10 Tips for Helping Your Child Focus & Concentrate
The world is an exciting but distracting place for children. While learning to perceive the world around them, a child’s focus and concentration are tested — by learning good organizational and study habits, your child can more successfully learn and develop during their youth. At Mosaic Montessori Academy, we are dedicated to helping your child learn how to focus on activities and tasks that are imperative to their growth.
If you have any questions about how to keep your child focused while they are working or studying, please contact us — our friendly and professional staff can help you find the answers that you are seeking.
1. Focus on One Task at a Time
Multitasking may be a valuable skill utilized in everyday life, but it takes time and effort to develop. Multitasking can reduce concentration and diminish performance if it is not developed enough — children will have an easier and more successful time focusing on only one activity, or one smaller part of a larger task, rather than juggling multiple objectives at once. Skipping ahead in lessons or overloading your child with new things to learn can hinder their learning experience.
2. Set a Timer For Each Individual Activity
Children aged 4-5 can typically only concentrate for about 5-20 minutes depending on the task at hand. Focusing on enjoyable activities, one activity at a time, can help your child retain the information they are receiving.
Setting a timer for activities can help your child focus for the full duration of those 5-20 minutes — by knowing there is a limit to how long they need to focus on one task, your child is more likely to stay concentrated. As your child’s ability to concentrate increases, you can increase the full duration of their timer.
3. Utilize a Quiet & Pleasant Study Space
Eliminating distractions in your child’s immediate environment can help them stay focused. If you have the space to do so, set up a study area or room for your child free from extraneous distractions like TVs, cell phones, and other digital devices (unless they are needed for the task at hand). Making the area calm and inviting will help ease the stress of studying or learning for your child.
4. Plan to Take Breaks
After a period of dedicated focus, getting up, moving around, and switching activities can help your child concentrate more successfully. They will benefit from the chance to rest and reset their focus, especially if they are doing after-school homework.
Remember to schedule these breaks — after a certain amount of time you should encourage your child to get back to working or learning.
5. Help Your Child With Organization
If you can help your child organize their workspace and schedule, it can make the process of focusing much easier. By knowing exactly when to work on things and what tools will be needed to complete activities, your child will be able to focus more intently on whatever their current or upcoming objective is.
6. Make a List of Tasks
If your child has difficulty organizing their homework or household chores and completing them on time, it can help to work with them to make a checklist of tasks for them to complete. By segmenting activities and tracking their progress, it can make the action of completing items on the list easier and more satisfying for your child.
7. Don’t Hesitate to Fully Start Activities
The longer you and your child put off starting a task, the harder it can be to concentrate while completing it. By helping your child organize their schedule, you can show them the best time to start working on new tasks. Starting assignments right away or on schedule will also help your child not feel overwhelmed with work.
8. Practice Mindfulness With Your Child
Mindfulness exercises entail activities geared towards paying attention and focusing. One way to practice mindfulness is to sit quietly and focus on breathing. Taking some deep breaths or practicing breathing exercises can get your child into a more focused state of mind before they have to complete a task.
9. Help Your Child to Overcome Distractions
Even if you utilize all of the previously mentioned methods to help your child focus more consistently, there will be times that they grow distracted regardless — it happens to all of us. It is important for both you and your child to create good strategies for regaining focus when it is lost.
Effective methods include coming up with a signal for when your child gets distracted or saying a keyword that lets your child know to try and regain focus on their current activity.
It is also important to openly communicate with your child — if they are distracted for personal reasons, it will help if you sit down and talk to them about how they are currently feeling. Let your child know that you are always there to help them, whatever the reason may be.
10. Make Sure Your Child is Well Rested
A tired mind can have difficulty focusing on anything. Being well-rested will help your child be more successful in their studies and personal life as they will inherently be able to concentrate without growing as tired. If your child is dozing off during homework time or at school, you may want to have a discussion with them about their sleeping habits.