How to Help Your Child Focus at Home

Our Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Stratford School is currently planning for the 2020/21 school year. We are confident that we are well-prepared to open school with agile plans carefully designed to address almost every conceivable scenario. For prospective families, we continue to offer personalized virtual tours and virtual open house events. We have made adjustments to accommodate all of the necessary COVID-19 precautions and continue to monitor local health and safety guidelines.

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As families everywhere get used to helping their kids learn and study at home, you may be finding it difficult to keep them focused on their schoolwork. If your kid is a daydreamer and gets a little distracted on occasion (like any kid does!), try these easy tips to help them stay focused at home.

Create a routine

Your kiddo may be learning at home instead of school, but they still need structure to help them focus. Try creating a predictable homeschooling routine, so your child knows what to expect when it’s time to study. Learning at home is different from the traditional school day, so your routine won’t be exactly the same, but a schedule can help your child focus on their work.

One tip for avoiding interruptions and helping the “school day” run smoothly? Observe your family’s existing routines and build a school schedule around them. When everyone else is trying to work and study at home at the same time, syncing up your schedules can prevent distractions.

For example, maybe everyone eats breakfast together before meeting with teachers, coworkers, or managers via video chat. You might all take a break for lunch around the same time, then leave a few hours in the afternoon free for reading, playtime, or unstructured activities.

Make a list of goals

Many schools have distance learning programs set up right now. Your child’s teacher or teachers have likely already assigned them coursework with specific due dates.

Keeping track of due dates can get messy and overwhelming. To combat that, try breaking down assignments into smaller lists of goals. For example, you might create daily goals for your child to focus on for the entire week. Break larger projects like book reports or essays into more manageable chunks.

Set up a distraction-free space

Getting your kiddo to study at home can be tough enough, but when everyone in the family is at home all day, distractions abound. Set up a distraction-free space for your child to encourage them to focus. This space may be a guest room, the kitchen table, or an office that’s free of devices, games, toys, and books.

If your child needs to video chat with their teacher and classmates, try to set those meetings up in a quiet room so they can pay attention. (The same goes for you, your partner, or your other children.) Make sure you set boundaries for turning on the TV, using gadgets, or playing with toys, too. 

Give everyone a break

Last but not least, give you and your child a break. Transitioning from regular school days to homeschooling in quarantine is a huge change. Not only does your child have to adjust to a completely new routine, they have to do it without playing with their friends at school. These are unprecedented times. It’s unreasonable to expect your child to pick up new habits quickly and perfectly.

So, give yourselves a break. Encourage your kids to keep in touch with their friends via FaceTime or Zoom. Acknowledge that this new normal is tough for everyone, including you. Let your child talk about how they’re feeling and what they’re worried about. Chances are they’re feeling just as stressed and anxious as any adult. Kids don’t learn at their best when they’re not in a good emotional or mental place, so take a break when you need to.

Staying focused with Stratford School

Times are tough right now as we navigate the changes brought on by COVID-19. Though our Distance Learning program is underway, our commitment to learning, as well as the health and growth of our students, is unwavering. Learn more about Stratford School’s philosophy today.