In most cases, homeschooled children find it difficult to focus due to distractions and being in a comfortable environment. If COVID-19 and remote learning has taught us anything, keeping young learners engaged at home takes a few more extra steps for educators.
So, here’s the big question: what do you do in these situations? How do you help your children stay focused when teaching math for 3rd graders? While there’s no magical remedy for improving focus, the following tips will certainly come in handy:
Slow down and start from the basics
While slowing down may seem counter-productive, it’s usually the best course of action if your child is struggling to stay focused when learning homeschool math. Slow down and ask the important questions. Why can’t children stay focused during math classes? Is it a developmental issue or is the pacing just too fast for them?
Typically, children tend to lose focus when they don’t understand the new concept being introduced. Thus, to help them, you should start from the basics. Teach kids basic math facts and concepts before moving on to more advanced concepts. This way, they’d be able to easily assimilate new concepts and stay focused while learning.
Utilize game-based learning
With the advent of EdTech, game-based learning is becoming a popular trend in schools and educational settings very fast. This is mostly because several experts have confirmed the significant role of the approach in boosting assimilation and retention.
Thus, if your child cannot stay focused when learning math, it may be time to bring out the big guns: educational games and apps. Every child loves playing games and thus, you’d be using a favorite past-time to lure them into staying focused. Typically, these apps teach math for kids online by curating educational content in the form of quests, missions, adventures, and whatnot.
Therefore, it might be in your best interest to introduce homeschool maths online games to your kid.
Use a different curriculum
Here’s the thing: learning can be a really tricky process. While your curriculum may work for child A, it might be a total disaster for child B. Thus, when teaching, it’s important to ensure that you’re using the best homeschool math curriculum. But what does it look like?
For starters, a great curriculum involves hands-on learning. Children need to get involved in hands-on activities when learning math. Whether it’s through online activities or board games, this vital puzzle piece should not be missing.
Another vital aspect worth considering is visuals. If your child is a visual learner rather than an auditory one, it’s advisable to include loads of visuals (pictures, diagrams, graphs, etc.) in the curriculum. This way, kids would learn faster and be able to retain information.
Take lots of breaks
How often does your child take breaks? While it’s certainly ambitious to hold math classes for hours on end, it’s a recipe for disaster. More often than not, your child’s attention would begin to wander after the first thirty minutes.
Thus, to boost their focus and reduce distractions, you should include breaks within each lesson. For instance, you may decide to introduce a 10-15 minute break each hour. This approach will help them relax and feel rejuvenated before hopping back into learning.
The more breaks kids take, the less frustrated or distracted they’d be when learning math.
Create a solid routine
Believe it or not, routines aren’t only for the Sheldon Coopers of this world. In fact, establishing a routine is a great way to achieve success. From skincare to exercises, routines almost always produce results.
The same applies to learning math (and just about any subject). Establishing a consistent studying routine will help your child become more focused.
For instance, if they have to do the math before lunchtime every day, it becomes a part of their daily lives. They’d begin to see math as a preliminary exercise to lunchtime, rather than an arbitrary subject. The result? Children become more focused and less prone to distractions.
Over the past couple of years, several debates have arisen surrounding the use of incentives in education. Some people argue that the use of a rewards scheme may cause children to learn solely for rewards rather than out of genuine interest.
While this argument is a valid point, it’s important to note that there are tons of positive incentives that can motivate your child to stay focused. For instance, you could let kids have an extra snack or try out a new activity they’ve been requesting for.
These incentives can be quite useful as long as you do not solely depend on them and they aren’t used too frequently.
Wondering how to help your child with math at home? You’re certainly not alone. Tons of homeschooling parents often try to keep their children focused, especially when it comes to learning math.
Fortunately, we’ve highlighted some of the best strategies to help your child focus their attention during lessons. Start by slowing down and going over the basics to make kids more receptive to new concepts.
Once you’ve done this, you can now take more drastic steps such as adjusting their curriculum and creating a study routine for a kid.
Featured image: ake1150sb, iStock.