Attention problems are something that many teachers can struggle with when it comes to managing a class of young learners. The ability to concentrate for long periods of time, takes time and practise. Younger learners can get easily distracted and struggle to stay focused. As parents, when you receive feedback that your child isn’t paying attention in class you are probably wondering what you can do to help, if anything. The good news is there is actually a lot you can do outside the classroom to ensure your child is paying attention in the classroom.
Here is some advice we like to give our parents to ensure their child is prepped and ready to concentrate. Try these simple ideas and you’ll see a big difference.
Often parents underestimate the role that food can play. In fact food has a direct link to how well your child can focus. For example, if your child has a big meal before class, they will inevitably feel sleepy. If they consume a sugary snack right before class, they can become hyper active. Likewise if they hit a sugar low or crash, the result can have a major impact for the teacher and the rest of the class. Eating junk food and sugar loaded things will actually decrease the performance. Bringing snacks to class is also hugely distracting also. The other side of the coin is if they are hungry they won’t be able to concentrate. Our advice, a healthy balanced meal before class at a relaxed pace is the perfect way to optimize their attention.
A major distraction – electronics. Please no phones in class. This should apply at home too during homework sessions. When students tell us they use their phone for homework or that the TV is on home, we really do despair. If you want a child to learn how to focus reduce screen time. Leave this as a fun activity for when they are done with their studies. These good habits will translate into the classroom.
We talked about exercise before. A great way to slip some exercise into their daily routine is walking to school or cycling, if it is an option. Doing this will ensure they have a fresh mind when they arrive at school. Trust us when we say there is a massive difference between the student who spends all day indoors and the student who went to the pool earlier or rode their bike to class.
Please make sure that your child gets enough sleep. Preschoolers should get at least eight hours sleep, whereas school children aged six and over shouldn’t sleep less than seven hours. Most children can concentrate best after having had a good sleep, even little naps after school for a can help.
So those are our tips. Try them out and see how their focus will slowly improve. They are basic steps to take towards better concentration but they make a massive impact.