“Stop fidgeting and finish your homework.”
This is a statement that we may have repeated a dozen times when our kids are doing their homework. Kids are fun-loving, they talk a lot, are exuberant, curious and very energetic. Granted, it becomes challenging to get them to settle when they are studying.
Children have short concentration spans, and with the advent of technological devices, their concentration has been significantly reduced. When the task at hand is not fun, children get bored and shift their attention to more exciting activities. However, there are several techniques you can apply to improve their concentration.
Engage Them in Focus Games and Exercises
Children learn more when they play than when they listen. Having said that, engage them in more fun activities to make their homework seem more fun. Start by keeping away gadgets such as phones, tablets, and computers. Research has shown that these gadgets can significantly reduce the concentration span of your child.
Crossword and jigsaw puzzles are great games as they engage the brain of your child making them great thinkers. You can also engage them in sequencing games where they arrange blocks, arrange tables, or any other games that involve arranging items in an order. This increases their concentration on the task as they do not want to fail. You can also engage them in sitting exercises where they sit in one position without moving or fidgeting for a given period, say 15 minutes.
You have to understand what environment your child thrives well in; some do well in a calming environment with limited distractions while others love an environment with a lot of the hustle and bustle. If your child loves an ambient environment, you can play the soft instrumental with soft lighting. Keep all gadgets away or switched off to ensure that they concentrate only on the task at hand. If the child needs a computer for studying, ensure that there are no distracting programs installed besides the studying programs.
Make sure that all the studying materials are within reach. The child should not stand up to get studying materials such as pens, crayons or books. When they have all the materials they need, children will concentrate better and will utilize their time more efficiently.
Make Them Comfortable: Use a Weighted Lap Pad
When your child is studying at home, make sure they are as comfortable as they can be. One way of doing that is to ensure that their desk and chair are ergonomically constructed. The desk should not be too high or too low for the child.
A weighted lap pad is another way to make the child comfortable and still while seated. The lap pad is a pillow, which can be in any shape, and works the same way as a weighted blanket. The pads provide deep touch pressure, DTP, therapy which has a calming and organizing effect to both children and adults. With a weighted lap pad, your child will have increased concentration on a single task, will seat for longer periods, and their overall seating position will increase.
Create Routine for Your Child
When you have a routine, the brain of your child is programmed to know when to tackle a given activity. For instance, if your child comes home from school at 4:00 PM, you can provide them with a snack up to 4:30 PM, let them play with the neighborhood children up to 5:30 PM, eat a snack and wash up before settling at their desk to study by 5:50 PM. The child can then study until 7:50 PM, then eat before bedtime.
The schedule does not have to be regimented; you can make it flexible. However, always ensure that your child follows a schedule. Your child will know that immediately after playing, they have to study; their brain automatically switches to study mode.
Understand How Your Child Learns
There are different ways of learning; some children learn through visuals, drawing, auditory, doodling, reading aloud, music, kinesthetic or any other. Understanding how your child learns will help you come up with the best learning environment for them and set up the best schedule for their homework time. Try all learning methods to which they enjoy the most. The last step is to reward your child for reaching a given milestone. This will make them love homework time and train their brain to work on a single task to its completion.
Annabelle Carter Short is a mother, freelance writer and a seamstress of more than 7 years. She is a craft lover and loves making crafts with her two children, Leo (age 6) and Michelle (age 8). When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle writes for several sewing and garment blogs.