Creative Child

How to Improve Your Child’s Focus Amidst the Clutter of Coronvirus

by Deborah Song

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3. Break out in song. Is your child having difficulty remembering his multiplication tables or state capitals? Put it in a familiar song. Music helps us remember things better through a process called chunking. Chunking takes individual pieces of information and groups them together into larger units, or chunks. Our short-term memory can only hold about seven units of information at a time. Melody and rhythm provide a great framework that helps us cram more material into each unit by linking words and phrases in a tune.

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The alphabet song is a great example of chunking. Without the song, kids would learn 26 letters as 26 disparate units of information. This is a lot harder to remember than letters grouped together into melodic and rhythmic phrases like “L, M, N, O, P.”

One caveat is that music is useful as a memory aid only when the song’s melody and rhythm are already familiar to you. So encourage your child to attach historical facts to a familiar melodies she already knows.

4. Get kids connected to nature. Nature instills in children a sense of peace, calm and equilibrium. It rejuvenates the mind and improves focus. It also keeps kids curious about the life around them. Experts have seen improvements with depression, autism, ADHD and other neurological challenges who spend time in nature. Social gatherings might be out of reach, but we can still enjoy the great outdoors. Nature hikes and visits to local nature preserves are activities that are easily accessible.

Nature also has a way of providing real life application to things kids learn in school. On a recent visit to a creek, my daughter discovered edible flowers, which she found fascinating. We came home and did more research on what made flowers edible, what they tasted like, and eventually discussed the process of photosynthesis.

5. Get moving. Yes, exercise is good for your heart and mood. But the same endorphins that make you feel good after you exercise also help you concentrate and sharpen the mind. In adults, exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.

We could all use more exercise during this pandemic. Why not challenge your child in a jumping jack competition? Or use a pedometer to see who can get the most steps in during the day? And since sitting is the new smoking, maybe your child can even Zoom standing up using a standing desk. Moreover, even short bursts of exercise can help regulate sleep patterns. Which brings us to our next point.

 

Deborah Song is the founder of travelbyword.com, a cruelty-free company committed to creating travel accessories that help travelers journey with ease, efficiency and elegance. She loves to travel the globe in pursuit of good food, wider life perspectives and great adventure stories with her kids. Deborah is a Canadian-born, mompreneur and Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master’s in journalism from New York University. You can find her travel stories at www.blog/travelbyword.com.

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