Attention and concentration are two interdependent mental mechanisms that are essential to learning. To be attentive is to mobilize one’s five senses to receive, search for, select and process the relevant information that one needs.
To be concentrated is to reduce the field of attention, to close the consciousness to anything that can distract the mind from this learning.
To pay attention
· One cannot be attentive without a complete adherence to the task at hand. It is a mental attitude but also a bodily one.
· Watch a dreamy child at his desk. He is badly seated, often slumped, his eyes are vague. His mind wanders at every opportunity. Look at a restless child (or sensorimotor). He does not sit still in his chair. It is said of him that he has too much energy. These two have difficulties to be attentive. Their bodily attitude is that of children not concerned by the object to which their attention should be directed.
· The attentive child has a toned posture, a present look. His body is part of the act of attention. Because it is indeed an act: mental act, voluntary act. His body is awake, like his mind. He is in a state of active awakening, a controlled approach. It tends towards an objective, toward a state of fusion with the object viewed, read or listened to.
· For this, he emptied his mind, focused on the task at hand. He is attentive but without tension, relaxed but in an act of will.
If your child has trouble paying attention, work with him on what it means. Does being attentive mean being calm? To be waiting? To listen to the teacher? If such is his attitude, one can deduce from it that he is wise, of good will; yet this is not enough and does not have much to do with attention. He’s waiting for what? Why?
How will he appropriate the knowledge? What purpose?
Being attentive is a process that depends on the work to be done. This requires anticipation. It’s a three-step process. First of all, we have to make ourselves available, open ourselves to information, then welcome it, and finally we must close ourselves to all other information, that is to say, focus on it alone. This is where the concentration can begin.
An attentive student listens to the teacher in order to memorize, understand a grammar rule, pronounce English words correctly, and use the geometry theorem in an exercise. He intends to learn when he starts his classes when he moves to his desk. He knows what he has to do with the knowledge that will be communicated to him by the teacher, how to make it his own, for what purpose.
It should not be forgotten that attention is also a function of motivation, of an inner disposition, of its rhythms, and that the child is all the more likely to be attentive to the fact that knowledge interests him or that he understands its utility.
How to be attentive
But what must be done to be attentive? Is it enough to want it? No, to be attentive is not only to say to yourself, “I want to read or listen without thinking about anything else”. Search by the term mindfulness course near me and you will have ample solutions present.