Keeping children focused can often times be a difficult task for some families while homeschooling or teaching kids online. It’s an important skill for children to acquire, but as we all know, it is something that needs to be practiced. Setting your children up in the best possible way will help to ensure their success.
Here are some of the best ways to help keep your kids focused on their school work:
Even as adults, we all know that trying to multitask can affect our ability to get things done correctly and without making mistakes. For children it can be much more difficult for them to do the same, so it is important to take things slowly and focus on one task at a time. Try not to overload them with multiple things in multiple courses at one time as this can be overwhelming and can result in nothing getting done at all.
Kids need to get up and move around when they are sitting in one spot for a while. The longer they are doing one thing, the less focused they are going to be and eventually they will not be learning or soaking in anything at all. Young children (4-5) can only focus on something for 5-20 minutes at a time. So make sure to take a break and go outside, use the restroom, have a snack, or just do anything to let the mind relax and allow your child to refocus on the next task at hand. Don’t be afraid to allow your child to sit on a workout ball, or lay on the floor while you read, for example. Learning doesn’t only occur while sitting at a desk. In fact, some kids learn better while being able to move around a bit.
It is important to reduce distractions for kids when trying to help them focus. While you do not need to have a specific area in the house, it is important to limit TV’s, loud sounds, or other distractions while learning is taking place. A great example of this is to save test taking times for older children to correspond with younger children’s nap times.While some students say they learn best while listening to music, be sure that you understand and create the learning environment that works best for your children.
Children need to learn things in steps, which is why they don’t learn how to read before they know what each letter sounds like. Some things may seem a lot easier to us as adults, but for children where everything is brand new to them, this may not be the case. When teaching at home, try to do things in smaller, easier steps, so that your children do not get overwhelmed, frustrated, and lose their focus. It will be much easier down the road if you do this while homeschooling.
Your child obviously loves you, and you are probably their favorite teacher ever! But it can help to have a fresh voice and perspective teach them sometimes. It might be a class taught by dad every now and then to hear it from someone different and keep things exciting. You can also sign up for online classes where your kids can learn from teachers or tutors all over the world that offer a vast variety and expertise they may not get from you. A website like My Home School Family offers just that! You can sign up your kids for classes like Intro to Sign Language, Elements of Art, Forensics and more. Classes that you may not be able to teach because of a lack of materials or expertise. This will help your children learn from a new person and can be a great way to keep things fresh in the home classroom.
Children can obviously get bored easily, but research shows that if they are engaged by something they are interested in, they can maintain focus for much longer periods of time. So if your child likes cars, or pirates, try to create games or problems that incorporate those things. It is also very easy to work in some fun, seasonal worksheets during the holiday season. Try pumpkin math activities, or thanksgiving arts & crafts. You’d be surprised how more engaged your kids can be when they are learning about things that they love!