Depending on the child it may be best to separate their study space from their sleep space, if possible.
Home Learning Spaces for Kids
The first step is to try reducing or removing objects and materials that can be a distraction. For example colourful posters can a visual stimulant drawing their attention away from their school work.
It can also be beneficial to segregate noisey school activities from quiet study activities. One area of the study room can be just for quiet activities whereas the other for noise. For example study and homework time can be in one section and ZOOM class in another.
Another tip is to remove unnecessary clutter from the study area. Toys that are for play time can be kept out of the study area or hidden from view.
Non-school objects like lunch bowls would stay in the kitchen and erroneous bobs and nicknacks don’t need to line the shelves or at least try and keep them out of eyesight.
Use various means to remove noise interruptions. Disruptive noise can be caused by something as mundane as the child’s desk chair. If the floor is not carpeted the chair scraping can be a distraction. Felt tips on the bottom of the chair can minimize this noise.
Keep the door closed to dampen the distraction of people moving and talking in the hall. If possible, have other family members wear headphones while watching TV or attending virtual work.
Use natural light where possible. If not possible then try using light bulbs that mimic natural light. Fluorescent light can have severe negative effects.
Use seating that is calming for fidgety and hyperactive children. Ball chairs, wiggle discs, and desk bikes are all great seating adaptations that help kids focus.
Ways to Improve Focus & Concentration by Design
The simplest way to improve focus and concentration is to remove distractions. Sudden noise can be startling and unsettling. Once focus has been abruptly broken by noise, it will take more time to get back into focus.
If class lessons are being timed, try using a quieter signal to mark the session ending rather than a loud buzzer or alarm.
Keeping a tight schedule. Maintaining expectations of duration and subject content can create the perfect predictable day. This mundane approach will be less stimulating and allow for better focus. While working on a scheduled day let the child participate in the drafting of this. Through trial and error you will both be able to come up with something beneficial.
Although clutter can be a negative issue and toys distracting, there are tools that can help the child fidget while they work. These include spinners and tactile strips for the desktop.
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