Lack of concentration is a very common problem amongst children as well as adults. Keeping children focused during a class can be a herculean task at times. A study conducted had found that most adults have an average attention span of only 14 minutes. With the rise in technology and the increasing pace of daily life, it is obviously more difficult for children to concentrate in class. Poor concentration in children is a bigger problem since it can negatively affect their education.
Causes for lack of concentration
Usually there are innumerable reasons for a child to be unable to concentrate in the classroom and most of them are out of their control. Here are some of the common causes for lack of concentration in the classroom:
- Sometimes a common developmental difference affects a part of the brain that controls concentration and attention. Symptoms of this disorder range from impulsiveness, restlessness and short attention span, leading to lack of focus in the class in particular and studies in general.
- Stress is another significant reason for children to lack focus. Often, stress goes unnoticed till it starts affecting concentration. However, in most cases it is manageable.
- Emotional or psychological issues might be a significant reason for lack of concentration amongst children. These issues consist of anxiety, dyslexia, bipolar disorder or physical disabilities. It is very important to address these issues at an early stage.
- At times, the environment also contributes towards children’s lack of concentration. The noise levels, temperature and lighting, among other similar factors, can add up to make a child lose focus during a class.
- Hunger can also be a huge reason for concentration diversion, especially in young people.
How to tackle lack of concentration
It is essential for both teachers and parents to effectively tackle this lack of concentration amongst children. Here are some of the ways in which this issue can be dealt with:
It is important for teachers to plan every lesson with proper intervals. For a group of 7-8 year olds, the usual attention span is 14-25 minutes. Keeping this in mind, teachers should plan their lessons with intervals after every 20-25 minutes. For older children, this gap between the intervals could be increased by a couple of minutes as their attention span is comparatively longer.
During these intervals, teachers can make the children do different kinds of activities like individual writing, sharing their work, discussions, debates and many more. This will also help the children understand the lessons being taught in a better manner, thereby making their learning more holistic.
Sometimes creating a visual environment based on the age group of the children helps to keep them attentive in the class. Creating inspirational posters, artwork and informative displays around the classroom can help create a learning-centric environment. Children can rest their eyes on these posters and artwork, which can act as a mini-break for them.
Brain breaks have gradually become an integral part of classroom routine. Planning scheduled brain breaks helps children regain their lost attention. It also helps them absorb the things that they have learnt thus far in the learning session.
You can set a singing alarm on your phone or tablet and when it goes off, select a card or pop stick and have a short activity with your students. However, sometimes it becomes a task to come up with different activities every day during these brain break sessions.
This technique was developed in the 1980s by university student Francesco Cirillo, who was struggling to focus on academics and assignments. He asked himself to focus for just 10 minutes on his lessons and assignments. Some of the primary considerations of this extremely simple technique include:
- To begin by creating a to-do list along with a timer, set for 25 minutes;
- When the session ends, mark one Pomodoro and record the time;
- Enjoy the 5 minutes break;
- After at least 4 Pomodoro, take a longer break for 15-30 minutes.
Keep an eye
As a teacher or a parent, when you become aware of the various attention spans of children, you need to keep an eye on the time that has elapsed since the activity or learning session began. Also, it is a good idea to discuss with your students this struggle with attention and show them their work and progress after a certain period of time. You need to enter their world and have them come out of theirs to start communicating with you. This can be effective in reducing the easy distractions and helping them focus on a particular task.
Playing Memory Games
Memory games play a vital role in increasing concentration power amongst children. Make children play memory games or other concentration games at appropriate times so that they can focus on a particular thing for a longer period of time. Some other games such as Snap and Memory, Guess Who, Jenga, UNO are some of the games that help children practice concentration skills. These are proven ways to tackle the lack of concentration amongst children.
Fast finishing Activities
Make children do fast finishing activities that they can start after they have completed their set of work. There are many creative fast finishing activities that teachers and parents can find on the internet. These can work great at making children hold their attention span during the lessons.
There are several ways in which the lack of concentration amongst children can be managed. The more hands-on and practical these activities are, the better they will be for the children to focus on it. Along with the activities mentioned above, it is essential for parents to ensure that their children are well-fed before they attend their classes. They should get an adequate amount of sleep and should also have adequate and apt activities which keep them energetic.
Additionally, these activities to tackle concentration also improve the creative thinking abilities and problem-solving power of children. The tips mentioned above can help your child build on their concentration skills and prepare well for the future.