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Learning to concentrate

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Learning to concentrate is a value we can give our pre-schoolers. Besides the calm times we spend with our child during reading at bedtime and coaching their home activities, we can provide time together in “green spaces”.

An article about research by the Landscape and Human Health Lab, tells us that our children will benefit just from time in a park. If possible, walk down to the park to observe at a natural pace. It is interesting to see where certain neighbors are doing more than maintaining a lawn, for instance. The interest added by plant varieties is an observation we can do at a slower pace.

Carrying your own Naturalist Journal provides an opportunity to add to it at the park and also on your walk. Slowing down, observing and drawing adds the your child’s ability to concentrate. Moving at his own pace respects a child’s own rhythms. It may be a fast pace or a slow pace. Interspersed activities within the child’s own personal rhythm helps him validate his feelings and feel less frantic.

When you visit museums, the zoo and public buildings, take a moment to observe the plants and surrounding trees. Having the time just to perceive color, line, light, and shape adds to a child’s ability to concentrate. Using these areas of the brain gives them an opportunity to do their job. Color, in itself is a fascinating area to explore. Different cultures classify colors differently.

Each child bases her perception on her experiences, both personal and collective. So it is important to provide personal experiences.

Providing experiences in nature and providing experiences of a personal nature help a child individualize his experiences. By building up experiences which validate your child’s feelings, she learns to trust herself instead of trying to live in a pace which may not suit her personality. When your child realizes he can relax and enjoy himself and has the resources available to do so, he will be able to concentrate in more settings.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage

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