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Tips on Tutoring Students with Shorter Attention Spans

Home Tuition in Singapore FamilyTutor

Have you ever encountered a student that just couldn’t sit still during sessions or one that find the most interesting thing outside of the window? Have you ever called their name more than once during the first thirty minutes of the session? As a home tutor, you will be tutoring many types of students and in a perfect scenario, your student is hanging on to every word you say and is as motivated as you to reach their academic goals. However, in reality, not all students are like this. There will be instances wherein your student has issues with absorbing what is being taught to them. In many cases, this happens because of a student’s short attention span.

Of course, it will be tricky to get your student’s attention and sustain it for hours as tuition sessions go. However, making them pay attention is very essential in engaging them to learn the necessary materials and concepts taught during the lessons. As a home tutor, this can be an obstacle, however, it’s also not impossible. There are different ways and strategies you can use to help in tutoring students who have shorter attention spans and can help them focus better.

1. Get rid of distractions

Students with shorter attention spans get distracted more easily than others, which is why the first tip is to get rid of as many distractions as possible. If you are tutoring in the student’s room, make sure that their working desk is away from the windows as they can get distracted from the noise and activities from the outside. Make sure that the sessions are situated in areas that are quiet and where the student can focus, so kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms may not be suitable as anyone can just walk in. As such, their workspace should also be as clutter-free as possible, and make sure that all their essentials are within reach so they don’t have to spend time getting up and possibly getting distracted on the way.

It should also be noted that not all distractions are external. There may be instances when the student has a shorter attention span because they are tired. They may be hungry. Maybe they are also struggling or having problems in school that is affecting their concentration. If you notice a sudden change in their behavior, it’s also worth bringing it up to their parents or guardians.

2. Break up your lessons

Longer lessons for complex topics can also cause the student’s attention to waver. Shorten your lessons into segments to help them focus better. They tend to pay lesser attention when there is an overload of information they have to take in and tasks they have to do. Splitting up the lessons and assignments can help students focus on one thing without feeling too overwhelmed. It would be easier to take in and to relate information to their previous lesson or the next one. This way, it’s easier for them to absorb learning better and complete their tasks faster as well.

3. Set limit for teaching time

Another situation wherein the student may lose their focus is when the tutor has been teaching for a long time without giving the student any activity. Be conscious of the time you spend talking to your student about the lesson. In many cases, they may look like they are listening but their attention may already be elsewhere. Give them something to work on that will engage their brain and make them less likely to act out.

Reduce the amount of time you spend discussing the activity to a few minutes and let the students get started right away. Make your instructions clear and simple but also encourage them to ask if they need help. However, also give them a chance to try things on their own without having to jump in the very first instance they look like they are having trouble. It will give them a chance to discover and work on things on their own, which will also help their focus and concentration on the task.

4. Give them breaks

Everyone needs breaks and for students with shorter attention spans and more energy pent up, breaks can be used to help in making sure they will be paying more attention to their tasks. Students may have trouble sitting for long periods of time because they have too much energy they need to use. So, giving them breaks allows them to use that energy so they can also concentrate more on their lessons and be more productive after. It can also reduce stress. Allow your student to take short breaks in between lessons to reboot and refresh themselves so they can pay attention for longer.

5. Make use of exciting teaching methods

Engaging your pupils with intriguing and original teaching techniques is another strategy to assist them to concentrate on your teachings. When you actively include your students in your lessons, they become more engaged in learning and seek to participate more, lengthening their span of attention.

Playing games with your students is a fun method to keep their attention while also promoting learning. There are many games that are fun but also great ways to test their knowledge and allow them to retain the information while still keeping their attention on the lessons. Using educational videos can also help. Short animations they can easily understand can gauge their interest while still keeping it relevant to the lesson at hand. They can also understand the content more than just reading off their notes or listening to lectures. There are many videos you can use on YouTube for this purpose. If you want a more authentic and relatable approach, you can also use real-life experiences or stories that are relevant to the topic to teach it. Telling stories is a great way to engage their interest and also connect with your student.

6. Offer a reward system

Engaging your pupils with intriguing and original teaching techniques is another strategy to assist them to concentrate on your teachings. When you actively include your students in your lessons, they become more engaged in learning and seek to participate more, lengthening their span of attention.

Playing games with your students is a fun method to keep their attention while also promoting learning. There are many games that are fun but also great ways to test their knowledge and allow them to retain the information while still keeping their attention on the lessons. Using educational videos can also help. Short animations they can easily understand can gauge their interest while still keeping it relevant to the lesson at hand. They can also understand the content more than just reading off their notes or listening to lectures. There are many videos you can use on YouTube for this purpose. If you want a more authentic and relatable approach, you can also use real-life experiences or stories that are relevant to the topic to teach it. Telling stories is a great way to engage their interest and also connect with your student.

Conclusion

When a student struggles to concentrate and you are unsure of how to help them, it can be stressful. There may be instances where you may think that you are not doing enough as a home tutor. However, by involving students in the lesson rather than just teaching them, we help them to pay attention to tuition sessions and make them more interesting and productive for them.

Carelle

Carelle

Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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