How do we teenagers focus on learning

Study group blog

Poor concentration? Tips and tricks for more success in learning

May 20, 2019 | By: Thomas Momotow | Category: Learning Disabilities | Keywords: concentration, learning

Chaos in the children's room, distraction from cell phones, too little exercise, poor nutrition or simply not feeling like it - the reasons why schoolchildren have difficulty concentrating while studying are diverse. The good news is that you can learn to concentrate. Because concentration is often a question of the right motivation. We have helpful tips for you to help your children concentrate better.

Just imagine the following situation: You work in an open-plan office. Eight hours a day. And when you get home, there is an important job you have to do. You are tired, your head is buzzing, the laundry is piling up in the apartment, you are hungry, but the refrigerator is empty and then your cell phone rings because your mother-in-law needs to talk. Concentrating on the important task? Impossible. Motivation to do it? Nothing. Many children should feel like this or something like that when they come home from school. They quickly eat something sweet, pull out their cell phone and hang out from the 20 minutes for the rest of the afternoon. Homework is left behind, daily learning is pushed out of consciousness, arguments and bad moods are inevitable.

Recognize difficulty concentrating

Our children are exposed to a variety of stimuli every day. Fortunately, however, they can learn to concentrate on the essentials. If you want to help your child improve their ability to concentrate, it is helpful to know what is bothering them. Very few children have a real problem like ADHD. In purely physiological terms, first graders, for example, cannot concentrate for more than 15 minutes at a time, while for 16-year-olds the span has increased to 30 minutes. It often works differently in games or when chatting with friends. However, children and young people decide for themselves what happens. When studying at school or doing homework, however, the framework is given from the outside. Why don't you do our online concentration check to find out how well your child can actually concentrate.

Strengthen motivation

Many alleged concentration disorders are in truth motivation difficulties, because both factors are closely linked. You should therefore carefully research what is preventing your child from learning. Is the subject matter uninteresting, does a certain subject not like it or the school in general? The motivation for a certain school subject can sometimes also be aroused with an extracurricular activity in the area - and in the worst case, a change of school can mean a lot of relief. Are there any gaps in knowledge? On the other hand, tutoring may help. Or is the chemistry between student and teacher wrong? Then a clarifying conversation with a teacher could work wonders.

That disturbs the concentration

Tiredness, arguments and stress among friends or family, too little exercise, the wrong diet, distraction from noise, music or looking out of the window and, last but not least, excessive media consumption are the most common causes of concentration difficulties.

Our five tips to improve concentration:

1. Tidy up the workplace

The desk is a place of work. So separate it from the leisure area in the children's room. The table and chair should be adjusted to the size of the child and be close to the window. Books and pens are on the table, a glass of water and a healthy snack are ready, the cell phone is off and siblings are playing in another room. This is how the brain remembers: We are now working successfully here. You can find more tips on a healthy learning atmosphere here.

2. Diet: Healthy sandwiches and brain food

Sweets in the bread box or fast food at lunchtime provide a short energy boost due to the high sugar content, but in the long term they disturb concentration. So chocolate is not necessarily bad. However, it has to be dark chocolate, because it contains magnesium and tryptophan. This amino acid is converted in the body into the happiness hormone serotonin - and that helps you focus. Bananas are just as good. They also contain tryptophan. Also important: enough water. Without fluids, the brain cannot function properly.

These foods belong to the so-called brain food and these belong to the second breakfast in the long break.

3. Exercise and relaxation

Active children concentrate better: the frontal lobe coordinates both movement and working memory. Therefore, exercise ensures better blood flow in this brain region. That helps you focus. Tip: Take active breaks from learning with your child with movement exercises.

4. Avoid media distraction

Today, children often already have a smartphone at the age of ten or even earlier. However, experts estimate that children are only able to use a smartphone as a means of communication when they are around twelve years old. Before that, it's mostly a toy that brings distraction. If the cell phone is in the house, it is important to define clear rules together with the child so that there is enough distraction-free time to study. For example, you can define a cell phone garage in which all the family's smartphones are parked at certain times. We have summarized how you can use your mobile phone in a reasonable and sensible way in our free brochure Better focus.

5. Create rituals

As is almost always the case with children: rituals help. Even when it comes to the right concentration. When students have to find a new will to do the same thing over and over again, firmly anchored rituals save strength and energy. This includes the common, undisturbed meal in the family, hours without mobile phones and regular study breaks as well as fixed study times at a prepared desk so that the brain knows that it is working time.

You will find many other helpful tips and fun educational games in our free brochure “Better focus”. Download PDF

Expert tip:

“We live in hectic times that are flooded with noise and stimuli. Many adults find it difficult to concentrate on the essentials. But we expect our children to be able to do this. Parents who are sensitive to what distracts their children from learning can often simply switch off disruptive factors. With the ability to concentrate regained, there is also motivation and learning success. ”Max Kade, educational director of the study group


Moderator Insina Lüschen spoke to two experts in our live talk under the motto “Concentrate!”: Patricia Cammarata, blogger, podcaster and media expert, and Max Kade, the educational director of the study group. The complete study group talk can be seen here.