Learn how to hold the attention of boys while you homeschool. With a few simple changes, you can increase the attention span of boys!.

How to Increase the Attention Span of Boys

Overview: Have a son who lacks concentration? With a few simple tweaks, you can increase the attention span of boys! INCLUDES chart with Average Length of Child’s Attention Span. 

Do you have a son who lacks concentration? Are you frustrated by his short attention span? As a general rule, the attention span of boys tends to be shorter than that of girls. Obviously, this varies with each child. There are more boys who suffer from ADHD. And even boys who have wonderful powers of focus still have a tendency to move, bounce, fiddle with objects, look around, and generally want to be on the move.

Fortunately, it is possible to promote increase the attention span of boys. Providing a healthy environment for your boys will set up the right conditions for to helping to improve their attention span.

Have a son who lacks concentration? It is possible to improve attention span! With a few simple tweaks, you can increase the attention span of boys! (Post Includes a chart with the Average Length of Child's Attention Span.)

Average Attention Spans

Generally, children are able to focus on activities for about 1 minute for each year of life. If a 5 or 6-year-old is interested in an activity, that time can increase up to 10-15 minutes or more. A child who is in kindergarten or first grade can engage in a single activity for 15-30 minutes if it’s something that interests them.

Sometimes, the problem is that we expect too much from our children or we want them to act in a way that is above their maturity level. If your son is struggling to maintain focus on an activity for a reasonable amount of time, there are ways to help him improve his attention span.

Increasing Attention Span with Lifestyle Choices

Organize your day

A consistent routine is good for all children and especially for boys and/or those who might struggle with ADHD. Children especially benefit from regular nap and meal times. Knowing what to expect next helps our kids to feel secure in their environment.

Turn off Electronic Devices

Keep TV watching and listening to the radio to a minimum. Children need quiet times without background noise in order to think, listen, and to reach their full potential. Electronic devices tend to deliver instant gratification and almost constant stimulation. Our kids need to spend time unplugged from these devices.

Consistent Bedtimes

Set an early bedtime, one which will allow your child to get plenty of sleep. If your child is getting 8 hours of sleep per night or less, he is NOT getting adequate rest at night. Children need a surprising amount of sleep – probably more than you think! See the chart below to determine what time your son should be getting to bed each night for optimum performance.

Some experts say that some kids need even more sleep than this! And in my experience with my own sons, they’ve definitely required even more sleep than the above chart states – especially during the tween years. My boys frequently slept for 10 hours during that season of life.


Make sure your child has a hearty breakfast and a multi-vitamin. Having a well-balanced breakfast will help them to think more clearly and not get as tired during their studies. It’s also important to be sure our boys are eating enough fat for their brains to function properly.

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Boys

Increasing Attention Span with Teaching Techniques


It’s natural for boys to want to be on the move! All children benefit from being able to take breaks between topics. Allow your boys to get up, stretch, run down the hall, even run a few laps around the house. Including some activities for boys such as these will allow them to release their pent-up energy will go a long way towards helping them to stay focused while they study.

Increase the Attention Span of Boys

Change it up

Boys get easily bored with the same information or the same methods. If they understand a topic, move on. You can go back and review later to make sure that they fully grasp the information. If you review over and over with boys they will become bored and their minds will disengage. Also, try new techniques with boys. If you usually do math worksheets, try having them answer orally or on the computer. This will help them to remain interested and will certainly increase the attention span of boys.


Boys love to feel that they have at least some control over their studies. Give your sons several choices that you would be happy with and let them make some of the decisions. Or let them decide which subject they are going to tackle next. When boys are given this kind of freedom, you will find yourself struggling with them less throughout the day.

β†’ Related Content: 7 Ways to Teach Your Son When He Won’t Sit Still

Interest Area

The greatest motivator for boys is to teach them something that interests them. Let your boys pick topics they are interested in and then allow them to explore them fully. They can do this in addition to their regular studies or during breaks. Their excitement for all of their studies will increase when they are allowed to pursue things they love as well.


Give your boys objects that they can taste, touch, smell and see. Boys learn well with tactile and kinesthetic learning; so, the more of their senses you can incorporate into activities for boys, the more understanding and enjoyment they will have for their lessons.


Ensure lots of opportunities for movement. Boys have lots of energy. If you allow them to expend this energy in accepted ways, they will be less likely to act out when it isn’t appropriate.

Learn how to hold the attention of boys while you homeschool. With a few simple changes, you can increase the attention span of boys!.

Spread Out

Rather than keep your boys confined to a desk, let your boys spread out at a table, on the floor, or on the couch. If boys are allowed to move around a bit while doing their book work or papers, you will find that they will get their work done more quickly and with less resistance.

