Nowadays, children have trouble staying focused. It is hard to stay on specific tasks when distractions are everywhere. As our children grow, they have more homework to do and the numerous extracurricular activities after school. They need to practice to focus on a task and finish it. The good news is that all kids can learn strategies to improve their concentration ability. Most of the time, it is the boring and difficult tasks that test their focus. They will probably drop a task when they find it less enjoyable. The challenge for you is to come up with fun ways to make concentration practices more fun and entertaining.
Being able to concentrate is extremely important because it helps kids learn and grow. Thus, improves their self-confidence and promotes positive self-esteem eventually. To strengthen concentration, one must regularly practice it.
Here’s a list of tips to help your kids stay focused and practice their concentration ability:
- 1.- Observe things in the moment. Kids can easily get distracted by what they see, hear, or remember. You can use their colorful imagination to your advantage. To help them concentrate, you can play, “I spy with my little eye… [something blue]” and then, you can take turns in listing your observations. You can also sing a song together and listen to lyrics thoroughly. You can also use their favorite characters to gain their attention. Create word problems like, for example, Anna and Elsa made 15 cookies, but then Olaf ate 3. How many cookies are left now? They would surely be interested in solving them because it is something that they genuinely like.
- 2.- Do not multitask. Deal with tasks one step at a time because multitasking decreases concentration and weakens our performance. Practice to do things one at time. If you wish to learn about words, you can sing the alphabet and introduce new words from A to Z. Do not mix in numbers in that exercise. In another time, you might want to practice your child’s basic arithmetic by using colorful flash cards one thing at a time in this one moment. For very young children, you might simply sing the alphabet. Do not look ahead and deal with all of the problems in one sitting. Focus on one and then, move to the next.
- 3.- Allocate a specific time and place for homework. This item is related to the second tip. It is important to reduce distractions so you as a parent should be strict in sticking to a schedule to do homework. There should be a specific area, preferably a quiet room, where your child can complete his/her assignment without any laptop, TV, phone, and any other gadgets that can cause distraction. If it is time to do homework, then focus on the task. If it is time for play, they can go out and enjoy the outdoors. During homework time, you can monitor the internet by using certain tools and apps. This way you are sure that your kids are not pretending to be busy and wasting time on online games and social media sites. To be sure, better turn off his/her mobile phone and shut down his/her computer.
- 4.- Schedule breaks too! When you have allocated time for homework, it is necessary to also set a break time. Your kids should also learn to recharge, move around and play. They can either eat their favorite snack, play a bit, or check on their friends through social media. Make sure your child is not deprived from taking a much needed break. After concentrating on a task for about 20 minutes, give him/her a time off. Do not pressure your kid about the piles of tasks during the break. You can do that after the break is done. After all, it is his/her free time so make sure those precious few minutes are relaxing.
- 5. Make a list of things to do. Your kid can get overwhelmed when you assign one huge task. It is ideal to break gigantic tasks to tinier pieces. To handle a challenging task, make a to-do list. Approach it item by item until the main task is completed. This is another strategy for helping children to approach a challenging task. If you want to teach your child how clean his room, you just don’t let him clearing a random pile. First, he needs to make his bed. Next is pick clothes, toys lying around. After, he has to put away dirty clothes and towels in the hamper. That way cleaning his room does not seem impossible. Completing a huge task can be overwhelming for your child. By making a list, he/she can conquer the task little by little.
You can also enroll them in specialized classes like JAMS. Students at the Japanese Abacus Math School of Portland are trained to focus. Everyone is taught the Abacus & Anzan way so the students can concentrate on a task for 120 minutes without any interruptions. Help your children be the best version of themselves by enrolling at JAMS’ current winter program.