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6 Simple Ways to Help Fidgety Kids Focus


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Easily distractible kids often have trouble focusing on schoolwork. Try these tips to help your fidgety kids focus in your homeschool.

Written by Sara of Heart and Soul Homeschooling

Do you struggle to get through read-aloud time with a child (or children) who can’t sit still? Have another one who can’t do math without chewing the eraser off the end of the pencil?

Don’t fret! It’s perfectly normal for kids to be fidgety from time to time. Some actually learn better if they’re allowed to fidget.

6 Simple Ways to Help Fidgety Kids Focus

So, instead of fighting the fidget, find a way to redirect that energy so your fidgety kid can focus. Try these six ideas to help.

1. Remove Distractions

Put away the tablets and cell phones. (Yes, Mom, even yours.) Turn off the computers and TV. If your child is easily distracted, beeps, ringtones, and commercials take their mind away from the task at hand. So, remove the distractions from the room or power them off.

2. Experiment with Essential Oils

Essential oils are not just for cleaning and creating bath and beauty products! They can also help fidgety kids focus throughout the school day. Whether applied topically, inhaled, or used in a diffuser, they can really help calm and focus a child.

Lavender is a popular calming choice. Most essential oil companies have their own blends especially for focus. Just do your research, choose a 100% therapeutic grade quality oil, and use as directed.

3. Exercise

If kids haven’t had time to move their bodies and burn off energy, they can have trouble focusing. Try a brisk walk or stretching session before you begin your school day. After an entire night of pretty much being motionless, your child needs to get some wiggles worked out. Make movement part of your routine and include it throughout the day.

4. Try Fidget Tools

Some kids just have to move, chew, or fidget to take in what you are teaching. Make allowances for this and include items that allow your child to fidget it in a structured way.

6 Simple Ways to Help Fidgety Kids Focus

5. Play Music

While some can’t focus while music is playing, many people find that it helps them immerse themselves in the task at hand. Experiment with different types of music (classical music on low is often ideal) and see if it helps your fidgety kid focus.

6. Take Brain Breaks

Don’t hesitate to take a break when needed. Studies show that physical movement and exercise lights up the parts of our brains that help us to focus and think clearly. Don’t fight that natural need!

It’s also helpful to keep kids’ hands busy with something like coloring or play dough while you’re reading aloud. This addition has made a big difference in our read-aloud time. My daughters often draw illustrations of what we’re reading, which has the bonus of enriching the reading experience.

Let your kids get the wiggles out or use fidget toys when necessary. Because each child is different,  the techniques that work for one won’t work for all. So, experiment with each of these tips to find one (or a combination) to help your child stay on track!

Have you discovered a trick that helps your fidgety kid focus?

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Author profile

Sara Jordan is a homeschooling mom of three creative girls. They believe in literature-rich learning with living books. Relaxed, delight-directed learning is their approach so they follow interests and explore ideas to encourage a lifelong love of learning. Their emphasis is on nurturing creativity, curiosity, character, and connection. Sara is an author/speaker/consultant who loves to inspire other homeschool moms on her blog, Heart and Soul Homeschooling, and with the resources she creates in the Heart and Soul Homeschooling shop. You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

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