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Improve DS's (6) concentration & focus - extra-curricular activities?

(12 Posts)
saggyboobs1 Fri 08-Apr-16 13:12:46

My son is reasonably bright but is unable to concentrate on tasks because he has so many things running through his head. He thinks about anything else apart from what I or his teacher ask him to do. He is aware that this is a problem.

Can anyone suggest any activities which would help him improve focus and concentrate on what he needs to do? I was thinking about music lessons or judo or similar, but I'm open to suggestions.

EyeoftheStorm Fri 08-Apr-16 13:20:23

DS2 (6) has attention problems and he's been doing karate for two terms now. He enjoys it and it helps him with the things he finds difficult - listening, remembering patterns, learning to control his wilder self.

I've seen a real change in him. Maybe he's maturing, but I feel he has gained skills that are feeding back into the classroom.

I thought about music too and will probably choose something when he's a bit older. I think it's easier for him to see progress at karate (new belts) than at the piano at the moment.

guerre Fri 08-Apr-16 13:30:44

Board games where he has to sit down at table, and take turns, remembering where he's up to etc could help.
Following Lego instructions by himself.
If you have outdoor space, games such as 'pirates' where you have to do an action after it's called out (port, starboard, captains coming etc).
Can you get him a notebook to jot his ideas down, so he doesn't complain that he'll forget his wonderful ideas if he's concentrating?

joan12 Fri 08-Apr-16 13:38:34

How much time does he have for unstructured, imaginative play with toys that allow him to explore his preoccupations and the things that are currently running through his mind in lesson time (ie. open ended toys like Lego, rather than computer games etc) Personally, I'd go down this route first and allow him the space to clear his mind so that during lessons he can concentrate on the task in hand.

saggyboobs1 Fri 08-Apr-16 15:28:17

Joan he does lots of unstructured play, he's not bothered by lego but likes to build 'models' out of pipecleaners and bits he finds round the house. Mostly he tumbles about with his little sister.
guerre he does have several notebooks which he uses occasionally, maybe I should encourage their use. Board games can be a bit tricky with the little sister, but I'll see what I can do. Outdoor games might be a good idea. I'll try that.
Eye, glad it's working for you. I might see what is available locally.

Ferguson Fri 08-Apr-16 18:32:58

To start children to experience making music I always suggest an electronic Keyboard, if parents can afford it: - at least 61 full size keys, not a toy one. Simple modern tutor-books enable children aged from 6 to start to teach themselves, and at first there is no need for a teacher. If a child gets keen, and makes progress, then more formal tuition can be considered.

If a Keyboard is too expensive, simple percussion 'shakers', woodblocks or bells can be used to accompany songs or CDs.

saggyboobs1 Fri 08-Apr-16 20:12:22

Thanks Ferguson
guerre & joan12, lego was a good idea, we just did a mixel and it felt like a move in the right direction.

guerre Fri 08-Apr-16 20:19:28

smile That sounds good! At his age, he will mature so much, in 12 months time, he'll be like a different child.

joan12 Fri 08-Apr-16 21:27:10

Great. One other thing I hesitated to recommend initially because it never worked with my own children...Would he be willing and able to try a mindfulness CD for children? Or better still, if you could practice sometimes with him? If he could do it even for a very short amount of time each day, perhaps building up, I suspect it might help him find ways of consciously clearing his mind so that he can focus on the lesson. I have tried it though with my own children and they can't bear it, except for a little while in the car whe there is literally nothing else to do! I have noticed the most difference from play, especially with me observing and commenting occasionally! Glad the Lego idea seemed like a step in the right direction.

threekidsandcrazy Sat 09-Apr-16 10:24:25

DS (8) is similar and has been for a few years. He is much better now than he was -- partly its growing up, I think. He does Judo (which he loves) and keyboard (likewise -- we bought a keyboard off ebay for £10 so wasn't that expensive), and he also does gym which he is surprisingly passionate about. The gym is expensive but he loves it so much we bend the budget round to fit it (and I know that we are lucky that we can). For DS exercise is really really really important. The days he doesn't get enough its really obvious. (Also, DS hates ball games and team games and swimming, which means finding the right exercise has been challenging at times.)

DS's concentration at school wasn't great for a while because he was bored. He would rather live in his head thinking about all the interesting things he'd read in his own time than pay attention to what the teachers had asked him to do. He would understand the task, execute it once to prove he'd understood what he'd been asked to do, and then look out of the window and day dream.

The teachers have been really supportive and helpful -- keep talking to them about what might help.

Good luck.

WhirlwindHugs Sat 09-Apr-16 10:29:00

Memory games have been suggested for my 7yo - I went to the shops and bought... Card games, things like that.

I have pondered martial arts, because I hear really good things about the local teacher and other kids with concentration problems so worth looking into!

decaman Sat 09-Apr-16 16:59:32

threekids you just descibed my son!
joan I might try the mindfulness CD, he can probably do it while little sister is having her bath.

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