Today, parents across the world are turning to homeschool lessons and online schooling due to quarantine. One of the biggest challenges parents face with homeschooling is keeping children focused.
Now that your children are completing school assignments at home, many find focusing their child’s attention on school difficult. Thankfully, there are simple ways to help gain a child’s concentration and channel their focus on everyday tasks while under quarantine!
Stick To A Schedule
A schedule is key when trying to focus a child’s attention. Many children find their increased mental focus when a routine is established and followed. Creating a schedule is also beneficial to you as well!
Since parents are now working from home with children, it is more difficult to concentrate on your own work. To increase your own focus so you can complete work-related tasks, write down your own workload in the same schedule.
Here’s a morning schedule example:
- 7 am to 8 am: Dress/brush teeth and hair/breakfast
- 8 am to 8:30 am: Check and respond to emails/silent reading time for English lesson
- 8:30 am to 9:00 am: Break from work and school lesson/snack time
In this sample schedule, work related tasks are completed at the same time your children are working on a school lesson. Then, when it’s break time for your children, you can choose to either keep working or take a break from work yourself!
One of the most important aspects of creating and sticking to a schedule is displaying it somewhere in the house so everyone can see it. This ensures your children know what is expected of them throughout the day. Plus, a visual schedule helps you balance work and school lessons.
Plan And Provide Healthy Snacks
Healthy snack breaks are a must for homeschooling children at home. Along with scheduling activities, you also need to schedule snacks. Snack breaks will give your kids the necessary break they need from school activities while providing them energy to increase concentration.
The human brain only makes up 2% of our body weight. However, the brain needs 20% of energy produced by the body. Research shows certain foods (if consumed regularly) help provide the proper nutrition to decrease fatigue and boost memory and concentration.
To help your children focus on schoolwork while at home choose some of the following healthy food choices to boost concentration and memory!
- Blueberries- Shown to increase concentration and memory for 5 hours after eating.
- Avocadoes- Packed with healthy fats and carbohydrates to fuel the production of chemicals in the brain responsible for learning.
- Dark chocolate- Increases endorphin and serotonin levels to increase concentration.
- Bananas- Shown to increase exam scores in students in a 2008 study; loaded with potassium to keep the brain focused.
- Pumpkin seeds- Filled with zinc for learning and memory.
- Tomatoes- Improves cognitive function
Schedule Outdoor Time
Although you have a stay-at-home order in place, it doesn’t mean you can’t leave your house. If you schedule a time for your family to go outdoors you’re ensuring a lift in mood, memory, and concentration for your children.
A University of Michigan study found participants who took nature walks increased their memory by 20% compared to those who took walks through city streets. Further research studies found being outdoors can reduce mental fatigue. Those who suffer from mental fatigue will often times lack concentration. To combat this, schedule time each day with your children to leave the house.
A simple outdoor break can help your children unwind from school lessons and increase their concentration to finish out the school day mentally strong!
Try some of the following backyard activities to alleviate “cabin fever” and increase concentration!
- A backyard picnic
- A scavenger hunt
- Mini golf
- A backyard yoga session
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Cell phones, television, and toys are all common distractions in the home. Now that your children are learning in a different and more comfortable environment then a classroom, these items need to be removed during times of study.
If a child is consistently checking their phone or hearing background noise of a television, their focus will be pulled away from schoolwork. One way to remove unnecessary distractions is by removing any toys and electronics from a designated learning area.
To prevent the distraction of cell phones and other hand-held electronics, try placing them in a basket during scheduled school activities. Allow your children to get their cell phones during scheduled break times. Reward them with educational screen time activities once they complete their homework assignments.
Schedule Many ‘Bursts Of Energy’
If you find your children fatigued from schoolwork or lacking concentration during a school lesson, stop the lesson and incorporate an easy exercise to take a quick break and increase blood flow. It’s called ‘bursts of energy’ because all you and your children have to do is stand up and try one of the following movements:
- High knees
- Jog in place
- Jump rope (imaginary)
Any of these activities will help your children take a quick mental break to help refocus their energy and release stress. This in turn will generate more mental concentration on schoolwork.
Now that the world is social distancing themselves, everyday tasks like the children’s schoolwork has to be completed differently. Although you too may be working from home, your children need your guidance to navigate online learning.
But for children who are not familiar with online learning or homeschooling, it’s difficult to concentrate in a non-structured environment. Thankfully, following a schedule and placing emphasis on break time, healthy snacks, movement and going outdoors will increase their concentration to focus solely on schoolwork.
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