Guest Author - Alissa Moy
The ability or power to concentrate mentally is one of the definitions of attention. In busy classrooms it is often hard for a teacher to determine if all students are demonstrating attention skills,or comprehending the lessons taught.Homeschooling, however, provides parents a unique advantage in that they can clearly observe their child's attention while learning. This unique perspective is wonderful, but it can also be confusing to many parents.Many homeschool parents wonder if their child is behaving normally for their age, and if their attention to schoolwork is a potential problem. Often, parents remove their children from a school setting due to attention issues, feeling frustrated and uneasy. So,how do you know if your child has attention issues, or if he or she is progressing normally? While there are no blanket answers for a general audience, there are several things you can do to determine if your child needs assistance with their attention.
First, be mindful of your child's age, personality, activity level and current routine. Many research studies suggest that a child should be capable of an attention span that is 3 to 5 minutes per year of a child's age. So, a 2-year-old should be able to concentrate on a particular task for at least 6
minutes, and a child entering kindergarten should be able to concentrate for at least 15 minutes. With that being said, take into account your child's individual needs. Some children need plenty of physical exercise to get out their wiggles, while other children need an established bedtime routine and plenty of rest.
Second, continually reevaluate your teaching tools and methods. Many moms are convinced that their child should follow a regimented curriculum, even if this curriculum does not excite their homeschooler to learn.Whereas in a classroom the teacher has to follow a set curriculum, you have the ability as a homeschool parent to change your material as needed.Of course this does not mean you should alter your curriculum every month, but you certainly have the ability to vary your methodology to individually suit your child.
Finally, if you have definite concerns for your child's attention abilities get a definitive test to determine if this concern is valid. Many people are not aware of the Quotient ADHD System Test, which is the first and only FDA- cleared test that objectively and accurately measures the core symptom
domains of ADD/ADHD. This test will give you, as a parent and educator, accurate and unbiased results. Dr.Thomas H. Moseley M.D., a respected and highly skilled Psychiatrist in Florida offers the Quotient test, as well as follow up treatment and recommendations. Often, general praticitioners attempt to diagnose ADHD and ADD without data and proper training. This then leads to medication given needlessly, or in incorrect doses.Seek out a reputable and responsible source to determine if your child is in need of treatment. The mental health of your homeschooler is of utmost importance, and you deserve to get the most accurate testing and treatment available, if it is needed.
Some parents may determine that their child is actually on target attention wise, after reevaluating their homeschoolers individual circumstance. Other parents may find it prudent to seek different curriculum to enhance their lessons and create an inspirational learning environment. And if needed, those parents who wish to seek a definitive test, like Quotient, will do so to ensure their child's future success. However you choose to handle attention issues with your child, realize that as a homeschool parent you can help your child achieve their personal best.
Quotient Test Information: