Thursday, March 08, 2007

Attention Spans

Although Al Mohler is on my blog roll, and I believe he's a great, godly person, I'll just be honest and say that I rarely read his blog. His posts seem to point to cultural problems, but rarely to solutions. Since my reading time is limited, I typically try to keep it uplifting. However, this morning's entry caught my eye. The attention spans of Americans are shrinking from minutes to mere seconds. Billy and I were just talking about this last night. One of the little guys in my Awana class, who is homeschooled, has study skills and concentration abilities far above the other 5-8 year olds in the group. That is something we want to work on in our children. The ability to concentrate and focus for extended periods of time is so important.


AnnMarie said...

I so agree with you! I laughed when I looked at a development chart a while back and saw "Your child will start being able to spend 5-10 minutes playing on her own." I forget what age it was--maybe 18 months or 2 years? Anyway, my daughter had been doing that since she was 6 months old. By then, she'd been known to play on her own for 2 hours! Like the time she spent 90 minutes straight having fun with a magazine (she didn't sit the whole time--she did a variety of things, walked around the three rooms, but essentially interacted with the magazine the whole tim). She checked in briefly with us, but no more than a few "words" or being near us for a few moments. She played by herself and with one object. We believe part of it is that we don't let her watch TV--she sometimes watches what we have on (usually less than 10 minutes as she finds it boring), but we've never watched a children's show aimed at her. I've also read her older children's/adult books since she was little (like Lord of the Rings and Mary Poppins). She'll sit and listen at bedtime for at least 15 minutes--that's usually *my* time limit LOL. Usually, she "reads" her own book, but she sits and listens quietly the whole time and rarely is ready to put the books away when the time comes so I know she could keep doing it. She's only 2, so I hope this contineus as she gets older. Our encouragement of it will certainly help!

Rebecca said...

Another hearty agreement here!

What we have done that helped, besides not having a TV when they got into elementary school, is to intentionally stretch their listening time with input such as chapter books, Adventures in Odyssey, and books on tape.

Even when we had TV, it was helpful to avoid commercial TV and its chopped up segmentation.

Long hours of creative toys (like Legos). :)