What can I do to help my child’s attention?

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Gain your child’s attention and eye contact when telling them what you expect them to do. If possible speak specifically to your child rather than the whole group.

Be specific about what you want them to focus on. If writing down your instructions highlight the important things they must do.

Don’t include unnecessary details or trivial pieces of information when giving instructions.

Break down big tasks into smaller steps and give one instruction at a time – have your child come back to you for the next step when they’re done with the first.

Write things down so they can refer back to the instructions; use written or pictorial checklists for daily routines. Ensure the environment is quiet for homework i.e. no TV or music.

Tidy the homework desk to avoid distractions; only have the necessary items available. Have regular breaks e.g. for infants spend 5 minutes on homework then 5 minutes break; for primary children 15 minutes homework then 5 minutes break.

If your child is distracted along the way, redirect them to what they are supposed to be doing – rather than punishing them.

How can I get professional help?

Other links

The handyhandouts website has hundreds of handouts for parents and teachers on a variety of educational topics and learning needs.

Australian Council for Educational Research has many publications for parents and teachers. They also offer workshops in Victoria.

Silvereye stock a range of educational games and parent books on learning and development.