Silly Stuff

If you’re finding it hard to hold the attention of your sons, try speaking in a silly voice or acting goofy as you are presenting the information. Injecting a little bit of unexpected humor into your presentations can really grab and hold the interest of boys.

Talk Breaks

Provide frequent talk breaks for your boys to minimize disruptions. Boys have lots of questions. Make sure you give them opportunities to ask these questions and to probe as deeply into a topic as they would like.


Use lots of visuals to maintain interest. Most boys learn visually, so seeing the information will make it easier for them to learn that just hearing the information.

Incorporate these tips into your day and watch the attention span of boys in your house increase. With a little bit of creativity, we can help our sons to increase their attention span and to love learning!

Question:  Do your boys struggle with a short attention span? Do you have any tips you’ve learned for increasing a child’s attention span? Please leave a comment below.

Have a son who lacks concentration? It is possible to improve attention span! With a few simple tweaks, you can increase the attention span of boys! (Post Includes a chart with the Average Length of Child's Attention Span.)

25 thoughts on “How to Increase the Attention Span of Boys”

  1. Desiree Thompson

    I love this article however the diagram about required sleep is not correct. It’s been proven that teenagers need more sleep than children do. Every child should get no less than 10 hrs of sleep if possible.

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Thanks for the comment. We could probably find lots of different experts who would give varying times for required sleep. My main point for that was that kids need more sleep than we think they do… and more sleep than many of them are offered. Now that my boys are entering their teen years, I see that they definitely need a ton of sleep. I’ll look around and see if I can update that information. Thanks again. πŸ™‚

    2. I’ve seen this “teenagers NEED a lot of sleep” all over the place. I think it’s overblown and borders on an excuse to let them be slackers. They hardly exert themselves during the day and stay up all night so it’s no mystery that they can’t get up in the morning. I operated on far less then 10 hours of sleep as a teenager.

      1. Michelle Caskey

        I know that in my experience with our boys, when I gave them the sleep they needed for awhile… they were able to start getting up again much more easily. My sons were going upstairs to sleep at 8:30pm… but were having a hard time falling asleep until after midnight or 1:00… so were still waking up groggy in the mornings.

        I’m sure that the factors you mention also come into play in the lives of many teens… but there is a physiological aspect to it as well. Here’s a post I wrote about the subject if you’re interested: https://www.homeschool-your-boys.com/getting-your-teenager-to-wake-up-in-the-morning/

  2. My son is 7+ years. He has very lack of concentration on study and has no interest to write even in class work in school. His mind is very ficle. Pls Pls pls..give me an advice to develop his concentration on study and also to improve his writing skill….

    1. Michelle Caskey

      I’m sorry you’re having difficulties with your son, Surjeet. It’s hard for me to know how to help without knowing him personally. Having said that, however, I would suggest you read some of my posts in the “How Boys Learn” category: https://www.homeschool-your-boys.com/how-boys-learn2.html

      You might want to specifically look at these posts to see if they might be helpful when working with your son:

      I hope some of this information helps! Take care and feel free to write back if I can help you more specifically after you’ve read some of those posts. πŸ™‚

    2. My son was having the same trouble and we are now reading everyday. It started with me reading a short book to him each night. We went to the bookstore and he picked out books on different topics. He is now reading more. We are also looking at breaking stories up into pieces: beginning, characters etc, what happens? anything exciting? How is this solved and an ending. Having guidelines, the constant reading has really helped him. He is more consistent and is writing lengthier stories. Good luck

  3. Thanks for writing these articles! So reassuring to hear from an experienced home schooler of boys, since I am a mom of three boys, into my second week of kindergarten homeschooling my oldest boy with TONS of energy and a short attention span. I saw my son’s eyes light up today as I let him “squirt” the chalk alphabet off of the fence. Have to be creative to keep them interested, but I am determined to keep trying!

    1. You’re welcome, Kristina. I’m glad you’re finding useful information.

      What an awesome idea, by the way! I love it. πŸ™‚ Boys seem to enjoy doing anything that allows them to move around, make a mess, or eat something. When mine were younger, I used to ask them questions and whenever they got one right I’d throw a circus peanut or some other candy through the air and they’d have to try to catch it with their mouths. So many fun ideas out there if we just watch them and follow their lead. πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks for these ideas! First time homeschooling my 6 year old and he can’t stand sitting still for writing or math! He does have a love for learning but I feel like I’m killing it for him because he takes so long just to write a few words or finish a math worksheet. These are great tips for keeping him interested. Thanks for the site!

    1. Michelle Caskey

      You might want to consider getting him an exercise ball to sit on such as this one:
      (http://amzn.to/1BPxzWN) which would allow him to bounce and wiggle while doing his math or his writing. Boys actually think better while they’re moving!

