Parents of school going children normally complain that they are unable to make their kids sit down and study. This becomes even harder when it is time for exams or when there is an assigned project to be completed. Many children are not motivated enough and some have a very short attention span that does not let them focus on what they are reading.
A child's attention span is normally related to his/her age. On an average it is two to five minutes per year of the child's age. A ten year old child should normally be able to focus on the job at hand for anything between thirty minutes to an hour. This for some reason does not relate to watching television. Children with short attention spans are likely to be impatient while listening, waiting for their turn to speak and have a hard time returning to an unfinished task once they are interrupted.
Your help in providing the right atmosphere and motivation can greatly improve your child's attention span. The following steps will go a long way in helping you know how to improve focus and concentration in a child who finds it difficult to stay put and study.
The important thing is to set a study routine. Instead of forcing it let children choose their own time. Fixed sleep time are good for discipline but remember that some kids find it easier to concentrate in early mornings and others a bit late in the evening.
Remember there is a limit to your child's attention span. An hour at a time should be enough for the child to concentrate on studying after the initial five to ten minutes of clearing out other distractions. Once the child settles down, make sure there are no disturbances. External disturbances are one of the major factors that divert attention.
The normal perception is that material comforts do not have any affect on a child's motivation to get down to study. This is not true. A straight back chair and a study table are better at promoting concentration than studying on a reclining sofa or on a bed which is more likely to invite sleep. Distractions like video games can also prevent the mind from engaging in concentration.
Help your child in organizing study material well before he sits down to study. Give him a goal that he should try to achieve within the hour.
Heavy meals are liable to make the child lethargic and lazy. Feed your child with nutritious but light meals like juices, milk, fruits, and cheese at regular intervals rather than at one go.
Sometimes you need to sacrifice your own leisure to convey to your child that you are with him/her in the effort to excel.
The greatest motivator is you and the quality time that you spend with children. Never let self doubt or worries creep in his/her mind. Teach them what interests them the most. A child who is allowed to peruse his/her interests is more prone to enjoy studies as well.