Does your child dawdle during school time? Is your child wasting time daydreaming when he should be focusing on his chores or homeschool assignments?
I have a child whose mind runs a million miles a minute. He is always thinking of something other than his schoolwork. I’ll be in the middle of a math lesson and he’ll tell me some random fact about Star Wars. When he’s supposed to be doing chores, I’ll find him in his room playing his piano or drawing elaborate WW II scenes.
How can you (and I) keep our kids on task without nagging and complaining the whole day?
Get organized. Make sure all of your student’s school work is easy to find, but also make him responsible for his books and supplies as is age-appropriate. I don’t know how many times my son has gotten lost playing with Lego while he was looking for his math book in his room. Having all of his main books and supplies organized into one box is helpful for Ben. The challenge is making sure he returns everything to his box.
Have a schedule, even if it’s a loose one. You don’t have to created such a tight schedule (math at 9am, chores at 3pm, etc.) that every minute of the day is planned, but do make sure that your child knows ahead of time what is expected of him. Sometimes the never ending lists of subjects and chores he must complete seems overwhelming. A simple check-off sheet can help keep him on track and bring about a sense of accomplishment when he sees all that he completed successfully. Remind him throughout the day that finishing well is an incentive for free time to draw, play, and have time with friends.
Use a timer. Allocate a specific amount of time to each subject if needed and set a timer. Do make sure that the amount of time for the assignment is easily doable for your child (this will vary depending on the age of your child). Once the timer is up, give him a short 5 minute break before moving on to the next assignment. A couple of times during the day, offer a longer 30 minute break.
Be encouraging. It’s easy to get frustrated with kids who are distracted easily. Stay in control yourself, use gentle reminders, redirect as necessary, and celebrate victories.
Use natural remedies that will help with focus. Make sure your student is eating a healthy diet, free of excess sugar and chemical dyes. Use essential oils both topically and in a diffuser in your homeschool space. Use supplements that increase brain health, such as fish oil. All of these measures will go a long way to help your distracted child settle down and focus better.
Do you have a distracted child? What are some ways you help him keep on task with homeschool and chores?