Oh, how I’d love to tell you that everything always flows smoothly in our household and homeschool. I’d love to tell you an immaculate house, gourmet meals, and perfectly behaved children are the norm here. But, I can’t do that because truth and transparency are important blogger qualities! The reality is my floors are often in need of sweeping. If we have a busy week, we sometimes eat leftovers two nights in a row. And, my girlies aren’t always well focused during instructional time.
When he comes home, my husband helps with the floors and the meals when I need him to, but during the day I’m the one in charge of teaching and getting the girlies to focus on their homeschooling. They can sometimes become distracted by the environment. How does one homeschool distracted children? Here are six tips I’ve used to help improve my daughters’ focus and productivity.
Outline your expectations. I find my daughter is better able to complete her assignments when she knows exactly what she’s expected to do. Though sharing information verbally is good, I have learned that providing her with a checklist helps improve her focus and productivity. At a glance, she can she what she’s already accomplished and know what more needs to be done.
Keep supplies in a central location. Running around the house to find necessary supplies wastes precious time and gives your child reason to wander. To help ensure your child is ready to work, consider keeping student supplies in a single location or creating a personalized homeschool supply box that holds pencils, erasers, gluesticks, scissors, rulers, bookmarks. I use these awesome student Student Supply Stations to keep books and materials neat and organized.
Time and teach lessons appropriately. Information overload can sometimes cause a child to zone out. You can help your child improve his concentration by breaking lengthy lessons into smaller mini lessons. Give fidgety hands and wandering minds something to concentrate on by incorporating a hands on activity as well. These shorter and active lessons allow your child to meet a goal more quickly and gives him the confidence boost sometimes needed to help continue focused learning. Also, find the time of day when your child learns best and teach the more intense or
Provide breaks. I’ve started doing a better job of “reading” my children and I’ve discovered they need breaks throughout the day. I have a tendency to have “Let’s keep it moving” mentality in hopes of wrapping up the school day sooner, but that often rushes the children and creates stress and zone outs. Now, I stop teaching every 60 to 90 minutes so they can have a break. During this time, they draw, play a game, or run around outside. When I gather them back for teaching, they’re often better equipped to learn.
Keep kids well fed. In order for children to function well, they need to be well fed. My Moms of Faith post, Keeping Kids Well Fed, outlines exactly how I do this at our house with a variety of healthy meal and snack options. My daughter is unable to focus if her stomach is growling or if her blood sugar has dropped. Incorporate regular meal and snack times throughout the day to keep your child regulated and fosters a better mood.
Create an ideal learning place for your child. Some children need to work in silence while others do their best work when there’s a bit of background noise such as music or the hum of a clothes dryer. Take some time to get to know your child’s learning style (auditory, tactile, visual) and create a learning environment that meets his needs. When you’ve met your child’s learning style, you don’t have to fuss over fidgets and wiggles because they’ll be actively engaged no matter what their learning style.
Many homeschool moms are working with distracted children. We don’t have to throw in the towel or become upset. Try implementing these tips to see if they help your child. They’ve definitely helped improve the homeschool atmosphere here!
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.