Although plenty of kids complain about going back to school, they love it deep down. Kids love the routine; they love being able to see their friends, and while school might seem a little dull at times, it helps the days and weeks fly by.
However, while going to school will benefit children, they may also struggle to remain focused, especially following several months without being in a classroom. Sometimes, you can put this down to Kids Being Kids, but this is not always the case. A lack of focus can hint at something deeper, and if you want your child to succeed at school, you must get to the bottom of it.
They Don’t Know How
One of the most straightforward explanations as to why your child is struggling to focus at school is that they don’t know how. This happens when they do not have any experience at school and are more used to the casual educational environment they experienced at playgroup or nursery.
The lack of experience and practice is not something to worry about too much, although it’s still something that their teacher should keep an eye on to see if it gets out of hand. Even kids who have been in a classroom before can struggle following the summer holidays or Easter break, but after a few days and usually a week at most, they will get back into the swing of things.
They Struggle To Understand The Material
Sometimes, it might not be a lack of focus, but rather the kids struggling to understand the material they need to study. Again, this can come from a lack of practice, but it could also be from moving to more challenging topics before they are ready for it, even if the rest of the class seems prepared.
If the student doesn’t understand the material, they severely risk falling behind, and the less they understand, the less they will feel it is worth trying to focus. They don’t want to try to play catch-up, so they will try to amuse themselves in other ways.
You and their teacher can lookout for signs that the child struggles to understand the material, and although they might be embarrassed to admit it, learning that they are not confident will enable you to help them get better grapes on the material.
The Material Isn’t Challenging Enough
On the other hand, your child might be so advanced that the material is not challenging enough. As much as some kids can struggle with the lesson because they find it too difficult, others breeze through the questions and then look for something to engage them further.
If your child finishes their work before others, they won’t have anything to do, and if they don’t have anything to do, they will look for ways to distract and entertain themselves. This is especially true if their teacher doesn’t have anything prepared, and it can affect the entire class, rather than just those close to them.
As easy material is a strong possibility for many children, especially those considered gifted, you can speak to their teacher and find a solution. There are many solutions to keep them engaged even if they finish their work before anybody else, such as additional worksheets or reading.
There Are Too Many Distractions
We all know that kids can get rowdy, and it doesn’t take long for an entire class to be encouraged by each other to act out. Often, kids can struggle to concentrate because there are too many distractions in the classroom. This is usually the badly behaved kids who will act out for whatever reason, and if your child sits next to them, or close to them, it can have a negative influence on them.
Rotating seating plans are a useful way around this, but considering you’re not the teacher, there’s not a lot you can do to implement it except merely making a suggestion.
It might not be other children, though. Instead, the classroom could have too many external stimuli that makes it difficult for your child to focus on anything. This could be exciting displays or even class pets, which are likely to capture their attention more than learning long division.
They Cannot See the Board
If your child is sitting too far away from the board, they might not be able to see it. The writing may be blurry or seem too small for them to read properly. If your child can’t see the board clearly enough, they won’t feel it is worth concentrating, especially if they do not tell the teacher.
This can cause them to fall behind, though, and it could also hint at more significant issues. Rather than force them to strain their eyes looking at the board, you can have their eyes tested and look at kids glasses, which should solve the problem.
They may also be in an awkward area of the classroom where there is not a straight line of sight to the board, so ask them about this and see if they can move to a more suitable part of the classroom.
They Are Not Motivated
A lack of motivation is not something you always consider with children. Usually, they are balls of energy who are excited about everything. However, sometimes, they lack the motivation to apply themselves, meaning they do not even try to get a grasp on the material in front of them or participate in the lessons.
This lack of motivation can come from a range of sources. They might feel uncomfortable at school as they have had a falling out with their friends or be worried about the current lesson, or the lesson coming up next. These can all serve as distractions, and sap their passion for learning. It’s your job as a parent to get them interested in school again.
The Class Does Not Match Their Learning Style
Everyone has a different learning style. Some are visual learners; others learn best by practising what they are taught. It could be that your child is unable to concentrate because their learning style does not match with the teacher.
Of course, this isn’t an easy fix. You can’t just drag your child out of school and take charge yourself. However, you can start to understand how your child learns best and share this information with their teacher.
Not all parents want to bombard their children’s teacher with information, but they will appreciate this information, considering it is unlikely anybody shared it with them beforehand. This will enable them to adapt their teaching methods to appeal to more kids and help your child focus at school.
They Are Not Eating Well Enough
Every parent knows how tricky it can be to motivate your children to eat healthily. As delicious as you might make your evening meals for them, they have probably been conditioned to prefer sweets or fast food, and so they might leave all the deliciousness on their plate. Likewise, if they enjoy a lie-in a little too much, they might need to skip breakfast each morning because they are in a rush.
But kids need proper nutrition to stay focused. If they are learning heavy material on an empty stomach, their mind will be thinking about their next meal as their stomach rumbles along.
They Are Exhausted
At the same time, kids also need at least 8 hours of sleep each night if they are to wake up with enough energy to stay focused throughout the day. Even if you’ve given your kids a bedtime, they might not always stick to it, and they may read or play on their console, allowing time to run away from them.
Soon enough, it will get so late that they can’t expect to have a decent night’s sleep, but this will come back to bite them the next day. If your child doesn’t have enough energy, they will find it impossible to stay focused, especially for the first (and maybe even the second) lesson of the day.
They Are Too Disorganised
Organisation is not something that comes to every child naturally. It takes plenty of practice to ensure they have everything they need to start the lesson on time and ready to learn. However, if your child doesn’t have their pens, books, or additional materials, they won’t be capable of getting started along with everybody else.
Likewise, their timekeeping skills may need some improvement. While many kids feel it’s cool to take a stroll to class after lunch, it also means they might miss out on the first part of the lesson, and even be refused entry entirely. This happens more with secondary school-age kids, but excellent time management is still something you should encourage in your child from an early age.
Regardless of why your child is struggling to focus at school, taking steps to help them overcome any issues, whether you do that personally or you work with their teachers, will transform your child’s educational experience. This will give them a new love for school, and you may start to see them excel in subjects that they previously struggled with.