As students study and prepare for exams, many have a hard time getting and staying focused when their cell phones are inches away. We know taking away these electronics will cause a battle and result in an argument, but how do we get them to focus on studying and not their social media feed?
With so many assignments online these days, it seems like kids are more distracted than ever by their computers.
Yes, that’s absolutely true. Think of it from your child’s point of view. Would you rather scroll through your Facebook feed or study for math? Play Minecraft or complete that study guide? For most kids, technology is much more interesting. And although it can be a distraction, technology can also be an advantage.
I love the apps Self Control for Mac and Stay Focused for PCs. They both allow kids to blacklist websites they deem to be distracting (Instagram, Reddit, whatever it may be) for a certain period of time, say 20 or 30 minutes, so they can focus on what they should be doing – studying.
What about the phone? I bet that distracts kids even more than what’s on their computer screen.
Yes, and kids think nothing of having their phone in hand while studying, but they really do not need it to study – even if they say they do! It’s okay to have a basket labeled, “electronics go here” say to your kids, “put your phone here until you’re done studying and then it’s all yours.”
If this might be hard for you, another option is an app called Forest. Whenever kids want to focus, they click the app to plant a tree. In the time they set, say 20 minutes, a tree will grow while they’re studying. But, if they leave the app, the tree will wither and die. So the harder they work and study, the lusher their forest is, and that’s motivating to kids!