So your child just played two hours of Among Us, a game of complex subterfuge and detection, involving sustained focused attention and intricate collaboration, with complete pizzazz. But ask them to tackle their homework and their attention span suddenly begins to act like a flickering 10 watt bulb suffering from voltage fluctuations – faint, barely holding it together, and about to go out on you any second.
Blame it on the activity; if it isn’t engaging enough even adults struggle to sustain attention. Online schooling doesn’t help either. Devices and learning at home come with their own set of distractions, especially for children.
But there are fun, creative ways for you to help your child improve their attention span on academic tasks that they find boring or unengaging.
- Make them in-charge of their work planning and help them break their tasks into manageable chunks
Your child doesn’t have to do everything at once. To make it easier to get started, help them break their tasks into manageable chunks. You and your child could begin with calculating how much time they have on a task to complete it to help you both determine how to chunk their work. Help them figure out the materials needed and gather them in advance.
Next, you and your child can work together to make note cards of all the steps required in an assignment. It will help them keep track of where they are at and what needs to be done. You could award them points for each completed step that can later be redeemed for something they enjoy. It will build their confidence and help them stay motivated even when tasks get challenging.
- Use fun, creative signals to direct their focus back to their task
There’s a limit to how long your child can stay focused. First, you and your child can together arrive at a mutual understanding of how long they can spend at one go before taking a break. This will help them hang in there a lot more easily.
Next, both of you can come up with fun signals like the sound of a temple bell or drum rolls to indicate snack time or play break as well as when it’s time to go back to what they were doing.
Be sure to praise their hard work to improve focus, even if there are small improvements, and let them know their focus skills are getting better. This will not only build their attention span overtime, but also make them more organised in life in general.