How To Help Your First Grader Sit Still For School


Being six is tough. Or at least, that’s how it looks when I ask my six-year-old son to sit still for five minutes.

Unfortunately for both of us, school works takes a lot more than five minutes a day.

How to help your first grader sit still for school

I know that my son isn’t a bad kid – he’s actually a very good kids except for when he’s competing with his sister. But he’s a boy. The kids who climbs to the top of door frames and hangs from the top by his fingertips.

Not the kind who sits still.

I have to say that when I looked forward to having kids as a young adult, strategizing how to help them sit still for school work was never part of my plans. It just never occurred to me.

But here I am, strategizing.

Because that’s what you have to do if you want to get through school without a meltdown of either the kid or the teacher (which in this case is me – yes, I’ve had a meltdown or two).

Start with a sensible breakfast

gluten-free ham biscuits with cheese

Sugar, obviously is out. As convenient as it is, boxed cereal almost the worst breakfast you can give your kids on a day you expect them to sit still and concentrate.

Instead, try:

  • Eggs and toast,
  • Sausage and oatmeal
  • Breakfast sandwiches
  • Veggie Omelets
  • Think more protein, fewer simple carbs.

Get some exercise

As busy as school mornings can be, as much as you may hate getting your kids up in the morning, the best answer could be to get your kiddo out of bed and out for a bike ride. You probably know this for experience: it’s a whole lot easier to sit still and concentrate after you’ve had some exercise!

Create a soothing environment

We homeschoolers are lucky in that we can control the school time environment around us. We have an essential oil diffuser that lives on the corner of our school desk, and we absolutely love diffusing calming essential oil blends while we’re working on lessons.

For non-homeschoolers, you can still control parts of your children’s school environment. My favorite way is through a diffuser bracelet – in most cases, it’s a simple leather bracelet that you put a few drops of oil on.

The volatile essential oils then evaporate (diffuse) all day in your child’s vicinity without the needs for a large, probably not school approved diffuser.

Our favorite calming blends:

  • Lavender and orange
  • Bergamot, patchouli, ylang ylang (your boys may particularly like the woodsy scent of this one!)
  • Bergamot, geranium, lavender
  • Lavender, lime, frankincense
  • Peace and Calming (blend from Young Living)

Two rules of thumb: any blend you would use for sleep, and well, anything with lavender, because lavender is awesome! 

Little boys are awesome, and I never want to take Garrett’s energy away, or shame him for it. These three techniques are super straight forward, and they have made a massive improvement in helping my six year old sit still for school work.

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  1. I’m so glad to read these ideas! They may be a year late, but it was me having a meltdown with my six year old a year ago. I’m very glad to know that I’m not alone and also that you’re good at finding solutions to problems.

    Every time I read what you have to share Elise, it is a BIG confirmation that I AM NOT ALONE!

    Thank you for your encouragement.

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