The homework struggle is real for lots of families and all the digital distractions don’t help. Want to make it easier on your kids and yourself? Sure you do, and these concentration hacks can help.
- Set up “Work Hour” for the whole family - Remember sitting in crowded dorm room study halls back in college? Create that same energizing environment at home by having everyone sit together and quietly work independently.
- Give your kids “complaining minutes” - When your kids are whining and need a release, give them one “complaining minute” to get it out. Set the timer and for 60 seconds they can vent about anything they want, but when time’s up, it’s back to work - no moaning allowed.
- Change up the environment - If your kid is feeling fidgety or stuck working at their desk, let them try a out new location around the house for a change. Study coach Ana Mascara says switching environments also helps the brain realize what you’re studying is important. And a change of scenery is always nice.
- Let your kid be Batman - No, really, literally let your child wear a superhero cape. A study finds that when four- and six-year-olds dressed as a familiar character, they stuck with a repetitive task significantly longer.
- Try the Pencil Game - Child psychologist William Hudenko suggests the refocusing technique and it’s pretty simple. Give your child a set of two or three pencils and teach them to switch them when they’re feeling distracted. It’s not about which pencil they use, but changing them tells the brain, “Oh, I’m distracted, I need to get focused again.”
- Put homework time immediately after play time - Study after study shows academic improvement and exercise are linked. Let your kid run around and play for half an hour, then once the wiggles are out, they’ll be more ready to hit the books.