Move over summer, the new school year is here! The alarm clock has gone off, the uniforms are on and the school bedtime has been set. It’s nearly all covered and now your attention has been turned to the more academic side of schooling your children. Maybe you are new to this or need advice on how to get children engaged in lessons, and of course keeping children engaged in lessons and learning. It can be a very daunting prospect, especially since many children seem unable to concentrate for long periods of time.
As a parent, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. Depending on a child’s age, a teacher needs to adapt to the child’s brain capacity and concentration span. It is possible, however, to spark a sense of interest in the child for the specific topic to be learned. If the child is interested and entertained by what is being learned, they will be more likely to remember, and be more open to the learning process.
When trying to keep children’s attention in a classroom environment, you therefore need to find a wide variety of ways to manage each individual. With the following unique ways of keeping children engaged in lessons, you are sure to get the message across in a clearer and more memorable way:
What do you know about this?
By writing the topic at hand on the board and asking the children what they know about the topic, you will discover the knowledge they already have on the subject. This way, the mistake of repeating knowledge they already know will be avoided, one sure way of boring a class and leading their attention to wander.
A question box
Since many children do not like to ask questions about a subject openly, for fear of getting unwanted attention, it is a great idea to make a question box where children can anonymously submit the questions they want to know about a specific subject. These questions can then be answered in class.
Pause and go
Do not rush into the lesson and pack the children’s brains with too much information at one time. Furthermore, when explaining something, give them enough time to process and evaluate what they have heard. When asking a question, pause for a moment or two to give the children enough time to think about a possible answer before launching into an explanation. Maybe break up chunks of new information with lighter, more fun tasks.
In a general classroom environment, give the children a choice of how the day’s events will take place. Give them simple choices like what colour chalk will be used for the day, or how long they will be doing a specific activity. Giving them a choice will spark a new sense of excitement and anticipation that will keep them more alert and engaged about what is going on around them. It will also give them a sense of responsibility and involvement which should encourage them to be more interactive.
Let them learn from each other
In addition, working in groups can cause some conflict as some students may take leadership more seriously than others. With the right type of encouragement, children can learn a lot about a specific subject from each other. Some children may have exciting and unique information about the subject that they can share with fellow students. This helps towards creating a friendly and fun learning environment that the children want to be a part of.
In conclusion, each child is unique and responds to learning differently, but to get the knowledge across in an effective way all begins, continues and is due to the teacher’s and of course, parents enthusiasm.
Finally, How parents can help
Here are a few quick tips that you can do as a parent to encourage learning and engagement:
- Meet your child’s teacher
- Attend parent-teacher conferences
- Make sure that your child gets homework done
- Find homework help for your child if needed
- Help your child prepare for tests
- Volunteer at your child’s school and/or join your school’s parent-teacher group
- Let the school know your concerns
- Demonstrate a positive attitude about education to your children
- Encourage your child to use the library
- Encourage your child to be responsible and work independently