Dr. Jamie M. Howard, Ph.D., has a lot to say about teaching kids how to focus. She reminds us that concentration is like a muscle: the more we use it, the stronger it gets. While some kids are born with a “stronger” concentration muscle than others, Dr. Howard says, “All kids can learn strategies and engage in practices that help improve their ability to focus and sustain their attention.” Here are some practices that will increase your child’s ability to focus:
- Be realistic in the amount of time your child can focus. Little kids (ages 4-5) can usually only concentrate for 5-20 minutes. Try not to over-tax their attention span, kids this young need breaks often.
- “We may praise the ability to multitask in our adult lives, but the research is clear: multitasking reduces concentration and diminishes our performance. In line with the concept of mindfulness, do one thing at a time in this one moment. For very young children, you might simply sing the alphabet together while looking at the letters. For children who are a little older, say 4th grade, you can complete one long division problem at a time together. Don’t look ahead at all the other problems, just focus on one at a time.” (you can read more here.)
- Set aside homework time and space in your family’s daily routine. Clear distractions and extra noise by turning off phones and TVs. When your child needs help with homework, consider hiring a tutor. Oftentimes, a student can be distracted in a class full of peers and noise but can become completely focused with one-on-one tutoring.
Mathnasium of North Central Phoenix offers top-tier tutoring for students all over . If your child needs help focusing on math, learning a difficult concept, or maybe just needs a challenge, consider enrolling him/her with Mathnasium. We would love to help your child have the best math experience possible. Call us today . Sign up now !