When my daughter was a toddler, I noticed she was happiest while in motion. Sitting down and learning were impossible for her, so we focused on activities that required activity while we were learning. I was taking a psychology course at the time and realized she had most of the characteristics of ADHD. Medication was not an option I wanted to address, so I used many of the techniques learned in the class, which will improve the level of focus for all students in Orlando schools, especially when transitioning from the freedom of summer to the confines of the classroom.
Give your child a role in setting goals for concentration. With my daughter, she requested playing tennis. She wrote the numbers 20-1 on a piece of paper. Every time I saw her staring outside, playing with the cat, looking in the refrigerator, or asking me an off-subject question, I would have her cross off a number on her sheet of paper. At the end of her homework, she had crossed off all numbers above 8. I told her that meant we could play tennis for eight minutes. The next day we were able to play tennis 13 minutes. With Catie in charge, her focus increased because she was inwardly motivated.
Surprisingly, reading to your child increases focus. Keep in mind younger children are not able to concentrate as long as older ones, so scale your reading accordingly. Some teachers have even recommended asking questions and relating the story back to your child’s personal experiences and life events. After you finish reading, ask your child to explain the story in his or her own words. The insight is truly fascinating! At breakfast the next morning, ask about the story again to sharpen memory skills.
Have you noticed that you can scrapbook for three hours and it feels like two minutes have passed? Children behave in the same manner with their favorite activities. Find something your child loves and give them time to explore that activity without boundaries. My son’s boisterous activities are quelled as soon as I bring out a bin of Legos. As an added bonus, partake in your child’s activity for quality family bonding time.
Also, try practicing deep breathing with your child. A lot of kids who struggle with focus are inefficient breathers–without enough oxygen, the brain and body will not function properly. Practice inhaling and exhaling to increase stamina and free the brain from stress. Practice does not have to include standing still and breathing–grab a harmonica or a container of bubbles and breathe away!
For more information on enhancing your child’s educational experience, read over our past blogs. Share this post and let us know your methods of increasing your child’s attention span. We look forward to sharing your ideas with other loyal readers. To schedule a visit to one of the highest ranked Orlando schools, call Lake Forrest Prep at (407) 331-5144 today.