How to make Young Kids pay Attention during Homeschool Classes?

How to Make Young Kids Pay Attention?

A lot of schools started online classes for kids recently to continue with the learning process even during the pandemic. Since it’s a relatively new way of learning for children (age group, 3-6 years old), parents are finding it difficult to make their young kids pay attention during the class.

What is attention exactly? The ability to concentrate on information at hand and carry on with the tasks with that given information is an easy way to define attention. 

Sounds easy enough but the truth is young learners are a difficult bunch to keep engaged as they can be distracted easily. And though it sounds ambiguous, today’s modern technology is making it even more difficult because of the screen time it offers.

There is research that shows when parents make screen use an interactive, shared experience, it can become a tool for learning and the potential negative effects can be reduced.

A study conducted by the University of Washington suggested a proportionate association between watching TV and losing attention spans. So, it’s pretty obvious that the parents and the teachers alike all over the world are in a constant struggle to keep the young ones attentive. 

In countries with both a high adoption of technology and emphasis on education like Singapore, some advanced tuition providers, such as SmileTutor, are taking steps to solve the attention span problem by taking different initiatives. 

Here’s a fun video for you all – 7 Types of Parents during an Online Class

Now, let’s look at some ideas with which parents can make young kids pay attention during homeschool classes:

1- Breakfast is MUST

The reason I put the word ‘MUST’ in all caps is that it surely is the most important meal of the day. This works for everyone but more so for the kids. It’s a proven fact that kids who eat breakfast regularly are more attentive in the class. And, they can retain energy longer. Thus, the first thing as a parent, you must ensure that your kids are having nutritious breakfast every day.

You may also read – Tips to develop good eating habits in kids!

Now, if you really want your children to stay focussed during the class, don’t offer them anything to eat during the session. A strict No to munching! Use the break time between classes for snacking & drinking.

2- Exercise helps young kids stay focussed

It is incredibly important for kids to exercise daily and if possible, out in the open. Exercising outside not only helps in absorbing Vitamin D but can eliminate disconcerting thought-process too. If you are staying indoors due to the pandemic, at least encourage your kids to involve in indoor physical activities. You may plan a treasure hunt or an obstacle course for them. Or, just motivate them to do some yoga or dancing.

Homeschooling is a relatively new concept for children & parents in India. Here are easy tips to make young kids pay attention during homeschool classes.

So, you have to ensure your kids get at least an hour of physical activity to boost their brain development. You don’t need to get a yearly subscription from your local gym for them. Frequent breaks for moving the body like a 10-minute run around the house or romping on the trampoline etc. will also do just fine as exercise.

3- Make Sleep A Priority

Even moderate sleep deprivation can impair cognitive and motor performance severely. Children aged 3-6 need about 11-13 hrs of sleep. And, not getting enough sleep can affect their mood, behaviour and ability to focus during the day. Just like good eating habits make sure your kids follow healthy sleep habits too.

Following a fixed routine helps a lot. Start the bedtime ritual 30 minutes before sleep time. If you want your child to sleep 10 hours from 9.30 pm to 7.30 am, start getting them ready by 9.

If your child is waking up cranky it’s a sign of inadequate sleep & no child would want to sit in front of a laptop in such a mood.

 4- Classes for young kids should be fun

Well, we all know that young children have a short attention span & making them sit for the whole duration of the class is a big struggle. And that’s why teachers should try to make the lessons fun & engaging. Nemit’s class teacher follows an excellent way of teaching where after every 15-20 mins she interacts with the children. She makes sure that she speaks to each and every child before moving on with the lesson.

make Young Kids pay Attention during Homeschool Classes

If you have any suggestions for the teacher, please go ahead & discuss that with her after the class. Also, please don’t be harsh on teachers, you have to remember that this is challenging for them as well & they are trying their best.

You may also try giving your child a break whenever you feel he’s losing focus or getting bored. A little bit stretching or jumping on the spot helps too.

