Keeping your children focused on their reading materials is often challenging. When dealing with preschoolers, you have to understand how even the most trivial thing like a random fly in the room or the rustling of papers could distract them almost instantly. Once their mind wanders off, it takes them a great deal of time to shift their focus back to the lectures or academic activities at hand.
What’s the Ideal Environment for Studying?
Children’s study environment often influences their study habits. Since they’ll be spending a considerable amount of time in this area, careful considerations should be made to achieve optimal results. For one, most preschoolers often appreciate little natural background noises when studying while some prefer complete silence to focus.
An ideal environment for studying has the following elements: (1) comfort, (2) clean and organized space, and (3) adequate lighting.
- Comfort – your children’s study area could be a desk in the bedroom, a quiet area in the kitchen, or a personal office. What’s important is that this area should be comfortable enough for them to sit and read for longer periods. You can mix it up a bit with collaborative setups in group studies now and then.
- Clean and organized space – make sure to keep all your children’s supplies in one place and teach them to keep it that way after every use. The goal is to help them find their materials easier since you don’t want them to waste their study time looking over their displaced supplies.
- Adequate lighting – you can’t read properly without adequate lighting. If the area you’ve chosen doesn’t allow enough light, you might need to consider getting a desk lamp.
How Will I Keep Them Focused?
As a parent, there are things you can do to help develop your children’s academic prowess. It’s not rocket science or anything like that, just simple and effective study techniques that are doable by anyone in the world.
The following are tips on how to keep your children’s mojo for studying up and running:
- Accompany your children in the beginning – building study habits takes time and children need constant guidance. Leaving them alone to discover what to do just won’t do, they need guidance first. What you have to do is accompany them during the first few study sessions they’ll have at home and then build the habit up until such time they’re comfortable dealing with their study materials on their own.
- Provide a conducive environment for studying – it doesn’t need to be fancy but it does have to be comfortable for the children. Allow them an area where they can just relax and focus, with minimal distractions at bay.
- Allow positive reinforcements – give praises and compliments when they’re due, like when they finish all their assignments on time. Avoid giving material things as a reward since this is hard to maintain and failed expectations on the children’s part could be detrimental to their motivation to study.
- Give information or instructions piece by piece – children cannot process complex information or instructions all at once, they do better when you hand it to them one at a time. This gives them time to process it and respond to it well.
- Keep a planner – study sessions must go somewhere and achieve certain goals and a planner can keep track of all the progress made during the day, week, or month. To ensure that your children have developed effective study habits by now, record days for self-study and check their scheduled quizzes in the middle or end of the week.
- Help them review for tests – since you already have the planner, you can easily track when a test is coming up. Days before this, help children review for it to anticipate actual questions that may come out of the test. Having them provide a mini explanation as to why they chose their answers will help them understand better the rationale for their choices.
- Teach your children that it’s okay to ask for help – your children may not know everything at once nor will they instantly absorb everything in one sitting. Most of the time, these children have more questions than answers and you must be with them every step of the way. Make them understand that it’s okay to ask questions and that you’re available to provide answers for them.
- Keep your answers simple – when children ask, they understand best with plain, direct answers. So keep your answers simple and at the level of comprehension they can grasp.
- Practice note-taking – be observant when it comes to the learning process of your children. Practicing note-taking will help you gauge their ability to correct their previous mistakes and improve on their tests.
- Add a motivational piece on their desk or study table – it could be anything from a family photograph, a picture of their favorite animal, or a promised deal trip to the beach. Whatever it is, keep it in a place where they can constantly see it and be reminded of something that makes them happy and motivated to study.
Remember, to achieve their full potential, you have to play with their preferences and develop effective study habits for it. Not every learner is the same and children have unique qualities that make them stand out from the rest. So it’s important to play on their strengths and manage their weaknesses for improvement.
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