In the era of distance learning, it can be a challenge to keep kids engaged and focused on their schooling. Parents the country over are searching for the magic formula to get their kids through this time. One helpful guideline for keeping things fresh during the school day is called the 52:17 rule. Work or study for 52 minutes, then take a 17-minute break. During that 17-minute break, kids (and adults) benefit most by completely stepping away from work, by leaving the study or work room completely and not engaging in anything work related for the set break time. By ceasing all study-related activities during these breaks, productivity is increased by staving off cognitive boredom.
Cognitive boredom happens when doing a task for long stretches of time until the mind loses focus and productivity decreases markedly. By engaging in these 17-minute breaks, the brain is allowed the opportunity to refocus and then re-engage once the break is over.
The best ways to fill the 17-minute break include taking walks, stretching, grabbing a healthy snack, and surprisingly, watching funny or cute animal videos and playing mobile games. Mobile games may sound counter-intuitive to getting kids to focus and engage in class work, but science has backed the benefits of moderate use. Benefits include improving concentration, dexterity, mood and problem solving. Just remember to set a timer and get back to work once time is up!
Setting limits for work and for play offers children a sense of balance and increases their productivity and focus with their work. There is no sure-fire way to keep kids engaged and on task during these times, but by changing up the routine, they can be set up for success, and gives parents the chance to avoid a few meltdowns along the way.