5- Focus on play-based learning to make young kids pay attention

Now, I have seen the benefits of play-based learning since I have always followed this method at home. Maths & Language can be interesting if a fun element of play is added to the structure. When children are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination in learning, they pay more attention.

Children learn best when they are actively involved and feel as though they are a part of the process. Unlike the conventional method of being taught to, play-based activities make learning more visible.

Homeschooling is a relatively new concept for children & parents in India. Here are easy tips to make young kids pay attention during homeschool classes.

If the maths lesson is going on, you may give beans or pebbles to the child for counting, addition & subtraction. For a phonics class, you may use music & sing rhymes for learning sounds. During a storytelling class, you may encourage the child to draw pictures of characters in the story. And, then narrate the story using those pictures.

Look out for creative ways to keep your child engaged during the class.

6- Rewards can make young children stay focussed

Appreciation has its own charm and kids love getting rewards. A simple hi-five or a hug can boost their spirit & confidence and encourage them to focus on the class. If they give a correct answer or sit attentively for some time, appreciate their efforts with any reward.

You have to be very patient, expecting a young child to sit in front of a laptop & take lessons is not practical at all. It will take a lot of effort and commitment from you as well. Be patient and keep encouraging your child.

7- Be there for your child, physically as well as mentally

As I mentioned about commitment in the above point, let me explain it a bit here. Most parents may think that all they have to do is sit with their children during the online class then definitely they got it all wrong. You may be sitting there but if your mind is somewhere else your mere presence will not serve any good purpose for your child.

One has to be completely involved with their child even if the teaching part is taken care of by the teacher. Parents, you have to ensure that the teaching gets converted into learning and in a way that works for your child.

One profoundly important factor here is you – your motivation, desire, and willingness to make the little jewels learn, will always work in your favour.


These are some ideas on how you can make young kids pay attention during a homeschool class. I hope you find these helpful. What are the struggles that you are facing during homeschool classes? Is there anything specific that is working for you & your child? Share your experience with me in the comments below.

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By |2020-08-04T11:30:31+05:30June 4th, 2020|Categories: Experience Talk|Tags: , , , , |36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Cindy Dsilva June 4, 2020 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Looks like homeschooling is the best option for my younger fellow who is almost 4. Online classes are t making sense to me but let’s see.

    • Neha Sharma June 5, 2020 at 12:23 am - Reply

      Looking at the current scenario, I feel homeschooling is the best we could offer our little ones to make sure their learning doesn’t stop. Online classes if conducted in a well-planned manner can work wonders.

  2. Richa Sharma June 4, 2020 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    As a parent, I am facing the same problem. Due to this horrible pandemic, our life and our kid’s life has Completely changed. Online learning is totally a new thing for them. I’ll try to follow your tips so that kids can perform better. Thanks for sharing.

    • Neha Sharma June 5, 2020 at 12:17 am - Reply

      Yes, dear, this pandemic has changed everyone’s life, we can only try our best to adapt to the current situation. Please do try these tips, I hope these work for your kids.

  3. Alpana June 5, 2020 at 1:25 am - Reply

    Good that you wrote on this topic. Have we ever thought that young kids will be doing virtual learning? Their first introduction to school is via Zoom. But now we have to accept it and make it a good experience. I really like how Nemit’s teacher is taking time to talk to each kid before she starts the learning. Young kids need the personal attention.

    • Neha Sharma June 6, 2020 at 3:00 pm - Reply

      Absolutely, I adore Nemit’s teacher for taking proactive steps in making the learning fun, interactive and interesting for young children. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Surbhi Prapanna June 5, 2020 at 4:30 am - Reply

    Such an informative post Neha and you had listed great tips for easy home schooling of little kids. I agree younger kids have short attention spam and we have to work little hard for their proper engagement. healthy food and exercise are key that form a good foundation. also, play based learning methods are best options for younger kids.

    • Neha Sharma June 6, 2020 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      I am glad you found it informative, Surbhi. Thank you.

