How can I improve my 5 year olds attention span

(7 Posts)
Woolley35 Fri 21-Jan-11 16:58:50

My son is just about to turn 6 and is in year one - his work at home compared to school is awful. I am being told that he has a very short attention span (which I am aware of) but he is getting basic spellings wrong at school that I know he knows. Help

sogrownup Fri 21-Jan-11 17:21:44

My DS is now in Yr 6 and also has poor concentration. In fact I posted my first message today re the stress I am feeling as we approach the SATS.

The way I look at it, if you are sure there are no SEN for your son and you know he is capable of completing the work, let him go at his pace with your support and encouragement. You may find that teachers become frustrated by his lack of concentration and they may pass this onto you.

To be frank I have become tired of sitting in front of one teacher after another whilst they have their cathartic release about how difficult it is to teach our DS!

Make sure that your lovely boy feels confident and supported. Try not to be too influenced by the targets. From a development perspective, do our children walk, talk and grow at the same pace? He will get there with lots of positive support.

erebus Fri 21-Jan-11 18:08:09

My DS1, now 11, had the attention span of tarmac well into Y5 (year 5, not age 5!).

Attention span is not generally an innate characteristic of most 5 year old boys! We used to shriek 'Focus!' as our key word but I don't know if we got through to him or maturity took its course!

gabid Sat 22-Jan-11 11:27:01

Last term I watched a lesson in my DS (5 3/4) Y1/2 class. The children sat on carpet for about 1/2 hour listings to a story and questions. DS seemed elsewhere and just sat there. Then some group work, DS in group with 5 other Y1 boys and none of them said a single word?

I later spoke to the teacher about differentiation, she diverted and told me that DS is fine but has a short attention span, she gave me a sheet with activities to do to improve it, e.g. board games, memory games, reading stories. But my DS will not play any games at all, we read bedtime stories, but he is not mad about books and he is a reluctant reader.

Not sure if that is common in boys or if there is a problem somewhere.

mrz Sat 22-Jan-11 11:50:18

half an hour is too long for most5/6 year olds (girls and boys) the others may have appeared to be listening but I would bet many of them had switched off.

Checkmate Sat 22-Jan-11 12:45:01

To help his concentrate span, I do things with my DC like:
- not much time watching tv or playing computer games
- buying good story cd's and listening to those together, such as in the car, or him listening to them at bedtimes
- getting lots of books out of the library and reading to him loads, not just at bedtime
- letting him see you read for pleasure where possible
- making sure he goes to bed quite early, gets up at least an hour before school starts, and eats a large but healthy breakfast.
- walking or cycling to school if possible, or a short play in the garden before getting into the car in the morning

It's all a bit trial and error, and of course times when weather is shite for weeks so we drive to school, or everyone ill and cbeebies goes on 24/7. But I do notice the difference in my DC's attention spans (and particularly my DS's) when we stick to the above.

I wouldn't worry about forgetting spellings at his age personally.

gabid Sat 22-Jan-11 17:04:46

Ah, checkmate - funny you mention all the above. I think we do about all of them! DS doesn't watch much TV (about 1-2 hours per week, but not always), we prefer DVDs he can re-watch and discuss, however most TV is watched early in the morning.

We used to go to the library once a week, now he is at school I bring him a load of books he might like. DD (2) loves books and can't get enough, and DS now starts cuddling up listening to Julia Donaldson, Winnie and simple stories.

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