With the coronavirus pandemic in full
swing around the world, educational institutions have arguably been hit the
hardest. This has called for alternative methods to the usual classroom
learning as schools have been closed down. Home tutoring and online classes are
some of the solutions that have been come up with. These methods are not
without their problems, though.
Children, as a general rule, are
difficult to handle. It is now even more difficult given that there are no
teachers to keep an eye on them for the majority of their day as it used to be.
How can parents now get their children to pay more attention to their academics
pending the time that schools open again? How can teachers keep the children
focused during their lecture period and beyond? Let us discuss a few pointers.
Adults pride themselves in being able to
multitask. However, this has been proven by researchers to reduce concentration
and diminish performance. This is even more pronounced in children. When
teaching a child, you must focus on one topic before moving to the next. This
will make sure that the child fully understands the concept and is not lost
Try not to labour the child with different
information all at once. This is usually the case with online teaching using
text-based media for teaching like WhatsApp or Google Classrooms. The general
feeling is to upload multiple courses all at once to save time. This will
usually turn out to be overwhelming for the child and eventually detrimental to
the child’s concentration.
a Set Schedule
Humans are creatures of habit. With a
set routine, we can easily accomplish a good number of tasks than if we were
randomly checking boxes. Having a set schedule helps to make one focused. The
same principle works for children.
Children are used to a pattern. Their
school routine is mapped out to the letter, and this is helpful to them. They can
have their brains tuned to focus when the time for learning begins. So them
having a set routine for their alternative means of learning will help to make
them focus better, at least for the period the lesson lasts.
Break Big Tasks into Smaller Ones
Children have a short attention span,
especially when it comes to daunting tasks. They can only focus for so long on
difficult tasks before moving on to some other task they can accomplish rather
easily. The key to having children focus on a difficult task is to break them
down into smaller, manageable ones.
The general procedure for breaking down
tasks would include the following steps:
- Define the task.
- Segment the task into
- Give each chunk a
deadline for completion.
- Revise the strategy at
For more details on how to be able to
adequately break tasks down, you can use the following resources:
a Makeshift Classroom
It might be important to have a set-aside
location for the classes. Various locations elicit different responses from the
children. It would be almost impossible to get a child to focus on school work
on a playground, so there should be a designated location for this purpose.
Setting up a classroom can be a tedious
task for most. Just make sure that the area picked for the class is uncluttered
be free from as many distractions as possible. Try to equip it as much as
possible with all the necessary tools to avoid excess/unnecessary movement by
So far, we have looked at some ways one
can help their wards/kids stay focused on their studies this period. The ways
we have discussed are as follows:
- Avoid Multitasking
- Follow a Set Schedule
- Always Break Big Tasks into
- Create a Makeshift
Follow through with these and you will
see an improvement in your wards!
The Concerned Parents and Educators Network (CPE) will be five (5) years old on the 24th of June 2020. To celebrate five years of Impact in the Education sector, the group has put together a special essay competition for Teachers. More details can be found here.