Morning Nugget – Focusing Your Attention, Part 5

Albert Einstein never took a modern IQ test, but we can imagine he would have received a high score!
Albert Einstein never took a modern IQ test, but we can imagine he would have received a high score!


We’re pressing forward with the topic of attention. I am using my notes from Optimizing Brain Fitness from The Great Courses to gain a clearer understanding of how this 3-pound “universe” (aka the brain) functions, and to implement brain strengthening activities into the daily schooling of my children. I hope you will benefit from these ideas as well!

Let’s take a look at some benefits from enhanced attention:

  • improved frontal lobe functioning
  • IQ improves
  • sequencing
  • context
  • drive
  • executive control
  • improved conflict resolution (learning what to attend to and what to ignore because we don’t want to attend to everything around us, that’s the definition of hyperactivity, or attention disorder)

Here are some impediments to sustain attention:

  1. Optimal level of alertness – too much, or too little, and you’re not attentive
  2. Boredom
  3. Emotional Blunting, “burn out” (after we have done things over and over for a while, we’re not attentive)
  4. Sensory Overload – too many things coming on at one time
  5. Multitasking – the biggest impediment in our culture (we’ll dive into the topic of multitasking in the next post)

We want coordination of scattered networks involving sensation, movement, emotions, and language.

How do we help our kids stay attentive?

That is a question that requires a deep sea of contemplation and knowledge, but here are a few simple points to consider concerning your child:

  1. Are their physical needs met (sleep, nutrition, exercise)?
  2. Are they learning in a way that inspires them to see the relevance of their study? If they are learning about plants, take them to a nursery and let them choose a plant to take home, or take them on a hike to see what they’re learning with their own eyes vs only pictures in a book. If they’re learning about deer, give them a platter of All About Deer by Jim Arnosky “deer treats,” and let them munch WITHOUT using their hands! Routine is important in scheduling productivity, but make sure to mix it up, regularly allowing them to experience the topic in various ways. Have fun with them!
  3. Is there need to simplify? Perhaps take one thing at a time, or maybe scale back the schedule. A rushed lifestyle can be draining.

What are you takeaway thoughts? Do any adjustments come to your mind in helping your child stay attentive?

Can’t wait until tomorrow!


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