How to Build Focus This New School Year

We’ve all been there (kids and adults alike!) and maintaining focus is a skill that needs to be practiced to continually improve. This guide will offer tips and ideas to maintain your focus, along with a printable daily guide that you can use to plan your day out and stay focused.

Create a routine for homework, chores bedtime, waking up etc.  

This consistency will build good habits and give your child a sense of accomplishment everyday.  There will always be emergencies and crazy days, but knowing what you NEED to get done around those interruptions can give kids a sense of calm instead of always feeling like “I know there are some things that I have to get done, but never feeling like I get to them.”  

“I know there are some things that I have to get done, but never feel like I get to them.”  

Whatever works for your family – homework as soon as you get home, or right after dinner etc. will help your child to know the routine. Over time they will hopefully give up the battle!

My students know that if I give a consequence for not following the rules or directions that I will follow through with it.  I am careful not to give crazy consequences that I cannot follow through on and this also helps me to always stick to them. Sometimes easier said than done, but over time kids will get that their choices have consequences.

If some kids think they have a 5% chance of getting away with something or that we will give in on the consequences, they will take that shot every time, and then they are shocked when we don’t give in this time.  

Short easy to follow ‘To Do’ lists that can be checked off when completed (again, small wins for your child, depending on your parenting style you can reward them or the reward is checking off a task accomplished, I still love that feeling).

Multi-tasking

This is just my opinion, but I don’t believe in multi-tasking, you are only ever doing one thing at any one time.  You may be doing one thing for a short time and then switching to something else, then back etc., but you are really only doing one thing at any one time.  I look at ‘multi-tasking” as just doing each of those things with a little less concentration and reduced performance.

If a distraction or a phone call etc. interrupts you and you absolutely have to get off task, then attack that distraction with your full focus and get back to what you were doing as quickly as possible.  

martial arts

Create a Space For Homework

Create a space for homework and try to have everything there that your child needs so they don’t have to get up and encounter more distractions.  Start with shorter periods of desk time, but build up to finishing everything (this depends on the individual child) in one block of time. The whole world shouldn’t have to stop so they can concentrate.

Over time and with practice they can block those distractions out and get the job done.  

Learning Styles

As you may know there are different learning styles for different children (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) and figuring this out and using that information to your advantage can be extremely helpful, but remember school, work, and life in general will not always cater to a persons strengths so it is important to help your child adapt and work on their weaknesses as well.

Using a Daily Focus Planner

Using a daily focus planner is a great way to break your day down into small blocks of time, so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Furthermore, reflecting on your accomplishments and thinking about what you are grateful for will help you to feel grounded and confident. To help you out, we’ve created this free printable focus based planner that can be used by kids and adults alike.

 

Jolene Rheault

Jolene works as a marketing professional but full-time as a mom. She lives in Highlands Ranch, CO with her 7-year-old son, husband, 2 cats, and a bearded dragon named Jerry.

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