Keeping children focused throughout the year at school is a challenge, particularly when we near the end of it. Holidays, warmer weather and the exciting things that come with the year closing out can become quite distracting.
The loss of focus can hinder your child’s performance in school (in both the classroom and the playground) and make them irritable or anxious at home. Thankfully, there are a number of things that you can do at home to help your child stay focused towards the end of the year.
Five Ideas to Help Children Stay Focused
Cool it down
The end of the school year in Australia comes hand in hand with the beginning of summer. Sometimes the lack of focus that your child is expressing is just because they’re too hot.
Make sure any homework or study places are nice and cool. Get a cool drink ready for any afternoon snacks or try some healthy D.I.Y ice blocks. An overheated brain can’t focus!
You could consider using a cool down as a reward as well. Take your over heated little one to the pool or let them cool off under the hose in the backyard after a successful homework session.
Try some mindfulness activities
Mindfulness and meditation can help keep kids focused. Try out some breathing activities or maybe try a little mediation. This might also cool down any overheated children.
Writing a diary of things learnt at school is also a good way to keep focused and mindful while engaging with learning. Maybe even use this as a moment to look ahead as well, getting your child to write down the things they look forward to doing across the last few months of the year.
Give them some breaks
A lack of focus towards the end of the year could be a symptom of working hard through the school year. The light at the end of the tunnel can be a trigger for even the most focused children to lose their determination and direction.
Give your children a break in between their homework, tutoring or study and you might see an improvement in their focus. Maybe even work in a mindful breathing exercise with their homework so they take a break and reconnect with themselves.
Try not to include heavily stimulating things, like TV or screen time, into their break so that you don’t overstimulate their brain and create a challenge for getting them back on focus.
Set a timer
Setting a timer during tasks can improve your child’s focus. It gives your child a goal and a set period of time that they need to concentrate for.
Be careful of setting a timer that could provide distraction. If your child constantly keeps asking “how much longer?” then maybe use a clock instead.
Have a little check in
Sometimes a little focused mental health check in is a perfect solution to busting up those end of year fidgets.
There can be a lot of pressure and nerves towards the end of the year. You’ve got final tests or exams, anxiety about going up a year or changing schools in the new year and the ending of the normal school routine for the summer holidays. All these things can cause children to lose their focus.
Speak to them about any concerns they may have, make sure to set aside lots of quality time and continue to listen and provide reassurance.
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