If you are a homeschool student with siblings like I was, you probably can appreciate the value of peace and quiet when trying to do your school. You of all people know how hard it is to write out your vocabulary words or study your history lesson when your little brother is running around in his underwear yelling, “Freedom Rider!”
It’s a struggle.
And it’s not just naked little brothers. (Note: This was over 10 years ago and thankfully my little brother doesn’t do it anymore.) Distractions can come in any form: TV, smartphones, friends, impromptu chores, even … you name it!
So what things can you do to stay focused on your task without getting distracted?
Guard Your Time
If you want to get anything done you have to be proactive about it and as vigilant as a Marine guarding his post.
- Get that phone out of your reach. I didn’t have a cellphone while I was in high school, but I can imagine that it would have been a huge distraction if I did. Hand it over to Mom until you’re done for the day. That way, if you have something important to send through your phone or you’re expecting an important call, it can go through her.
- Talk with your mom and dad about it. Set up a working deal with your parents. Sometimes they ask us to do chores an inopportune times, which by the way is their parental right. But if you have a block of time you really need to study, let them know. “Hey, Mom, I’m trying to study for the SAT for the next hour and a half in my room, can I do any tasks after that time or before?” The key is to be respectful when you do it.
- Schedule blocks of time and give yourself rewards. You can say to yourself, “If I focus and work hard on this and then this, then I can check my phone for five minutes.” Or try doing something active or relaxing after every 30 minutes or so, like going on a five-minute walk or meditating on a Scripture passage. The point is, give yourself mini-rewards throughout the day that will help you stay focused when you need to. This same idea goes for TV, pleasure reading, or any other pastime that can be distracting. If you schedule it into your day, it’s much easier to stay away from it when you need to!
- Improvise and find a quiet spot! I know, I know. Sometimes finding a quiet place in your house is impossible. But be creative (as long as your parents know where you are and are OK with it). But don’t do your school in the middle of the living room, where your little siblings are playing with their toys or watching a movie, and expect to be able to focus. Just saying.
SOUND OFF! OK, homeschoolers, what are some things you do to help yourself stay focused?