At the beginning of a new semester I find my busy boys tapping pencils, staring out windows and taking F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to get assignments done. Can anyone else relate? In our home we do a lot of hands-on learning. But there are times when they need to buckle down and focus on a math or spelling lesson. When we sit down each week to work on a writing assignment it seems like they always get antsy and distracted.
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What’s the cure?
A Little Bit of Grace
After carefree days, mustering personal discipline can be tough. It might take our kids some time to adjust. Recognizing this, helps this busy mama have patience as we instill the habit of our new routine. I just have to remind myself that we’ll get there!
A Little Bit of Movement
When they start to lose focus and get fidgety, our temptation is to urge them to buckle down and focus. Our cajoling takes up valuable time and the results, well, may be less than satisfactory. Might I offer a simpler method? One that helps release stress instead of create it? Let them move! Brain research has revealed time and time again that it thrives in an environment that promotes movement. Just giving them a quick movement break – say to run from one end of the house to the other or do 20 jumping jacks will work wonders to kick-start their concentration.
In our home when a child is zoning out or when they hit a mental block, we call for a “brain break” and let them get up to move! We simply pull out one of our brain break cards, take a quick 2-4 minute break before we tackle the task at hand again. And everyone agrees that it is far better than one of mom’s lectures!
If you are looking for some easy to implement brain breaks in your home and want to read some of the research behind why they are so effective, The Busy Mom recommends The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks. It’s on sale this month for only $4.99 if you use the coupon code, NEWYEAR.