ALT = “A student’s hands typing on a laptop keyboard.”
It’s common for parents to scold their teens for spending too much time on their smartphones and computers, especially when they should be doing their homework. But could their tech help them study better?
These are some online tools that will help your teen focus on their studies.
Music can improve focus, spark motivation and reduce stress — all benefits that can help your teen with their schoolwork at home. So, encourage them to download apps like Spotify, Apple or even YouTube onto their smartphone or computer so that they can listen to music while they study.
It’s important that they listen to the right kind of music. Music with lyrics can be distracting and pull focus. Soft, instrumental music is ideal.
There are also plenty of ambient noise apps that they can download, like lofi.cafe, MyNoise and Atmosphere: Relaxing Sounds.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that can help your teen tackle heavy workloads, like when they need to write an English essay or study for an important History exam. Apps like Focus To-Do, Clockwork Tomato, Forest and Pomotodo can help them use the Pomodoro Technique.
There are also YouTube videos that can guide your teen through the technique. The only risk that comes with YouTube videos is that they can spark the temptation to look up other content and get distracted from their studies.
It’s all too easy for teens to get distracted by social media apps, streaming apps, games and pop culture websites when they should be studying. They could decide they’re going to take a quick break from their test prep, and then mindlessly scroll through TikTok for an hour.
One way that teens can stay focused on their studies is by temporarily blocking these online distractions. They can accomplish this with the following blocking apps:
- Cold Turkey
- Rescue Time
If your teen has anxiety, autism or ADHD, they might experience sensory overload when they’re in classrooms because there are too many sensory triggers (for example, overlapping conversations, clashing smells, bright lights). So, one change that could help them focus is online schooling.
Virtual school courses can offer quieter, calmer work environments. Online courses minimize certain distractions, like loud noises, which can increase focus and decrease stress levels.
An online course structure is also more flexible. The coursework will be available 24/7 — they can do their class at any time of day. They also have a year to complete the course, which should take a little bit of pressure off their shoulders.
Parents can choose a virtual schooling plan to meet their teen’s needs. If their teen only has trouble with a certain subject, then they can sign them up for one or two related courses. For instance, if they struggle to do math in person, then an online course like MHF4U could help them achieve their credit, prepare for university and get their high school diploma. In this case, the parents would have to enroll their teen into a public/private school part-time.
If a teen struggles in all classes, parents can replace all their courses with online options. Just make sure to do so with a ministry-inspected, accredited online school with certified staff.
Don’t just treat computers and smartphones like distractions for your teen. As you can see, tech can help them study better than ever.