Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dealing with Distractions — Strategies for Home and School

For any child, it’s easy to get distracted, especially when it comes to schoolwork. Providing guidance to your child on how to deal with distractions can help your child stay focused at home and at school. Try these strategies and tips to help your child with disruptions.
Strategies for Home
  • Maintain a daily routine. By creating a schedule, you give your child a time frame in which each task should be completed. Developing a routine doesn't have to be limited to just homework. It can also work to limit distractions when they are doing chores, getting ready in the morning, or engaging in other day-to-day activities.
  • Noise matters. Find out whether your child works better in complete silence or with some background noise. If normal household and neighborhood conditions are too distracting, your child may need a workspace separate from this noise or noise-cancelling headphones in order to work. However, if background noise helps, the kitchen table or a set of headphones streaming music may help your child get assignments done.
  • Divide and conquer. Allowing your child to take small breaks between assignments can help develop a better workflow. Breaks also give your child something to look forward to, thereby giving your child a reason to finish. Also, breaking big assignments down into smaller tasks can make any project more manageable.
  • Keep it clutter-free. Clutter in your child's workspace can serve as a distraction. So, in order to keep your child attentive to their assignments, make sure they keep their workstation neat and organized.
Strategies for School
  • Front row seats are best. Encourage your child to sit up front on the first day of class, if the teacher allows free seating. Having a desk close to the teacher will make it easier to pay attention during lessons and minimize distractions.
  • Write it all down. Suggest to your child that they write down distracting thoughts instead of blurting them out. This may help prevent any unnecessary interruptions to the lesson.
  • Learning styles matter. Work with your child’s teacher to identify strategies that work best for the type of learner your child is. Whether your child learns best by watching, listening or actively doing, finding methods that are in line with your child’s learning style can help to make lessons easier to understand and focus on.
  • Encouragement is always welcomed. Though your child will try their best, they may feel disheartened the night before a big test, or by an unexpected low grade. That’s why it’s important to remind your child of previous examples when they excelled and reassure them that you know they can succeed.

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