Teks: Marsha, Twinklers Teachers
It is diffcult for your children to focus on a task?
For most children, it is diffcult to focus for more than a few minutes on any task, and that’s quite natural, due to their curiosity, eagerness and energy. Adults can improve their concentration with special exercises, however. With children, one needs to use different strategies. One of the most popular tools that parents use nowadays is technology such as iPad and mobile phones. Most of us think that when a child stay still or is deeply focused with the iPad, they are developing concentration skills as they are able to sit still for hours, eyes focused, and not disturbing others. Surprisingly, the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, restricted his kids from accessing the iPad. According to the AAP, screen time for children under two should be avoided entirely. According to its offcial website, “A child’s brain develops rapidly during these frst years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”
So how can we help children to concentrate?
Maria Montessori writes that the essential thing is for the task to arouse such an interest in that it engages the child’s whole personality. We must provide “motives for activity” so well adapted to the child’s interests that they provoke his deep attention.
Start with an understanding of the needs of the child. Respect the child’s ability and need to discover things for themselves. Just as we value our own work, the work of the child is equally important.
Provide time in the day that is not rushed or time pressured. In the Montessori classroom, it’s called the extended, uninterrupted work cycle.
OBSERVE, WAIT, AND LEARN
Observation is a powerful tool and we use it to watch what a child is doing before we consider interrupting. The basic rule of thumb is that if a child is engaged in what they are doing, we don’t interrupt them.
A peaceful space, free of distractions (such as the TV) is conducive to concentration. At home, setting up a quiet corner can work well.
ORDER & OPPORTUNITY
Montessori classrooms are orderly and tidy with a place for everything. Various activities are set up around the room providing opportunities for the children to help themselves. This can be done at home very easily too by setting one area for your child.
“After concentration will come perseverance…
It marks the beginning of yet another stage in
character formation… It is the ability to carry
through what he has begun. The children in our
schools choose their work freely, and show this
power unmistakably. They practice it daily.”
– Maria Montessori