Wednesday, October 8, 2014

31 Days of Boy Stuff: Refocusing Boys

I've accepted a 31 Day Writing Challenge.  Here is my Day One post explaining the challenge a bit more, plus links to each day's post.  Thanks for stopping by!

Homeschooling three boys can lead to a lot of distraction throughout the day.  I'm not surprised.  If I'm not reading a great fiction novel or crocheting a neat new amigurumi I found online, I get distracted as well.  It stands to reason that little kids would have a hard time staying focused on school all day.  In fact, isn't that one of the reasons homeschooling seems to work out so well for so many families?  You have the ability to ensure that school is tailored to your child's needs.

And let me tell you, boys need to move.  They need to wiggle, jump, stand up, move around, and play with something.  They need to draw, work a puzzle, and color a picture.  How do we incorporate refocusing tactics in our homeschool?  Well, so glad you asked!  I'll let you know!

Change of Scenery

Part of our school room.
We have a school room.  It's a lovely school room filled with a lot of great resources.  A majority of our school day happens in our school room.  Adisson has the school laptop set up at his desk and Zander uses the family desktop on the other side of the room.  We all spend our morning working in that room.  Until it doesn't work anymore.  After awhile, the environment gets old and we need to relocate.  So, we truck all of our supplies downstairs to the kitchen counter, dining room table, or on the couch.  The change of scenery is a great way to refocus our attention to the lesson at hand.

A Trip Outside

Photo credit: wikipedia
Fresh air.  Lizards.  Sand.  A swingset.  All of those things await the boys just beyond the sliding doors.  Chasing a lizard across the yard, sticking some toes in the sand, or just taking some time to breathe in the amazingness of living in the woods is enough to hit the reset button.  Spending some time swinging and sliding does wonders for being able to focus on civics lessons once they return to the house.

Fidget Sticks

The boys sometimes need to fidget, Adisson especially.  They can't sit perfectly still and silent.  I need them to pay attention.  I need them to focus on the lesson at hand but I can't expect them to be still as statues all morning long.  We have fidget toys specifically for this purpose.  When I'm reading a lengthy passage or we're discussing a heavy topic, it helps to have a way to move.  In addition to fidget toys, we also keep notebooks nearby for drawing or coloring.  I have no problem with them drawing a picture while I talk or read to them.  They retain significantly more information if they are drawing while I'm reading as opposed to just being still.

Take a Break

My favorite place to take a break.
Really, sometimes the only fix for boys who can't pay attention any long is a break.  A good, break.  Maybe you set aside schoolwork until after lunch.  Maybe you just stop for the afternoon.  Maybe you take the entire day off to just have a few seconds to catch your breath.  If one of the kiddos is struggling a great deal in a certain subject, rather than continue on until the tears begin, we just stop, take a break, and try again later.


One of the quickest ways to get the wiggles out during our school day is taking a quick break to exercise.  We have a small trampoline in the house and some jumping certainly does the trick around here.  Jaxon as a little tikes basketball hoop and you'd be surprised how often that toy is used by all three kids.  In fact, they have slam dunking contests by placing the small trampoline in front of the basketball hoop.  They run around the house (I warn them of corners and doors, but I have little issue with the boys ripping and tearing through the house...they live here, too!) quite a bit throughout the day and it's not uncommon to find the floor made from lava and you can only be saved by jumping from pillow to pillow across the room.

What about you?  What do you do to get the kiddos back on task?

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