Tips for Parents: how to Help their child in Primary to stay Focused while Studying
Helping primary level children to stay focused, while studying, is a challenge for parents. The primary child ranges in age from the entry level at kindergarten to the time they graduate to high school. During this time the tasks and studies become more complex Understanding how to support your child and stay focused will make a huge difference to their ability to study at home.
Here are some relevant tips to use to create a positive home study culture.
1. Create an organised work space for your child.
A designated study space is a vital part of helping your child to focus. It may just be a desk in their bedroom or perhaps you have a study area. Wherever the desk is the designated area needs to be clear of clutter and distractions. It must be clear to your child that this is an area where studying takes place. Help your child in this organised space to have the right notebooks, timetables and a motivational picture or quote to look at when they need to focus. Make sure there is spare stationery for this place. There should be no excuse to go looking for things to write with or complete a task.
2. Have consistent routines and set times for studying.
Have a schedule for study times. The times for studying should fit in with the family routine and then it becomes part of the daily plan. Keeping to a schedule brings about a routine that is conducive to better study habits.
Remember to add in study breaks to allow your child to relax between study times. This should be the time they can run around and get exercise. The length of study time and number of breaks will depend on the age and level they are on.
Factor in your bedtime routine because school going children need good sleep patterns to be able to function the next day. The wake-up routine is another important part of the regulated times. Having a set routine in the morning makes sure that you get to school on time and not completely stressed. A calm start to the day is a good way to set the tone for school and studying. Children who are well rested can focus better.
3. Discuss strategies to help your child focus:
Start by working on one thing at a time. Do not try to do multiple activities and overwhelm your child. Help your child to organise their work space ready for the task on hand. Teach them how to make a list of things to do. Allow them to prioritise things on the list. Then let your child focus on the things that need to be done.
Use your list to break down tasks into manageable chunks. If it is a project for example then work out steps to take. Look at the project as a whole and then map out what to do to get each part of the project done. Creating a list of tasks and ticking them off is encouraging and inspires a positive work ethic.
4. Create goals.
A goal gives you a defined reason to continue your studies. You can set your goals weekly or monthly. Regular goal setting enables your child to see a purpose behind studying. Small rewards for goals met is another way to encourage your child to focus. When you have set goals it is easier to follow a pre-determined path to success. Help your child to see goals as mini milestones that lead them to success.
5. Show your child how to stay focused and not get distracted.
Distractions are all around us and are fed by our senses. What we see, hear and feel in the classroom affect what we do. Start the day with a healthy breakfast and pangs of hunger will not affect concentration. May sure your child is free of any electronic devices. The sight and sound of mobile phones is very distracting.
Show your child how to take pressure off themselves by doing the hardest tasks first. Getting what they perceive to be a mountain too high will make the rest of the tasks fall into perspective. That feeling of achievement will urge them to try the rest of the tasks.
6. Have sincere conversations with your child if they are struggling to focus.
Try not to dismiss the fact that your child has concentration issues. Talk about finding it difficult to concentrate and then how to deal with the problem. Awareness of issues like lack of concentration will help to boost your child’s confidence and tackle the problem of not being able to focus. Acknowledging the problem helps with motivation to improve, especially for older more mature children.
Stephen Covey, wrote some great quotes about staying focused. He said:
“Where you are headed is more important that how fast you are going. Rather than always focusing on what is urgent, learn to focus on what is really important.”
If you can instil a good work ethic into your child, who is able to discern what is really important, then you will have helped them to be more focused.
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