With television, video games, and the great outdoors all calling for children’s attention, it can be difficult for them to put their heads down and focus on their studies. But you needn’t despair if your kids are easily distracted. These creative methods can help them concentrate on the study they need to reach their academic potential.
Physical Activity Can Improve Focus
Some parents make their children sit down and study before they go out and play. They believe that the thought of playing later will help motivate their child, but making physical activity a priority may have benefits. As it turns out, moving the body and getting the blood pumping actually motivates the brain. The following activities will help your child focus once they sit down to study:
- Walk or bike home from school
- Practice with a local sports team
- Dance to some favorite music
- Play on a neighborhood playground
- Swim in a local pool or the ocean
Movement During Study Can Improve Focus
Physical activity doesn’t need to stop once it’s study time. Some children, including many with ADHD, focus and study better when they’re walking around or marching. Your child might prefer to walk around with a book in their hand, or leave the book on a desk and refer back to it as they digest information while moving around. If your child is fidgety or struggling to focus in a chair, this technique is worth considering.
Reducing Distractions Can Improve Focus
We live in a world full of screens that pose a significant distraction to children. Removing them is essential for focus during study, unless they are a part of the educational materials being used. Create dedicated study areas that are far from household televisions. If your kids are hitting the books, make sure they’re doing it with the computer off. Computers should be kept in quiet common areas, so that you can ensure children who should be doing homework, learning, or studying can stay on task. Cell phones should also be turned off and kept far from reach.
Taking Regular Breaks Can Improve Focus
A child’s attention span is much shorter than an adult’s, so it’s important to structure study time for maximum productivity. The time that a typical child can focus on one activity equals his chronological age plus one. So a nine-year-old child can only focus for ten minutes at a time. That doesn’t mean you need to restrict yourself to very short study sessions though. Instead, encourage your children to work for the recommended period of time, then break for a few minutes before resuming study. It’s important that your children don’t start doing anything too involved during this time, or it will be hard to drag them away. Some suitable activities include:
- Getting a drink
- Eating a small nutritious snack like nuts, yogurt, or a piece of fruit
- Using the bathroom
- Singing along to a favorite song
- Walking around the house to stretch legs
A child’s learning environment is important, and some students find it hard to focus in a noisy or distracting classroom setting. If your children struggle to focus, visit K12 to see what a difference online learning could make in helping them reach their academic potential.