they get to know many different styles of music and listen a lot to special fragments of music. Of course there is also singing and dancing, but in addition to this playful work, they also learn to play the recorder and music theory in this music method for primary education. The only thing you need to buy is this music method book, a recorder method eg that of Tom Stone, and a recorder. This is how children really learn music!

They learn to read music on paper and everything stays bundled in 1 or 2 books, instead of from the IWB or loose worksheets that get lost. Reading is “topographical”. When you read something, you structure the content in your mind just as you mentally map a path when you climb a mountain or bake a cake and follow the steps in your head.

Finally, a real book is experienced as nicer by most students because you can see where a text begins and ends, you can easily read it back and you don't accidentally skip anything that you can do faster from an IWB and screen. In short, the music method for primary education “Music is great fun” is recommended for every primary school. I am of course biased as I wrote the book myself but the facts are undisputed there and researched. We understand and remember information better when we read it from a page than from a screen, so I can share that conclusion and with it my enthusiasm for this book!

Maarten Janssen

Books written by Maartje Janssen

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music chat box

Drop your idea in the music chat box!

This is the music chat box where you can leave ideas about music lessons. As a (musical) parent or (musical) child, what do you think that students of groups 6, 7 and 8 should learn about music?

Drop your ideas here and I will incorporate it into the music teaching method “Music is great fun!” I teach general music education, part 2 and 3!

I would like to mention the 15 nicest reactions with the most creative ideas in the word of thanks in the teaching method, just add your name!

So bring on the ideas!

Maarten Janssen

Books written by Maartje Janssen

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Type or Write

Writing versus typing. What's best?

One of the ways to better anchor knowledge in your brain is to write your study notes instead of typing them! A seemingly simple change can make it easier to remember information on the day of the test.

Hard to believe? Science Alert reports that a new study, published in Psychological Science, reports that using laptops to take class or study notes makes taking notes so easy that the information being recorded is less likely to be remembered. While laptops allow students to jot down information more quickly, the act of putting pen to paper activates areas of the brain that help them better understand the material they are writing down. The researchers write: “While more notes are beneficial, at least to some extent, if the notes are made haphazardly or by mindlessly copying content, as is more likely the case on a laptop computer than if notes are made by hand, the benefit."

Nowadays children are spoon-fed it; they never have to learn how to use a keyboard in typing class again because they have been using a tablet or keyboard from an early age. And that's good news, because technology is increasingly being used in the classroom in education. Technology has become essential to the way we access information and organize our lives. But just because something is new and useful doesn't mean the old way is no longer relevant and essential.

This is especially true when it comes to writing. Even in this technological age we are in, there are still plenty of times when you need to put pen to paper, such as when writing an essay for an exam. But it turns out that writing isn't just necessary for school: writing is an activity that has been shown to have numerous benefits for the brain and body.

Whether you're jotting down your thoughts, journaling, writing poetry, or starting a novel, old-fashioned pen and paper can have a huge impact on your emotional well-being, help organize your thoughts and even improve your mood.

While writing by hand is considered an old-fashioned activity, it is still considered a valuable skill that has many cognitive benefits, both in and out of the classroom.


Stress relief

The act of writing itself can reduce stress, helping to improve focus and attention in the classroom.

Creativity and learning

A regular writing habit has been shown to increase creativity and deepen thinking, keeping the brain sharp.


Writing by hand has also been found to improve memory and prevent delayed performance. Writing with pen on paper activates parts of the brain, increasing the student's understanding. It also involves more senses and motor neurons than typing on a keyboard.


Writing about feelings can improve mood and provide a sense of well-being – putting pen to paper helps to work out thoughts in an orderly way, making burdens feel lighter.


Some studies show that writing about gratitude, especially before bedtime, can improve sleep, leading to better classroom performance and a sense of well-being.

I hope you found my blog post interesting!

Maarten Janssen

Source: Science Alert.

Books written by Maartje Janssen

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Better learning from screen or paper?

Learning better from a screen of paper? Find out here!

Nowadays, so many teaching methods are offered digitally. In primary schools as well as secondary schools, many books are offered digitally and assignments are also processed digitally in the programme. So much so that you can't do without the digital version anymore. As a tutor-teacher, this makes me a little queasy. That is why I always tell my pupils: print the chapter you have to learn! Work on it actively, highlighting important sentences, summarising, reading it carefully several times. If necessary, make notes on the sidelines, that is called actively dealing with your subject matter, and certainly on paper, because that is the best way! Physical books, printed pages, that's the solution for really lasting and deep absorption.

Contrary to what you might expect in this digital age with all the computer screens, e-readers, tablets and mobile phones, students prefer physical books and not digital books. There are some studies on the internet in which can be found that according to 92 per cent of American students it takes longer to understand the material, you read over it a bit quicker, you do not read " thoroughly". You read more carefully when you have a physical book in front of you. This applies to students in secondary school, college or university, but certainly also to primary school pupils.

I read an article on fastcompany.com and on oxfordlearning.com that shows from a report by Scientific American that reading is "topographical". When you read something, you structure the content in your mind ... just as you mentally map out a path when you climb a mountain or take a city walk, your brain plots the line-by-line journey your eyes make through a book.

Another researched fact is that learning and absorbing information from paper is felt more pleasantly because you can feel the paper, you can see where a text begins and ends. Your concentration is better when you read from paper, you can easily flip through the text and therefore you can easily flip back and read parts again more often than from a screen. If you read on a screen, it is even the case that you unconsciously skip whole parts and scan over them more or less. It may be that reading on a screen is faster than on paper, but that is not necessarily better, but rather worse.

So what does all this really mean? It means that we understand and remember information better when we read it from a page rather than from a screen such as a computer, digiboard, e-reader or tablet. If we are asked to recall information, our brain will remember where on a page we read the information, which makes recall easier. Studying notes from a computer screen or tablet does not give our brains the same context as reading the information from a textbook or a set of printed pages. "The endless scroll of a website or the clicked pagination of an e-reader does not provide the same cartographic clues ... you only have access to the handful of paragraphs present on the screen, while the rest of the text is hidden ... which means you miss the contextual information you ambiently receive by holding a book in your hands." (www.oxfordlearning.com)

Coupled with the increased risk of distraction or procrastination when studying online, it just makes sense: students need to write/print out their study notes on paper, grab their textbooks and turn off screens to study effectively. So I would say, do not use those digital teaching methods so easily, but go back to the way it used to be, learning from a real book!

I'd love to hear what you thought of the article!

drs. Maartje Janssen

Books written by Maartje Janssen

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Why is music so important for every child?

Why is music so important for every child?

It's in several music methods: "children who can play music have an advantage." Music is magically beautiful and beneficial. For one thing, music has a calming effect on children. A kind of mental relaxation. That's why it's important for children to be exposed to music from an early age. You can sing children's songs with them or if you play an instrument yourself you can accompany the child while he/she sings. Music boxes and music boxes are also fun to introduce a child to the beauty of music at a young age. For very young children, it is also good for their speech and language development. By getting a feel for rhythm, they also get a feel for the rhythm of language!