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How to increase the kids concentrating span?


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mamakids September 20, 2011


I find that my kid has less concentration span...He gets diverted when he is ready to start off with his homework....
I am not able to get him, do his homework in the given time....It takes lots of my time and I get frustrated.

Any help??
Thanks..

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MagnetMom September 20, 2011


Hi mamakids,

Start with short assignments and work your way up. Homework is hard, and it's not necessarily fun, so it's important to not have any distractions--no TV, no phone calls--and that applies to you in the beginning too. Sit with him, in the same place each day.

You can also get great tips here: http://www.greatschools.org/articles/?topics=148

Good luck!

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TeacherParent September 21, 2011


What kind of homework is he getting? Some homework these days is not easily done by a child on their own. Teachers new to teaching can give homework that's over their students' heads and even some veteran teachers do that too.

Few children actually like doing homework anymore than we like doing dishes. Homework, dirty dishes, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the garbage - these things most often feel like burdensome chores that we have to grit our teeth a bit to get through.

But you say he can't do his homework in 'the given time' - I'm not sure what 'given time' means. Homework certainly takes some children longer than others. When a teacher assigns homework to an entiire class of 25 children, it's rather like a doctor giving the same medicine in the exact same dose to 25 different children.Doctors don't do that - they take into account how much each child weighs when they prescribe medicine and they take the child's medical history into account as well.

But teachers don't. They give basically the same homework to all their students regardless of how fast - or slow - the individual children may read or how good - or not - their attention span is. Your son's homework is not in any way customized for him.

If you've looked at his homework and it doesn't seem like an excessive amount of homework and it does seem like homework he can do on his own, it still might help for someone to sit with him at the table while he does it. Many children feel overwhelmed by their homework whether it is overwhelming homework or not. For a while, he might benefit from having someone to guide him through it and prompt him with questions like "What subject should you do first?" And "Now that's done, let's move to math and then soon you'll be done with everything."

Homework can have a rhythm to it and it's still the beginning of the year - if he has a reasonable amount of homework with some initial guidance, your son may be able to take heart and realize that his homework won't take forever if he can just stick to it.

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mamakids September 21, 2011


Thanks for your replies Magnetmom and TeacherParent.
I know he has just started off with his academics. But my issue is, he does sit to do his hw(I make sure no distraction), either of the parent is with him when he is doing, but he gets easily diverted...
I mean he will start off and then he just stares at the wall..or gets up for restroom, drinking water(have tired to make sure he is done with these before doing hw) but in vain...
Meantime if we get busy for some work..he starts playing and when called he gets angry.
I am still trying to keep my mind cool and tell him, but at times its becoming very difficult.
Along with his regular hw, he has his kumon sheets to be done..He gets easily pissed off...We give him a break when he wants...But he takes the break,plays..I know he is young(6 yrs )old...but I am expecting just to concentrate when he is with his hw,finish and play.... Its not like he is burdened....We have seen him(not very often) he does all the hw without any problem...But it happens less.
I am worried if the concentration at this age is not enough how will he be able to concentrate when eh grows older and do so many things..Maybe I am concerned a lot, but I do get those thoughts too.
Or maybe I am expecting too much..


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TeacherParent September 23, 2011


Everyone's concentration usually improves with age - try not to focus on the future in this matter because you can't 'hurry up' his concentration. Some people are born with excellent attention spans and others aren't. And some people are distracted by literally anything - even the sound of their own breathing.
Concentrating feels very hard to some of us - I'm one of them - and I describe it like 'it's my brain chopping wood' - it's almost painful to concentrate and so we do jump up for water and staring at the wall is a break for the brain from the strain of trying to concentrate.

Does his teacher know it's this hard for him? In the better world, his teacher would shorten his homework some and you might consider doing Kumon next year rather than this year.

I had a son like this and I'm like this so homework time between us for a while was a hard time till we found our rhythm and a peaceful way to work together because my son absolutely needed an adult presence to help 'ground' him. But I had to accept the reality that it would take a chunk of my time and every evening to help him see that his homework got done.

If I could have found a 'homework free' school, I would have enrolled my son in a heartbeat. My experiences as a parent with homework changed my policies as a teacher - I came to believe that homework can hurt more than it helps.

