5 Simple ways to increase reading and retention in school children
Have you often wondered why kids can’t stick to their chairs and complete the homework without distractions? You have to understand that it is most natural for kids to be distracted owing to their energy levels and expecting them to stay completely focused may not help. But there are ways to help them increase their concentration and stay focused to finish assigned tasks.
Throughout this exercise we should understand that there is nothing wrong with children being distracted. If only we could make all learning fun then there is a large possibility that children will stay focused. Building fun around every learning and subject is a herculean task and yet to be accomplished. Therefore we will look at ways to increase concentration in kids and keep them focused.
Make learning immersive
Children can register better if the tasks are built around fun activities. They learn best by playing. Ensure all gadgets like PC’s, mobile phones, ipads, playstations are kept out of sight from study area. Encourage them to play with analog toys and indulge them in activities that help build focus and concentration. Games involving thought, planning and use of memory such as cross word puzzles, cards games like memory and UNO have proven to remember numbers, words and images. Finding the odd one out and spotting objects in picture puzzles help improve attention and increase concentration in children.
Similarly sequencing tasks like picking up objects in alphabetical order from a large tub containing multiple objects and a simple statue game can be a great brain exercise strengthening mind-body interface and improving focus.
Set the right Environment
Environment play a vital role in deciding your child’s response level. Calm and smooth environments makes some children feel comfortable and more responsive whereas others respond well under hustle and bustle environment. Understanding the kind of environment that your child prefers for serious activities like studying, preparing for a debate or elocution is the foremost step to increasing his or her concentration and focus level.
- Create the ambient atmosphere – instrumental music that are soft and melodious with soft lighting can work well but ensure that the study area is well lit to avoid eye sight issues later. Setting up a simple aquarium can bring about a huge change in an otherwise over distracted kid. Even birds and pets are effective means of increasing focus.
- Gadget free study area- Keep the study area away from gadgets of any kind including, mobiles, ipads, Televisions and computers. If the learning needs a computer ensure that it is used only for the purpose.
- Organise – Bring all learning related or subject related needs to the learning area. This is to make sure the child does not have to move around for fetching rulers, color pencils, markers, sketches, red pens, pencils, relevant books and even water. This can bring about a good improvement in concentration.
Eating habits have a large role to play in deciding the concentration levels of children. For instance healthy food is directly proportional to concentration level meaning eating junk food or food rich in sugar makes a child sluggish while food rich in proteins such as almonds, eggs, pulses, fish and lean meat makes the child active, focussed and increases concentration levels
Fruits and Greens intake
Greens and fruits eaten before meals are high on antioxidants which according to experts helps boost brain power. There is proven records of increase in cognition when toast and baked beans are eaten as breakfast.
Set routines not rigid timetables
Encourage your children to eat at a particular time after coming back from school, go for a scheduled music class, badminton class etc. or natural play activities. After games he should get into the habit of freshening up with a facewash, have a protein rich evening snack and sit for studying or doing written homework say for 1 hour initially and gradually increased to 3 hours. This will help increase his concentration levels and program a time slot for studying in his brain. As time passes you will find that your child does not have to be told to sit for studying after playing.
Naps and breaks acts as concentration boosters. Concentration levels are at their best in children after a good night’s sleep.
Nothing like convincing your child to take a short 30 minute nap in the afternoon after coming back from school. It really does the magic.
Bathroom breaks and hunger pangs are a hindrance to effective study time. All such distractions should be catered to before study time.