How Can I Help My Homeschooled Child Stay Focused on Schoolwork?
Books are a necessary and amazing source of knowledge for kids, but a well-rounded curriculum will include variety. Utilize books, worksheets, the computer, videos, manipulatives, board games, outdoor activities, outside classes, field trips, experiments, and more to create a varied curriculum. Doing the same thing day after day can create a lack of interest in studying and learning. If a child is disinterested and unfocused, he or she is not going to learn anything, no matter how many times someone tells them.
Take a Break
Sometimes a few minutes of downtime can help an unfocused child regain some interest and composure. Children in homeschool have the advantage of being able to attend school at any time of the day. If your kid just is not cooperating at all, wait until later. Find that perfect moment when your child is interested in something and use that as learning time instead. This flexibility in homeschool can help avoid parent (or teacher) and child frustration.
If the kid without focus has recently transitioned to homeschool from traditional school, respect that. Perhaps your child has moved on to the next level or you've changed the schedule. Because the environment has changed, the child's mind may need some time to adjust. Ease the child into the transition by starting with smaller lessons and increasing study time to the ideal amount as needed. Because you are homeschooling, you can always add extra lessons to catch the child up later, if needed.
Does your homeschool day consists of all books and paper? Add some fun to the curriculum. This is not to say that books can't be fun, but they shouldn't be the only source of lessons. This falls in line with adding variety. But it also means you can use games and things the kids enjoy to enhance their interest, as well as their educational experiences. One example of that is in an article I wrote recently entitled “Use Basketball to Enhance Study Time." In that instance, I explained how parents can use the game of basketball to help their kids study and learn.
Get Some Exercise
Fitness has long been a proven method to get that brain working. As mentioned above, certain sports can be used to enhance study skills. Fitness can be used during any time of the day. Start off the day with some brain power yoga, like what I mentioned in the previous article "Using Yoga for Concentration and Focus in the Homeschool Classroom." Anytime anyone is frustrated or unfocused, take a fitness break. Go for a nature walk, head to the park, play a family sport, do some yoga, go for a bike ride - whatever your family enjoys. Remember to rotate between activities to keep it interesting.
Boost that Brain Power with Puzzles and Games
Brain boosting activities are a fun and exciting way to keep kids focused. Did you know that solving puzzles and playing memory skill games can help increase focus skills and even your kid's IQ? Reading is the only activity that causes new brain cells to grow. Combine that with puzzle solving and (such as with crossword puzzles, logic games, and word searches) you not only are increasing study skills and focus, but actually causing new brain cells to grow. Since these puzzles are fun for the kids, why not integrate them into the curriculum. That's part of the homeschool advantage. You have the ability to use innovative learning methods. Use them to boost your child's brain power and ability to focus.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network