Minimising distractions can have a big impact on your child’s ability to concentrate. So here are some tips to ensure that you have optimised their environment for studying.
1. No working at the kitchen table
Although it might seem like a social thing to do when your child works in a communal area, ambient noise, conversations and visual distractions are particularly prevalent in common areas of the house. Always encourage your son or daughter to study in a secluded, quiet environment where these distractions are minimal. This should only be for about 45 minutes at a time. In between study blocks, it’s a good idea for them to come out and socialise for a break.
2. Studying with music is okay, but not always
A very common question we receive is “can my son or daughter study with music on?” – To which the answer is, unfortunately, a resounding “maybe”. There is a lot of research into the role music plays in aiding or hindering our concentration. It is generally accepted that some forms of music, such as Baroque music (music composed in the 1600s – think Bach, Handel’s Messiah etc.) can be relaxing and improve concentration. This is thought to be because the music is so constant in its intensity (it doesn’t often change in volume or speed) that we quickly stop thinking about it, but it continues to block out distracting background noises. Dance and rock music, on the other hand, tends to be the complete opposite, which is why it doesn’t often help us concentrate. A happy medium is a new series of study ‘soundscapes’, which are scientifically engineered 45-minute loops of pleasant ambient sound which are designed to be non-intrusive, but block out background noise. Look for the app and website ‘noisli’, which is very effective at calming the nerves and blocking out background noise.
3. It’s not okay to study with the TV on
It’s common to see students memorising notes while also watching their favourite TV show as they think they’re killing two birds with one stone. Were it so easy. Unfortunately, the TV is just about the most distracting object in the house when it comes to study, and as a result it is recommended that for the time your student is studying, the TV be completely switched off.