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mamakids September 23, 2011


Thanks for your reply where most of my concerns are answered.
Ya, sometimes I know that I am thinking too much...Yes, we have spoken to their teacher and she told that boys do have less attention span.(which I am not sure)..and have reduced his Kumon worksheets too. He is happy now(from a week)..but with both of us working.. getting his and his sister hw is taking a toll on us.

Sometime during the summer holidays, they have got the habit of watching TV for a long time... now its much better...I can say, but still they both want to watch TV even if they have loads of hw....
I have explained to him, that if he is done with hw,he can watch TV or maybe after completing either school or kumon..he can take a break ,watch TV and again sit. But he cries and his sis is also following the same. By the time, explaining to them, I am exhausted and I give up..
Most of the times this is happening..

Any suggestions as how to avoid kids watching TV....I have tried playing with him for sometime,read books.etc....he does everything, but at the end of the day, if he doesnt watch....the next day mrng, he is awake early only to watch TV.. I know he is a sweet kid...but making him understand and implement is something I am failing to do....This is hurting me and back of my mind, I always feel like I am a failure....
Please help..

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TeacherParent September 25, 2011


Watching tv is fun - there's nothing wrong with them wanting to watch it. You don't say how old your children are but even to very young children you can point out that you don't spend your evenings watching television and say that 'summer is different'. You likely spend your evenings cleaning up from dinner, putting a load of laundry in, paying bills and getting ready for the next work day. Would your children be happy and comfortable the next day in school if they didn't have their homework done? It's a rare child that isn't bothered when their teacher gets upset with them.

You can remind them of what happens the next day in school if they don't have their homework ready, show them that you don't spend the evenings watching television and promise them that if they get their homework done and no crying to watch television that you'll let them watch 1/2 hour of television before they go to sleep.

It's hard to cut television out of the day altogether - tv really does us to relax. As you're already fighting the homework battle, to layer on top of it another battle to not watch television at all would be a lot.

But on weekends the way I got my own two boys away from the television was by taking them out to the nearest park or playground because as long as we were in the house, even I was tempted to do nothing plop down in front of the tv on weekends after a long week of work.

Good luck.

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berryspecial1 October 10, 2011


I found that a reward system really works with my son. I have also made it a rule that homework gets done right after a snack. He knows the rules and You can't bend from it. Also, when he makes a mistake, we try to make a silly face and then he knows he can try again. He is also learning that the more mistakes he makes the longer it takes for him to get to do what he wants to do. After homework he can watch tv, play outside, go to the library, playground etc... Best of luck. I'm still trying to get my son to bring all his homework home. The reward system doesn't always work, but it is getting better. We have alot of fun when he does make a mistake. We also play revesal roles where I get him to teach me and I play stupid especially when I know he knows how to do something like 2+2=5 and then I say oh yeah, I'm glad you knew that because I forgot. Most times he will laugh at me and say oh mom.

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kennad October 10, 2011


His age might have something to do with it, I remember having to struggle to get mine to do homework at that age but here are some ideas.
When my son gets home, I always greet him Positively and ask him how his day went and leave that open for any discussions which keeps him more open to talk to me about anything he needs to get off his mind . Then I make sure he has a snack & drink and rest at least 30 minutes because there is nothing worse then coming home from school to have to immediately start homework. Then I motivate him to get the homework out of the way, saying "sooner you get it done, sooner you can play" or do his favorite activity, whatever the case! I am always near him folding laundry or something where if he has a question, i can help. If you get lost yourself, theres the internet that can help, lol we have looked up all kinds of definitions etc because i forgot some of the stuff i learned! LOL
Then you can always reward your child at the end of the week with a special treat like going to the park or getting him icecream or something else that he loves to do. It doesnt have to be expensive but it really works! if my son does good all week, he gets something awesome to do.
Some kids might like painting or playing legos with you. you could also have a rewards calender where you place a stars or sticker s every day your child does his homework & gets to school on time etc. just some ideas.... i love reading all the other ideas on here as well, moms all can help eachother learn new things! Ive learned some things from other moms!

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kennad October 10, 2011


oh and i reward my kids with chocolate milk when they get done with homework too.



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