  5. Mayuri Nidigallu June 5, 2020 at 10:38 am - Reply

    The lock down has been hardest on kids and they don’t really understand what is happening. And Online Classes are truly a struggle for both parents and kids. You’ve shared some really sensible tips which should help Moms.

    • Neha Sharma June 6, 2020 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      Yes, Mayuri, the lockdown has put all of us in such a challenging situation but all we can do is adapt, learn and move forward. And, the same we have to teach our kids. Thank you for stopping by.

  6. Roma June 5, 2020 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    I am so glad you picked this topic Neha because almost every parent is battling this attention deficit issue during the online classes and your tips are just so practical abc bang on. Great post!

    • Neha Sharma June 6, 2020 at 1:41 pm - Reply

      I wanted to share my experience of homeschooling a kindergartner, it was quite a challenging task initially but eventually, we learnt the tricks. But still, not every day is the same, we are still learning and adapting.

    • Charu June 6, 2020 at 3:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing this Neha. My kids initially just wouldn’t sit at one place for the class. It was so so difficult. Now they are getting the hang. We tried some of the tips you have mentioned here and they worked.

  7. Ujjwal Mishra June 6, 2020 at 12:17 am - Reply

    With online school, keeping toddlers at one plac, stay focused and making them pay attention is really challenging. You have shared some really good tips. Will try them.

    • Neha Sharma June 6, 2020 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Ujjwal

      • Anita June 6, 2020 at 11:04 pm - Reply

        Online education is very interesting but tough for kids.Preschoolers need human contact.These are some very good tips for helping kids in times like these.

  8. Kavita Singh June 6, 2020 at 12:22 am - Reply

    What a wonderful and helpful read this was. Keeping these little humans focused for a long time is a bit of a challenging task but I am sure with proper routine it is possible to increase the concentration-time. Being there for them physically and mentally is something I can definitely vouch for.

    • Neha Sharma June 6, 2020 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Kavita. I am glad you found the post relatable and helpful.

  9. Rajshree June 6, 2020 at 5:09 am - Reply

    This is so true! it’s so difficult to keep the attention span of a kid focused. I will surely try these suggestions with my nephew

    • Neha Sharma June 6, 2020 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      Yes, young children get distracted even if there’s no means to get distracted around, that’s how their attention span is. I hope these tips help you.

  10. Pragnya Mishra June 6, 2020 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    I do appreciate your efforts of sharing your experience and learning that helped you with Nemit to attend online schooling successfully. Honestly, I do.

    At the same time, I have to say today many parents are forced to do online schooling due to pandemic. And that’s not homeschooling. We have an already existing and thriving community of Indian homeschoolers, Unschoolers, and game-schoolers. Even NIOS supports that and has centers. My intention is not to be rude, Neha. I hope you understand my point. This is pandemic schooling or COVID schooling but not homeschooling. It won’t be a surprise if a year later we find research scholars talking about electronic screen syndrome and diminishing sensory.

    • Neha Sharma June 6, 2020 at 3:02 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your viewpoint, Pragnya. I really appreciate that. However, I would like to clear a few things here. I have written this post for parents of young children (3-6 years old) as already mentioned in the beginning, Nemit attends KG grade & he has 2 classes in a day 45 mins each with a 20 mins break in between. I know there are many parents out there who have willingly opted for homeschooling their kids and are successfully doing it too. However, the current situation has put other parents too to adapt to this new way of learning, I would still say homeschooling & not pandemic schooling because I want to see it as a positive development in the field of education. It all depends on how you see it and how you adapt to it. If you are already exposing your child to screens in a day which is in no way interactive & requires no parental involvement, then that, in my opinion, is frightening because the child is not learning anything and not getting any positive sensory stimulation too. If one can change that 2 hrs of passive screen time with 2 hrs of active interactive online sessions, I don’t see anything wrong with it. So, we can clearly not generalize this situation since every school and every parent has their own approach towards educating children. Also, I agree with you on research scholars talking about electronic screen syndrome which could be the case for older kids who are supposed to attend 4-6 hrs or even more hours of online classes daily which definitely will not lead to their holistic development. Coming back to the homeschooling point, online classes or no classes, if a parent chooses to educate their child at home using a fixed curriculum is the basic idea behind homeschooling & that’s what we are doing right now. We can say that not every parent has the time or resources to educate their child at home during this pandemic, especially working parents, the online classes may seem forced upon them. But I am sure parents can discuss this with the school management and come up with a solution which works for everyone. I would still keep my point, online schooling, 2 hrs a day is not a big deal if it is done in a well planned & interactive way.