      Also, you might want to consider having him to do more hands-on learning versus worksheets. It’s hard to do for math and writing – but consider letting him be more active for other subject areas. Here’s another post I wrote about teaching your boys when they won’t sit still:


      I hope it helps! πŸ™‚

      Take care and I’d love to hear back from you after you’ve implemented some of these ideas.

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Is it possible for a 3-year-old boy to be too playful?!? In my opinion, that is a good trait for a little boy to have! Boys, especially, learn better when they are moving. Does he have to be in this school or could you keep him home at that age? If you want to work with your son, I’d highly recommend my hands-on preschool curriculum, Learn & Grow (https://www.homeschool-your-boys.com/learnandgrowpreschoolcurriculum.html). The lessons are super fun and they won’t require your son to sit longer than he is able.

  5. Hi, thanks for sharing such a lovely article. I am a mother of 2 and I home-school them. I agree boys lack concentration and we need to keep something new and innovative to keep them engaged in the activity for long. Soothing music works the best for my kids as they can focus well after they listen to music.

    1. Michelle Caskey

      You’re welcome! Mine also enjoy listening to music while they’re working. One caution is that music is great for some kids and very distracting for others. Just another example of how we need to be students of our children so we can discover what works best for them. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Jagdish Hinduja


    I have a 5 year old boy and he get easily distracted with what others are doing at home or at school. This causes him to lose focus and concentration. He ends up speeding more than an hour to complete any writing work or math. Can you please suggest some tips?

    Thank you.

    Jagdish Hinduja

    1. Michelle Caskey

      If your son is a visual learner, have him try using a study carrel while he’s doing his homework to see if that will help him not to get as distracted (here’s a link to one on Amazon so you can see what I’m talking about: Study Carrel)

      If he’s an auditory learner, you might try letting him listen to instrumental music while doing his homework. This is distracting to some kids – but it helps other kids to focus much better.

      I hope this helps!

  7. I am feeling so down about this subject. My son is 10 years old in the 5th grade. His attention span is sooooo short. I am at my wits end. His teacher calls today to say he will not stay seated and will chat to his classmates when it’s quiet time. I don’t want to medicate him, so I am willing to try anything. He is very bright in school. A’s are what he gets in school, but his teachers complain about the constant disruptions. Help!!!!

    1. I applaud your desire not to medicate him. If you were homeschooling your son, he wouldn’t have to stay seated… and he would be able to chat while he’s learning. It’s harder to give you good advice when he’s in school. That being said, maybe you could try looking at these posts I wrote about feeding our sons’ brains and Kids and Teenagers with Focusing, Attention, or Sensory issues for some ideas about diet that might be helpful. πŸ™‚ Just keep in mind that it’s pretty normal for our boys to act the way your son is acting. I wish you all the best!

  8. Interesting and love this article and conversations as well.
    Probably first time I am going through such kind of topic just to find out a solution of improving attentiveness of my 10 years 5th std son.As a student he is good ,disciplined and normally secure best possible marks but very playful in nature. He is tremendous absent minded while studying. We are really worrying about this because lot of academic pressure already mounted on him as std goes up!

    1. Michelle Caskey

      That is one reason why some parents homeschool. Your son sounds like a wonderful kid. It’s so unfair how much academic pressure is placed on kids nowadays. So, anyway, something for you to pray about. Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  9. I just love you for this article. My 5 year old though academically very good, is unfortunately having distraction issues at school… There are many points you mentioned which I can relate to esp. play time at home ( he hardly gets to play at home as there are no kids in neighbourhood) I seriously think that’s the reason he is the most talkative in Skool as he probably tries to find frnds and play time there

    Thanks a ton again for writing such article it’s really really helpful… Muaahhhh!!!!

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Oh, thank-you so much for taking the time to comment. It always makes my day when I can help people! Take care and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. πŸ™‚

  10. hi, i have an almost 9 yrs, 31st october. he is not home schooled but attends school he is in the second standarerd 2 in trinidad and tobago. but the teachers said he has a short attention span, well at home to. he is my only boy and the last of three children, and in a single parent home (mom alone). i dont know how to help him .

    1. It’s hard for me to give you advice because you don’t have as much control over his time as you would if you homeschooled. Try to implement some of the tips that I mentioned in this post to see if that helps at all. Unfortunately, schools require kids to sit still most of the day to learn – and that’s harder for most boys to do than it is for most girls. Try to keep in mind that he’s only 8 years old. That really is young in the grand scheme of things.

      Maybe you could try to read books aloud to your son for longer and longer periods of time to help him lengthen his attention span. If you choose books that boys generally enjoy reading, then it might help him to get used to sitting still. Here is another post which might help you as well. It is written with homeschoolers in mind but you might be able to glean some helpful information from it. I wish you all the best!

      How to Teach Your Son When He Won’t Sit Still

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