Finding Focus: How to Find a Distraction-Free Learning Area for Your Children

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by Susan Good retirededucator.org

Learning how to focus on the task at hand can take years to perfect, and for many kids across the US, it can be difficult to find a good balance between school work and homework. Moving from the classroom to all the distractions that home offers can be jarring, leading to a decline in grades and poor self-esteem. That’s why it’s so important to help your child find a distraction-free zone to do schoolwork in, whether it’s in a room that is isolated from the rest of the house or just a desk where they have room for all the tools they need to learn.

You can also make other areas of your home more conducive to learning, such as adding a reading nook that has good lighting and comfy chairs to sit in. This is especially helpful for kids who aren’t automatically drawn to books, and it can help them find a love of literature that will help boost their experience in school.

Keep reading for the best tips on how to create a distraction-free zone for your kids at home.

Find a Quiet Space

Whether the learning area you create is in a room by itself or is simply an organized desk for homework, it should be a quiet space that won’t allow for interruptions. This is especially important if you have more than one child. Look for an area that is away from the main part of the house, or one that can be closed off easily for privacy and quiet.

Create a Reading Nook

Even kids who don’t necessarily love to read will enjoy having a space of their own to sit and look through the books that interest them, so creating a reading nook could benefit your child greatly. Add a comfy chair or pillows, strong lighting, and storage for books, and make sure it’s in a spot that will give your child a little privacy, as it’s difficult to become engaged in a book when there’s a lot going on around us. Make sure you look for books that are both educational and fun, on topics that interest your child. If you’re unsure of how to get started, you might consider hiring a professional to come in and remodel the area; click here for more information.

Set a Schedule

Now that you have the space, it’s a good idea to set a schedule for your child to do his homework or to study. It can be hard to get into a rhythm when there are so many other things going on, such as soccer practice and afterschool activities, so help your child find a routine that will benefit him on a daily basis. Once he gets into the habit of starting homework at a certain time, he’ll be more likely to stick with it throughout the school year.

Turn Off the Devices

Whether your child loves the TV, computer, tablet, game system, or smartphone, it’s important to set rules about when he can use them when school is in session, as they can be a pretty big distraction. The area where he studies and does homework should be device-free, although some studies have shown that classical music played at a low volume can be beneficial for kids who are trying to focus on tasks.

Creating a distraction-free zone for your child can have multiple benefits, especially if he has a learning disability or finds it difficult to concentrate at home, where there are so many opportunities to do anything other than learn. It’s also important to make sure your child isn’t hungry, thirsty, or tired when he sits down to do homework, as being uncomfortable can be a distraction in itself.

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Help Your Child Ease Into the School Year with Confidence

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by Emily Graham, Mighty Moms

Almost one-third of teenagers feel sad or depressed due to stress. School has become more and more nerve-wracking, even for younger children, as the pressure builds from all directions. There are classes, homework, tests, extracurricular activities, and sports, as well as the constant need to be cool and hang out with the right crowd.

Now the first day of school is coming, and that can be downright intimidating, especially if your child already suffers from anxiety. It’s going to take some extra effort on your part to ensure they get through it with as little stress as possible. Here are some tips.

Adopt the Right Attitude

Your goal is to calm them, not deliver lectures when discussing school. In fact, Chris Palmer, the author of Raising Your Kids to Succeed: What Every Parent Should Know, urges you to be caring, empathetic and supportive. Listen to their problems and worries while letting your children find their own solutions. Above all, be sure to show your unconditional love.

Make Sure They Stay Fit

Healthy habits relieve stress, says a wellness coach writing for Verywell Mind. There’s not much time left before summer ends, so get them exercising and eating well so it becomes a routine. Encourage them to work a physical activity they enjoy into their schedule while you plan meals packed with vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. The last piece of the puzzle is a bedtime routine so they get enough sleep and wake up refreshed.

Get on Track Early

The first hour of the day sets the tone, so establish a morning routine that flows effortlessly from waking up to arriving at school with no hang-ups in between. Preparation starts the night before with packing lunches, laying out clothes, and even making breakfast. That will have the kids well-fed and looking good with no morning rush to set off their nerves.

Buy the Supplies They Need

They’ll struggle with work if they don’t have the right gear to get their homework done easily, and that leads to frustration. Start with the basics like a book bag, paper, pens, and binders before moving on to high-tech items like calculators. Among older students, more and more are carrying laptops to class, which are invaluable when researching and writing papers.

Stay Organized

It’s easy to fall behind with so many projects and papers to finish unless you have a system in place to keep your child up to date. A filing cabinet and labeled bins work wonders, along with Post-It notes to remind them what needs doing and when.

Learn Calming Strategies

Even if your child is prepared for the day, something is likely to get on their nerves, such as a classmate or a tough assignment. There are strategies to cope with this frustration, and using them properly could save a lot of trouble down the road. A writer at The Mighty recommends deep breathing, listening to music, and imagining a calm place to settle their nerves.

Talk to Them About Risks

Dangers lurk in between classes, especially for teens who may encounter classmates who smoke, drink, or use drugs. Your child may be tempted to do the same, either to deal with the pressures of school or just to be cool. Explain how this is never the right way to cope with anxiety, as it could lead to an addiction that ruins their health and their life.

Take It Easy

Classes start easy and get more difficult as the year progresses. This gives your child the opportunity to ease into their studies rather than take off at full throttle. Use this time to your advantage by encouraging good work habits and keeping to a schedule with enough breaks so they don’t get overwhelmed.

Healthy, organized, and informed, your child is ready to tackle the year with gusto. Any lingering anxiety should be manageable by staying positive and sticking to your routine. With a little effort, their school days will be as exciting as they are productive.

Image via Pixabay

What are Some of Your Halloween Snacks or Treats Ideas? 

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We have been looking all over social media for some cool Halloween snacks/treats ideas. We decided to give you the top two we enjoyed.

1. Thanks to beyondthepark.com, Double Stuff Oreo Cookies become even more spooktacular when they’re turned into spiders using pretzel sticks and chocolate candies for eyes. This can be a great after school snack or Halloween party snack!! 🎃

  

2. Thanks to our owner and fonder, Charice Wofford, for making these cute, delicious, and nutritious fun Halloween breakfast snacks for her son. She carved an orange to look like a Jack-O-Lantern, took the pulp out, and stuffed the inside with cut up apples and pears. She also cut half a banana and decorated it to look like a ghouly ghost with chocolate chips. So creative! 🎃

  
Share some of your ideas!