Will Months of Remote Learning Worsen Students’ Attention Problems?

May 12, 2020 by

Many children have trouble concentrating on school work, but problems with sitting still, focusing, or organization are especially hard for some—and experts predict the disruption and stress of the pandemic will make it worse.

The outbreak of the coronavirus isn’t the first time Robert Spall has had to learn from home.

The 13-year-old and his mom, Kirsten Spall, a high school teacher from Sacramento, Calif., were once “reluctant homeschoolers” after Robert was pulled out of a handful of schools for focus and behavioral issues—all before the 1st grade.

“He didn’t respond to normal redirection. He didn’t respond to normal behavioral strategies, like giving choices,” Kirsten Spall said.

Robert is working from home again, along with over 50 million students, as schools in 48 states have shut down in-person classes to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. How will the long absence from traditional school routines affect Robert and the millions of other students across the country who struggle with self-control, focus, or mental flexibility?

Getting in Focus

For both teachers and students alike, paying attention might be especially challenging during the coronavirus crisis, and especially so for students like Robert, who struggle to focus in school.

Nearly 4 of 5 teachers think their students’ ability to focus has gotten worse with school-related tasks during the shutdown, according to an April EdWeek Research Center survey.

Source: Will Months of Remote Learning Worsen Students’ Attention Problems? – Education Week

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