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How can I Help my Child Concentrate at School?

When children enjoy what they are doing their focus and concentration is high and they become eager to learn. To help your child, give them plenty of opportunities to try new activities and expose them to different ways of working

Toes wiggling to aid concentrationAn adult's attention span lasts only twenty minutes. We all learn tricks to extend our focus, especially for teenagers and school children. This guide aims to assist you in supporting your child's concentration at school.

If your child struggles to concentrate, it often indicates an underlying issue. For instance, are they having trouble concentrating due to tiredness? Ensure your child gets enough sleep, maintains a nutritious diet, and creates a stress-free, eager-to-learn environment.


Impact of Sleep on a Child's Concentration

Tiredness causes numerous problems, and insufficient sleep affects a child's concentration. Just as it's unwise to drive without enough sleep, ensure your child doesn't push their brain without rest. Sleep is crucial for brain function, memory, and concentration - all essential for learning.

Consider these sleep facts:

  • Two-thirds of children suffer sleep deprivation
  • Sleep Council research suggests that around 30% of 12-16 year olds get only 4-7 hours of sleep per night
  • 70% play video games at night
  • 23% fall asleep with TVs, music, or other technology still switched on more than once a week
  • The light from screens is said to interfere with the body's sleep patterns

Considering these facts, try limiting technology usage before bedtime.

Exercise's Influence on a Child's Concentration

Exercise, almost as impactful as sleep, positively affects a child's concentration. It helps keep the brain healthy and active, facilitating oxygen flow critical for memory and understanding - vital for the school day!

Role of Diet and Nutrition in a Child's Concentration

Diet and nutrition are crucial for good health and a child's concentration. A healthy, well-balanced diet provides essential fuel for the brain to function. Valuable foods include fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and vitamin/mineral-laden protein sources like oily fish.

Opt for light, regular meals to avoid diverting energy to digestion, preventing afternoon sluggishness. Watch for food sensitivities affecting concentration, as common items like bread and sugar can have an impact. Hydration is essential, given our bodies are 60% water.


Effect of Stress on a Child's Concentration

Stress, stemming from various circumstances, can impact a child's concentration and cause them to lose focus in class. Addressing issues causing stress, building positive relationships with teachers, and ensuring schoolwork isn't a source of undue pressure are crucial.

Impact of Schoolwork on a Child's Concentration

If a child struggles to concentrate at school, assess the difficulty level of their schoolwork. Adjustments may be needed, considering factors like interest, understanding, challenge, and teaching methods.

  • Children often become distracted if they aren't interested in what they are learning
  • or if they can't understand it
  • or if they're bored and don't find it challenging enough
  • or if the teacher's methods do not suit their learning styles

Discuss any difficulties your child has with their teachers. If the work is too easy, request more challenging assignments.

Effect of a Child's Mindset on Concentration

Your child's beliefs influence learning, intelligence perception, resilience, and concentration. Encourage a growth mindset, emphasizing that intelligence grows with practice. Teach children that determination and hard work can lead to achievements.

Strategies for Maintaining a Child's Focus

If your child struggles to concentrate, find the best way to maintain their focus. Engaging and interacting with the material enhances information retention. Discuss your child's strategy with teachers and suggest trying the following:

  • Make notes - Writing key words or later creating flashcards aids in remembering information
  • Draw - Doodling helps some people concentrate, especially visual or kinaesthetic learners. Drawing diagrams makes information memorable
  • Ask questions - Encourage jotting down questions for later research or discussion
  • Lists - Listing tasks or items aids focus, and ticking off completed tasks provides motivation
  • Outline - Writing an outline helps structure concepts for easier recall

Managing Distractions for a Child

Taking notes in class to aid concentration

Distractions pose challenges to a child's education, so how can you help your child ignore them? Establish clear expectations and praise good behaviour or positive achievements. Limit social media use, especially mobile phones or tablets in class, following school policy.

Identifying ADHD in a Child

Sometimes, an inability to concentrate results from a learning disability. Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) may struggle to focus at school. If you suspect this, consult the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) at school or your GP.

Help your child concentrate by ensuring they enjoy what they're doing, stay focused, and take an active interest. Encourage them to explore new activities and different working approaches, setting achievable goals to work towards.

For any unanswered education questions, visit our Knowledge Bank. Explore articles covering the Early Years Foundation Stage, university costs, and parenting advice. Discover tips for raising happy and safe children. The information you need could be just one click away!


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