Many study and classroom routines have been disrupted, and students are having to adapt to learning in their home environments. This is a feat that can pose challenging to many. Here are some strategies to help maintain focus and productivity when going to school (or work) at home.
Come up with a routine for yourself or your child that stays consistent from day to day. Use a written or visual schedule to help stay on track and to ease transitions between tasks or subjects. Schedule in short movement breaks throughout your day to increase mental sharpness and focus.
Change Your Position
Try alternating sitting at the table, standing at the counter, lying on your belly (you can try using a pillow or couch cushion for padding), etc, or use a wobble cushion or a yoga for a little extra movement and sensory input.
When you notice yourself or your child losing focus, take a moment to do some “heavy work,” activities that provide pushing/pulling resistance to the joints and muscles, such as doing a few jumping jacks or some yoga poses, playing a quick game of tag outside, or completing a chore, like taking out the garbage or putting away laundry.
Peppermint and citrus scents are alerting, so sipping peppermint tea or sucking on a peppermint hard candy, or eating or smelling an orange, can help wake up your brain. If you find yourself or your child too revved up to be still and focus, lavender, chamomile, and vanilla are calming and relaxing.
If age appropriate, chewing gum, gnawing on something chewy like jerky or fruit leather, or munching on something crunchy like fresh cut vegetables or nuts can help you stay alert and focused.
Written by: Elizabeth Horsch, COTAL