Does your child tend to get bored easily? How can I help my child focus?
Are they constantly shifting their attention from one thing to another?
Your child is not alone.
Many parents are very concerned about their children’s attention spans. After all, the ability to focus well not only affects your child’s attitude towards life, but also how much they learn in school and their overall well-being.
Although it is normal that young children have shorter attention spans than adults, how do you know what’s a normal period that a child should be able to concentrate and what’s not?
In this post, we are going to share how long the average attention span of a child is and also go through some tips to help you understand what affects your child’s ability to focus and what you can do to help them focus better.
How long is the attention span of your child?
According to recent research, a normal child can concentrate for 2-5 minutes per year of age on average.
If we were to look at this with reference to primary school children, this would mean that a 7-year-old child (Primary 1) can keep their attention for about 14-35 minutes, while a 12-year-old child (Primary 6) can keep their attention for about 20-45 minutes.
If your child’s attention span doesn’t fall into the appropriate category, do take note that there are also other factors at play. For example, if a kid faces a task that they dislike, their attention span decreases and the inverse is true.
What affects a child’s ability to concentrate
There are many reasons why your child may have difficulty focusing and they may include things like:
- the amount of interest they have in an activity
- the difficulty level of the task at hand
- environment and the time of the day
- how tired or hungry they are
- learning disabilities (such as ADHD)
Read more about the research behind this.
The most accurate way of measuring your child’s attention span is to first observe how they are like on a good day when they are calm and focused and then compare it to another day when you find them distracted.
5 tips to improve your child’s concentration:
Once you have identified the cause of distraction, here are 5 tips to help your child focus better accordingly:
1. Disinterest in an activity – Make it more interesting to your child with an alternative approach
For example, if they find doing math practice boring and have problems concentrating for an hour, you can try a more enjoyable way to help them revise their math.
One useful tool that you can consider is Practicle.
Practicle makes math revision more productive and fun for primary school children by personalizing practice questions according to their weaknesses and gamifying the process.
Instead of spending hours staring at assessment books and get no work done, your child becomes a more active learner with just minutes of practice.
2. Task is beyond your child’s ability – Break it up into smaller, more manageable chunks
This reduces the probability of your child giving up in the midst because they find it daunting. Inserting breaks in between helps too. This can your child struggle less and focus better instead of constantly trying to get out of it.
3. Getting distracted easily – Check your child’s surrounding and clear all distractions
Young children tend to get distracted whenever there is something nearby that invokes their curiosity or when there is someone nearby that they can engage.
Thus, it is important that you check the environment that you put them in for any likely source of distraction (think mobile phones, toys, talkative siblings etc.) and remove them so that your child can focus better.
4. Tired or hungry – Take care of your child’s biological needs
It’s hard to focus when your child is exhausted or hungry. Making sure that they are well-rested and full will make it easier for them to pay attention for a longer period of time.
In addition, take note of the time of the day when you notice your child getting restless. Once you can figure out their “prime time”, you can plan their routine to fit the activities that require a higher level of focus during the right period.
5. General – Turn it into a fun challenge
To improve the overall concentration power of your child, you can turn it into a game and challenge them to increase the amount of time that they can stay focused.
You can set a timer to do a quick check of what their current attention level is , then set habitual goals and increase them gradually as they get better at increasing their concentration level.
Improving focus during revision
Why does a child who spends 2 hours on revision everyday perform worse than a child who spends 15 minutes?
The answer lies in the difference between their attention span. So a better way to do revision is to break up those long hours into small daily chunks.
For example, you can get your child to do their math revision in 15 minute slots. 15 full minutes of concentration might sound short, but if they are fully present, every minute is a minute well spent.
Contrast this with forcing your child to continue revising when they lose focus. Instead of absorbing anything useful, they’ll end up feeling bored and start doing things for the sake of doing.
Is 15 minutes of revision really enough?
15 minutes may not sound much on its own, but it is just right for primary school children to stay focused and make good progress on their revision. It’s also a nice amount of time that you can fit into any time of the day.
Help your child focus even better with Practicle
If you want your child to focus better during math revision, here’s how Practicle can help them get the most out of their 15 minutes:
- save revision time by finding your child’s exact math weaknesses
- understand what they don’t with high-quality learning resources
- motivate them to practice willingly
1. Cut down on revision time by working on your child’s weaknesses
Our A.I. system personalizes practice according to their learning progress in school by constantly assessing their understanding of the math concepts taught, uncovering what they have missed and picking the right questions to meet them at their level.
This makes practice more targeted to your child’s needs and help them focus better.
2. Understand what your child don’t with our math resources
Whenever your child gets stuck, they now have the means to learn it by themselves.
Practicle comes with helpful step by step solutions and short, animated videos that is specially designed by teachers to simplify the problem-solving process for them. Children are well-supported to clear their doubts and pick up what they have missed in school.
3. Motivate your child to practice independently without you nagging
Just like how your child tend to have no problem concentrating on their favourite game, Practicle makes practising just as enjoyable so your child will want to do it willingly.
Think daily quests, cute pets, pet duels. While your child have fun challenging their friends and earning rewards, our A.I. secretly trains them in the math skills that they are weak and makes their 15 minutes fruitful.
Although your child’s attention span will increase with age, it is still important for us as parents to intervene to help develop it along the way.
Which of the tips are you going to try to help your child focus better? Let us know the ones that you’ve tried and share your experiences in the comments below.
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