We do not need to tell you how difficult the last year or so has been for our children. The pandemic has been a struggle for us all, but the impact on our kids has already been well-documented. They have had to handle school closures, isolation, and the incredible amount of uncertainty that we have all been living with. Now more than ever, it is so important that we look for ways to support our children as they head into the next chapter of their lives and education.
With so much going on, it is completely understandable that your child may be struggling to focus. So much of the last year has revolved around adjusting to new ways of doing things, and we have all had a hard time establishing a routine. You might be wondering how you can help them to focus without creating a structure that feels overly strict or overwhelming. We are going to take you through a few ideas that can help them to get more involved with their studies, as well as helping them to step away to take a break when they need to. Let’s get started.
Get Back Into A Routine
As we mentioned, none of us have had a particularly easy time trying to stick to a simple routine during the pandemic. There has always been some new challenge, whether it’s arguing about which of you gets to use the home office this morning, dealing with the Wi-Fi going down, or (and this was one of the biggest ones) wondering how on earth you were going to manage homeschooling with a full-time job.
But we all know just how important a routine is for kids. Now that things are starting to get back to normal out there, it is really important that you re-establish this sense of consistency as soon as you can. It can be difficult when you are working from home as all the different parts of the day tend to seep into each other but try to lead by example. Keep to your meal and break times. If you’ve set a homework time for them, make sure that you check in with them while they’re doing it. You may be surprised by how much helping them into a routine helps you too.
Think About How They’re Learning
We all know that one of the easiest ways for children to lose focus when they’re studying is because they don’t understand. It’s not always easy for someone to put their hand up and ask for help getting to grips with someone in a room full of people, no matter what age you are. When you are helping your child to prepare for an exam like the 11 plus, you need to remember that they might not always be telling you that they are struggling or be able to explain why. That is where IGCSE physics tutors can make a world of difference. With a customised learning experience, the education is focused on your child and their progress, ensuring that they move on to the next stage when they’re ready to move on.
And it’s not just about making sure that they aren’t struggling. Another prime reason for a lack of focus is boredom, especially if they are being forced to go over what they already know and understand. Once that focus starts to drift, it can be tricky to get it back. An online tutorial class won’t waste time, it will focus on the areas that require attention. If you are looking for a tutor near you, Test Teach has a fantastic range of teachers that are experienced and dynamic.
Think About Screen Time
This is never a popular topic to bring up, is it? It would be a rare thing indeed to find a child that agrees that they might be spending too much time on their screens. However, there is no getting around the negative effects of all that blue light and having so many distractions at their fingertips is not going to help to improve their focus. The important thing here is to think carefully about how you go about limiting that time.
Once again, a set routine can be a big help as it allows less room for negotiation and sets a certain expectation. However, if you are too strict with this then they will almost certainly look for ways around it. Think about offering a quid pro quo deal, where a certain amount of time spent on their screens means they owe you a certain amount of time spent outside or doing their chores. Remember that time spent doing online learning probably should not count towards their daily screen time, and perhaps most importantly: remember that they will be holding you to a similar standard. If their parents can spend the whole day staring at Netflix, why can’t they? So, make sure you’re giving yourself a break too.
Keep Things Active
Many of us have found ourselves in a slightly strange situation post-lockdown where we have spent months on end waiting to be able to go out. Now that we can go out and enjoy ourselves and see our friends, we have an awful lot of anxiety about it. It’s not too much of a stretch to see how the same issue could be affecting our children.
However, now that the summer sun is finally here, it is really important to get out there and get moving. Exercise has been shown to have a real impact on children’s concentration power, so think about what you can do as a family this summer to get out of the house and get those endorphins flowing!
Don’t Forget A Good Night’s Sleep
Finally, it’s one that we all know all too well. Rest is so important when it comes to concentration and focus. Downtime is just as important as time spent learning, and if your children are struggling to get to sleep, it may be worth thinking about what changes you can make in their diet to avoid things like a lot of unnecessary sugars.