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Does your child have a good attention span?

  • 8 July 2022

Technology has made our lives easier. But studies show that the increasing use of technology has decreased the attention span of human beings, especially children. According to a study done in the early 2000s, the average attention span of humans shrunk from 12 seconds to 8.25 seconds, which is shorter than a goldfish (with nine seconds).

Attention span is the key to effective learning. Therefore, it plays an important role in the learning process of a child. The amount of time a child spends listening and understanding the information shared by the teacher during a class affects how much the child has taken from the lesson. Further, using that information in exams and life beyond.

What can affect their attention span?

From how they are feeling on a particular day to outside influences that are drawing their attention away from the activities, all this has a lot to do with their span of attention. There are many reasons why a child can have a less attention span, such as familiarity with a subject, personal interest, learning disabilities, mood disorders, mental health issues, cognitive ability, or any biological factor like being tired or hungry.

Does your child have a good attention span?

So how do we identify if a child has a good attention span?

An estimated attention span of healthy teenagers and adults ranges from 5- 6 hours. Well, that is possible because people can choose to renew their focus repeatedly on the same thing before losing concentration or interest completely. Child development experts generally believe that a healthy and normal attention span of a child can be generalized to be closer to 2 to 3 minutes in a go.

Can you improve your child’s span of attention?

How your child thinks and interprets sensory information is an important component to understanding your child’s span of attention and what may be done to improve it.

  • Taking short breaks to relieve the ‘stress of trying to put attention’ can help focus better.
  • Turning mundane tasks into a game or an interesting activity creates excitement and helps them get involved with focus. Teachers at Oakridge engage students in mind-calming techniques and activities, which can increase our students’ attention span. At Oakridge, for example, we believe that gamification of learning captures students’ attention. Wordwall is one of the platforms, which has various learning games like missing word, quiz, crossword, matchup, etc. Students play these digital games by keying in their answers within the time limit and are rewarded with points. This type of reward system gives them a sense of accomplishment and fosters a healthy competitive spirit in them. Listen in Mr.Brain, Managing Director, Nord Anglia Education, India, as he discusses the Role of technology and how it helps students with better attention span.
  • Removing auditory or visual distractions from the area in which a child is learning makes it easier to retain their attention.
  • Limit the usage of technology like TV, mobile phones, laptops, etc. All these racing sensory inputs can train the brain to be more distractible, multitasking, or stop thinking altogether.
  • Being attentive when you are under stress is another stressful task. So, we need to give children a chance to share and talk about it so that it gets it off their chest to focus better. ‘Circle Time’ is a regular event at Oakridge that involves children in speaking activities such as framing essential agreements, discussing their inquiry, profiles, reflecting on the day or a topic, and occasionally singing a song or rhyme. There are MUNs and debates where they can express themselves on a larger scale. Aside from that, the school has a counsellor board that listens to students’ concerns and empower them with mindfulness.

At Oakridge, being one of the premium international schools in India, we focus on creating an engaging learning environment, where kids engage with their surroundings and love coming to school.

Expert analysis from Preeti Sahu – Shaping Brands and Inspiring Connections

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