Perhaps the simplest move to set the stage for better concentration is to call a time out occasionally. If you child has to move to homework from being glued to an action TV program, suggest taking “time out” with a long stretch. You might help your child develop his or her own “loosen up” routine of stretches to get read y for concentration on homework. Suggest, too, that your child design his or her study time to include a few time out breaks from concentration in order to return to concentration refreshed.
Sticking To It
Concentration is intense. It’s focused. Concentration means sticking to a task for as long as it takes to complete it. To have your child experience concentration, you might play guessing games in which your child tries to determine what you’re thinking of by asking questions that can be answered “yes” or “no.” Your child must keep focused, collecting and analyzing information, and use accumulated facts to solve the puzzle.
With a younger child, you can pose simpler two-clue riddles and work with him or her to put the information together to arrive at an answer. (What do sharks eat with peanut butter? Jellyfish.)
Read aloud to your child from children’s mystery story books. Alert him or her to collect clues to be used in unraveling the puzzle that’s posed.
Try cooperative, Scrabble, with players working together to see how large and elaborate a crossword they can build. In fact, quite a number of board games and card games call for considerable concentration. (If the game is too difficult, though, it can be more frustrating than helpful.)
Invite your child to work with you on projects that take time, but involve a series of steps, each of which can provide a sense of accomplishment. It could be a cooking or craft project, or putting together a birthday party, even planning and carrying out a grocery shopping trip.
Concentration, without doubt, is a mental skill that can be learned. And the practice you give your child at home will have long term learning benefits that carry over into school and adulthood.