Many children have focus problems, and not paying attention in school is often treated as a behavior problem or a medical problem when, in fact, it may be neither. Focus games can certainly improve the ability to focus, but it is important to examine factors which could be responsible for these focus problems and find solutions with parents as partners.
Sleep deprived children are unable to sustain focus for more than a few minutes at a time. Though there are certainly instances of sleep disorders in children, many do not get the proper amount of sleep because parents do not know the sleep requirements for children.
Because of its critical importance to both focus and memory , I am placing the chart with recommended sleep amounts on both pages for your convenience.
Parents must be made aware of the importance of proper sleep amounts.
Just getting enough sleep may improve focus problems among many children.
The importance of breakfast is widely known and accepted, but it often gets lost in the morning rush to get to school on time. Breakfast is important for learning because it supplies glucose which is fuel for the brain. Glucose deficiency to the brain causes an inability to focus.
Studies indicate that drinking just 6 oz. of orange juice not made from concentrate may significantly improve cognition among under performing school aged children.
Parents need to know this!
Not Drinking Enough Water
The benefits of drinking water are also well known, but most kids are just not drinking enough water. They drink everything else, but all liquids are not created equal. There is no substitute for the real thing.
Doctors and researchers agree that drinking water will increase brain function and that optimum brain function can only be reached when the brain is fully hydrated. Yet very few of our children are drinking enough water.
The brain is 97% water. It actually heats up when learning is taking place and loses some of that water. In order for learning to take place at the highest level, then, that which is lost must be replaced.
We must educate parents about this, too, and encourage them to send water bottles to school with their children. Drinking from the water fountain only delivers a few ounces, and children need to drink 1 1/2 pints before lunch, another pint after lunch, and 2 pints when they get home.
That's a lot of water!
Note: Excessive trips to the restroom are not an issue because children's bladders stretch in about two weeks to accommodate the extra liquid.
LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
Setting a bedtime is a great first step to making sure kids are getting enough sleep.
Sometimes, though, even when the lights are out and the door is closed - kids aren't sleeping at all!! They are texting or playing games on a smartphone, Ipad, or Ipod Touch.
These devices can be wonderful educational tools, but they may be robbing our children of valuable sleep when their brains need to be processing and organizing the information they've learned that day.
The smart thing to do with smartphones is to be sure they are left in another room to charge for the night.
It also makes sense to monitor televisions and computers if they are in children's rooms to make sure they are off as well.
.....that the brain heats up during learning? It's true - and water is lost in the process.
Since it is 97% water (!!) the brain cannot function properly unless it stays hydrated.