Concentration is a basic, yet so very important concept. The term generally refers to the ability to focus attention on something specific like a player focusing on the proceedings of their game or a student concentrating on their subjects. Concentration, although a basic concept, is a tricky space for our minds to be in. To begin with, focusing our concentration is not always easy with so many distractions around us. Even if we do concentrate on something, the threshold of our concentration might be broken by some minor changes in the environment around us.
All of this gets trickier to be dealt with by a child. In order to shed more light on this, Ezyschooling conducted a panel discussion on “How to Increase a Student’s Concentration”. The session was attended by some expert panelists like Mrs. Kalpana Mohan, Academic Advisor at Basil Woods Group of Schools, Mrs. Baljeet Kaur, Principal at Guru Tegh Bahadur Public School, Ms. Poonam Saxena, the founder Principal at Scholar’s Global School, and Mr. Rahul Utamchandani, one of the founders at Borad EduGames.
Some of the factors that make it difficult for students to concentrate, especially on their studies, are discussed below.
● Low Attention Span: The main and physical hurdle that makes it difficult for kids to concentrate is their lower attention span. The attention span of a person gradually increases from childhood to adulthood. Hence, they find it difficult to focus their attention on something specific for a long time.
● Excessive Screen Time: Mobile phones and TV take up a lot of a child’s time. As Baljeet ma’am said in the session, mobile phones and TVs do not necessarily have a bad effect on kids. But if used excessively, it can interfere with the activity of the brain and lead to a lack of concentration.
● Lack of Sleep: A growing child necessarily needs around 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. Sound sleep gives a fresher start to their mornings. It also helps the brain to wind down and start afresh, leading to an increase in the overall concentration levels.
● External Distractions: Distractions are hard to be dealt with by adults and hence, all the more difficult for kids. Kids tend to easily get distracted by the voices around them, by all the things that might be happening around them. This leads to even the minimal concentration getting broken.
● Lack of Motivation: A driving force makes it easier for a person to concentrate on achieving their goals. It is the same with children. If students are made to study just for the sake of studying, they are very likely to lose interest and concentration in that.
The pandemic has yet again confined us all to our homes. As Poonam ma’am mentioned, the teaching style has undergone a notable change in the online scenario. Schools have shifted online, making it all the more difficult for the kids to concentrate on their studies.
Here’s how you can help students in online classes-
● Maintain a Routine: As mentioned earlier, maintaining a routine helps one to be mentally prepared. While you schedule that routine, remember to add enough breaks, and at regular intervals. As Baljeet ma’am emphasizes, breaks are important to build concentration in kids, especially during online classes.
● Create an Environment: As Kalpana ma’am mentions, the environment at home needs to be fit for study. Put up study charts and add little study notes to turn a corner of your room into a study area. Going by Poonam madam’s idea, teachers can conduct fun activities after the classes to encourage children to focus better.
● Eliminate Distractions: Refrain people from entering the room when you are attending online classes. If possible, shut your door and windows to save yourself from the noises outside your room that might distract you. Parents can take on the responsibility to make sure that the child is not disturbed in his study hours.
● Reach Out: The physical absence of friends and teachers does not mean that you are in it alone. So encourage your child to interact during the online classes. Ask them to voice their doubts to their teachers, ask them to catch up with friends online and talk about the class, if they like.
● Flip Class: Introduced to us by Kalpana ma’am, flip class is when the student is required to assume the role of a teacher. In this method, the teacher can assign the students different minor topics to teach the rest of the class on the next day. Students focus better on their classmates’ teaching and concentrate better.
As Rahul sir mentioned, kids need guidance and molding by their parents and teachers to learn to be better. So, here’s a little help for the parents and teachers seeking to increase attention in kids.
● Start Slow: Start with something basic, like asking them to observe something. Do not make them multitask at once, instead, start with getting things done one by one. You can also increase the tasks gradually to determine their progress.
● Use a Timer: Set a timer to determine how long the child can concentrate on something specific. Keeping track of this time will help you track their progress in the future, or even on a daily basis.
● Mindfulness Exercises: Mindfulness exercises like meditation helps to build a person’s concentration. Even breathing exercises can help any person to increase their concentration levels. They are a form of concentration exercise.
● Do Experiments: Talk with your child about their favorable environment where they can concentrate on studying. Going by Poonam madam’s notion that every child has a different learning style, we must help them find out what works for them the best.
● Make a Routine: Having a proper schedule to follow makes it easier for the kids to be mentally ready for their study hours. Being prepared helps them to concentrate better. Remember to include enough breaks in the routine.
● Educative Games: The market is now amassed with many games that are not only educative but also very interesting to play for the kids. Borad EduGames, co-founded by Rahul sir, is one such line of concentration-based games for kids that makes learning easier.
Borad EduGames is a start-up company that was first developed as a college project, and now develops a line of board games that seeks to enhance knowledge in students through the use of interactive thought-provoking board games.
The two co-founders, Ayush Anand and Rahul Utamchandani were two aspiring students that yearned to bring back the fun in learning and reducing the monotonous activity that learning has now seemed to become. Aimed at making the learning process easier for kids, this college project garnered many praises, reviews and soon gained podiums in many start-up competitions.
The folks at Borad EduGames believe that learning is better when it is accompanied with fun. And as Rahul sir mentioned, this belief is very true as indulging in such games helps children to focus better. This focus increases all the more when students take an interest in whatever they are learning. To date, Borad EduGames has developed four board games that are successfully developing an interest towards learning in children. All four of these games focus on four different subjects (English, Geography, History, and Mathematics), thus making the kids take a particular interest in that subject, along with the game.