For some curious folk, any conversation around them distracts them from their task. Their brain automatically wonders what fascinating topic is on the table. Others couldn´t really care. This group has a desire to constantly check their e-mail, facebook, and cell phone for the most current “local news.” Still others allow themselves to be distracted by preventable feelings of hunger or lack of energy. It is important to help our children reflect on what distracts them most and help them eliminate the culprit as much as possible. Below are some ideas to help.

No Checking E-mail Before Starting Homework

The black hole of e-mail sucks in many people. If your child starts homework time with checking e-mail, (followed by answering e-mail) time is wasted and focus is already askew. Set up a time to check e-mail at the end of the evening.

Adjust the Instant Messaging Status

If your child needs to be working on the computer, ask her to set her IM status to “Offline.” This will limit the amount of pop up windows containing distracting messages from friends. Also, cell phones should be off during homework time.

Choose Music Wisely

Many adolescents want to do their homework while listening to music on their iPod. Baroque music is known to help brains organize incoming information while rock music is known to speed up the heart rate and can make muscles weak. Different assignments require a different level of focus. If your child is simply gluing pictures to a poster, any music is fine. If he is trying to figure out geometry proofs, then silence or soft music is more appropriate.

Keep Water Close By

With soda as the popular drink of choice, many people are not getting enough water in their diet. Dehydration causes headaches, laziness, and issues with short term memory and attention. So, make sure your child has a glass of water nearby.

Ask Family and Friends For Help

Once a general homework schedule is established, talk to family and friends about it. Invite your children to share the types of distractions that affect them most: television, loud talking, young children running and screaming…etc. Ask family to refrain from these behaviors during the height of homework time. Request that friends call at an allotted hour after homework is finished.

Good Night’s Sleep

Exhaustion works against one´s ability to focus. Help your child create a daily routine that provides her with the amount of sleep necessary to function well.

Other Distractions

Find out what else distracts your child. Maybe it is the ticking of the kitchen clock. It could even be having people walk by her on a regular basis. Take these into consideration and adjust behaviors or change to a different study spot.

Please share what helps lessen distractions during homework time at your house.

Author's Bio: 

Sherrie Hardy holds a teaching credential, a reading and adult education credential, a Masters in Marital and Family Therapy, and a Masters in Interactive Metronome Certification (MIMC). Hardy is the author of Beyond Labels-Helping Your Child Succeed In School, founder of Hardy Brain Training, Hardy Learning Center and Hardy Academy programs that create success for struggling students and adults, creator of Rising Star Home Training System improving attention, learning and behavior and Successful Student Now on-line video series that teaches parents how to discover and correct the problems that inhibit their children’s success.