I have two kids studying in 8th and 6th standard respectively. My elder son has no interest in studies, due to lack of concentration. He has no sincerity. I have taken them in UCMASS studies through abacus, but the level of concentration has not increased. What can I do? Please help me.
By kuljeet from India
When I was a math tutor for that age group - I had to stress the relevance of the material - How important percentages are, for example - As many kids see math as abstract & useless, whereas in our computerized world, it is more & more important. I also used to work on concentration - increasing times of work bit by bit. Many kids of this age, especially boys, are full of energy - it makes sense to let them blow off steam & come back to their work & gradually increase their concentration.
Concentration is like meditation - in as much as it is itself a useful skill. The kids also need to learn that in life sometimes they have to go through rituals they may not comprehend that are parts of adult life now & later. So learning just for the sake of learning to learn is also a skill to be mastered! Try to think of relevant examples in your life & the lives of those around you whom the kids respect - Hope this helps. Also remind them the importance of their FREE education (if theirs is indeed public) & how many around the world would give much to have the same opportunities -
Look up different study skills, like highlighting notes in class, taking notes in class, pre reading lesson before teacher instructs on it, making up your own test, index cards to study with friend. Some skills have games you can play to learn online like spelling, grammar, and even some science. Definitely have math instruction online, just type in lesson title with game or practice behind it. Teachers usually love to help; email for practice sheets or ask their advice.
I would add that you should keep age-appropriate dictionaries on the table nearby. If the child becomes sleepy or is disinterested, have him go back to the last area he felt he understood the text. Quiz him on the meanings of words. For those that he gets wrong, look up the meanings for him and tell him what they are. Tell him that anytime he does not know the meaning of a word, to look it up and use it in sentences until he is comfortable with it. Also, keep pencil and paper and a basket or bowl of small stones or beads. If he is having trouble making sense of a concept, he can draw it out on paper or use the stone to demonstrate it.
Have them both tested at school early as possible. They may have some other problem. You pay your taxes so don't let them put it off. There may be a medical reason so check this out first at the school. Make sure they give you every available test they have in the school system.
I agree with the 1st poster. The others I do not think realize you are dealing with Middle School children. They are still young, but not that young to play all the games with. Have them tested if they have not already been, if they had a problem it would have shown up by now and teachers would have been complaining. It could just be your child is at that age where they are going to try and get away with as little as possible. If you except them getting average grades or bad grades then that is all they are going to produce, unless there is a learning disability. If it is true ADD then you will have to except that what they do is what they can, or medicate. Coffee in the morning is a good way to get them motivated and ready for the day. It is a stimulant, but so is the med. they would take. Try that. Another thing to try if they are only having problems in a certain subject is to get a college student to tutor. I had one and she only charged 15 and hour. Good luck. Kids at this age are hard. Elementary school is so much easier.
If this is a new problem, perhaps your son is bored. If he has already learned the material, then time spent reviewing would undoubtedly bore him. Public schools have to cater to the majority, and the majority are average students. Those students who are exceptionally quick to learn and those who have more difficulty grasping concepts are often not given what they need in the public school setting. This is not the teacher's fault, of course. Teachers do what they can in the situations they face. But often what they can do is not enough for those non-average students.
If your son has already learned the material, he will be uninterested in studying it. If he hasn't grasped a previous concept, the new material won't make sense to him. Either way, it usually leads to problems - lack of interest in studies, behavior problems, etc. Perhaps this is your son's issue. If so, you would need to find out whether he is bored or confused. If he is confused, a tutor could help. If he is bored, well, I don't know what to tell you unless his is a progressive school which will allow him to move at his own pace. Perhaps providing him with more challenging work as an incentive for doing what is assigned would help.
Concentration is aided by having a good breakfast and exercise. Make sure all meals and snacks have protein - enough to balance all the carbs (I am familiar with chaat, and that's why I'm mentioning this).
This might also be a sign of immaturity.
If their study skills are lacking, then have each child select a book from an easy encyclopedia and write a 2 page report on it - you select the name of the topic that goes with their article. DAILY! My parents did this for me and it was interesting as the subjects changed daily and enhanced my scholastic skills. I used something in the 1960's that might have been called, "The Golden Key Encyclopedia," - but the most important aspect of this exercise were nifty pictures to reinforce the learning.
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