  11. Varsh June 6, 2020 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    My 5yo is going to start online classes next week and I’m wondering how to keep her engaged and attentive. Your tips are helpful, Neha. Sleep, physical activity and breakfast are a must! I’m planning to sit with her awhile if her teacher allows too.

    • Neha Sharma June 6, 2020 at 5:29 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Varsha. I would suggest that you sit with your child and assist her in understanding how the online classes work. Also, you don’t have to sit in front of the camera, just sit on the side and observe and help. 5 yo would need your presence and I am sure the teacher would understand that.

  12. Zahra June 6, 2020 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Its really the creative side of the child must be highlighted more. From this blog I learnt that a Child should enjoy what he/she is learning. Parents have to find variety of ways to make the objectives of concepts clear.

  13. Dr Bushra June 6, 2020 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    I think every parent is going through this phase. Making kids attentive during online classes is not an easy task. Thanks for sharing your experience going to help many parents

  14. Judy Morris June 7, 2020 at 12:54 am - Reply

    It is a hilarious situation at my end. The ball is always in little one’s court as he most times pays attention and when he doesn’t want to pay attention he can make a thousand genuine tantrums.. We exercise a little, breakfast heavy and learn by fun sometimes.

  15. Debidutta Mohanty June 7, 2020 at 1:29 am - Reply

    A very helpful post and much-needed post as we all are equally struggling to make our kids sit for online classes. Your tips are quite helpful and practical. Thanks for sharing this post.

  16. Surbhi June 7, 2020 at 5:13 am - Reply

    In my opinion, these online classes are better than not having any classes at all. It’s not purely homeschooling but yeah they facilitated learning at home with the reduced curriculum. However, I am ready to wait for another year before I start sending my kids to school. A gap year right now won’t make a difference 10 years from now. I am in no hurry.

  17. MeenalSonal Mathur June 7, 2020 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Schools when turned out to be online for all children in this pandemic was totally a new experience for parent and child. In online classes the duration should be short so that kids can have maximum in this time without diverting their attention.

  18. NIHARIKA CHATTERJEE June 7, 2020 at 8:12 am - Reply

    I really needed to hear what you have mentioned in the post, it cleared all my doubts. this is a much-needed post for all the moms who’s kids are in the preschooler phase or grade-schooler

  19. Tina Basu June 7, 2020 at 9:28 am - Reply

    You have mentioned some really good pointers that we all can follow. Online classes are going to be the new normal. I had to sit next to my son so that he doesn’t run away!! He wanted to get toys in between class!

  20. Amrit Kaur June 7, 2020 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Kids are coping up with the lockdown but it is still hard for them. Parents need to be patient and understand kids as well. Some great tips for parents to handle the situation.

  21. Ruchi Verma June 7, 2020 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Homeschooling is a new norm and we need to make kids understand and learn to follow that and pay attention I am glad that you shared these great pointers

  22. Snigdha June 7, 2020 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Thank you dear for the tips. Currently my son’s online classes are going on and sometime he is in mood to listen the teacher and sometimes he is not. Study with fun is a must for small kids.

  23. Julia June 17, 2020 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    You have really great insights on how to keep kids engaged. Homeschooling is not easy. It requires flexibility and setting priorities. But ultimately, kids learn best through hands-on play. To keep them excited about any subject, it’s important to observe how they learn best (visual, audio, sensory, etc.) and find resources that best fit their learning styles.

    Julia from http://www.lingobuddies.fun

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