September is almost here and soon school will be in session! Parents are ready to send their children off with crisp loose-leaf paper, brand new pencils and erasers, and book bags filled with everything they need. Teachers are ready to begin assessments and reviews. BUT WAIT, kids have had several months of a relaxed schedule. They have just been reunited with their friends after a long summer and are catching up on their adventures. The weather is still gorgeous, making it too easy to gaze out of the window and daydream. Who could possibly focus on schoolwork at a time like this?
There are so many distractions outside of school that make it even more difficult to concentrate inside the classroom. The excessive use of smart phones, electronic devices and video games are just a few of them. According to Parenting With Patience author, Judy Arnall, the average age of a child owning a cell phone is about 10 years old<sup>1</sup>. The constant checking of cell phones and fast-paced visual images is over-stimulating, making it difficult for teachers to maintain their students’ attention because the classroom seems boring compared to the constantly changing virtual world. More and more kids are interactive on social media and staying up past bedtime playing video games. Inconsistent sleep patterns are another factor that lead to children having more difficulty staying alert in class.
The intense pace inside and outside of school can pose a major problem for students trying to focus when they are in the classroom. Parents can help their children achieve their academic goals and optimize performance in school by having them eat a healthy, balanced, whole foods diet, encourage them to get plenty of sleep and limit their device use.
Essential oils are a simple and effective way to help students redirect their focus and get back into the rhythm and routine of school. One great way to do this is with an aromatic inhaler! Inhaler tubes are easy to make, compact and discreet enough for your favorite student to keep in their desk or pencil case.
Utilizing olfaction allows aromatic molecules to directly stimulate the limbic system, which in turn influences learning and memory. Studies have shown that essential oils can have a direct effect on the central nervous system helping to regulate mood and attention as well.
Here is my favorite essential oil blend I love to prepare for my children when they need to tackle their workload. I also use the blend myself when I’m overwhelmed trying to keep up with everyone’s schedule and remembering all that needs to be done.
Focus Factor Inhaler
What You Need:
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides)
2 Drops – One inhale of the earthy smell of vetiver can immediately offer clarity with its grounding and relaxing effect
Lemon (Citrus limon)
14 Drops – A scent children recognize; the freshness of a lemon helps increase their alertness.
Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
6 Drops – The mild, refreshing, minty aroma stimulates their senses and clears the mind.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. verbenone)
8 Drops – Another oil that improves alertness to help focus and concentration.
Note: This blend is best used with children 10 and up. Please educate your children on the proper way to use an aromatic inhaler.
How To Make:
Place all drops of above oils in a small clean bowl. Take the cotton from the inhaler tube, or use your own organic cotton pad, cut to fit, and put into your bowl, stirring it around so that it absorbs all the oil. Place cotton in tube and close. Secure with bottom cap. When ready to use, unscrew top, close your eyes and sway the inhaler side to side and away from the nose.
For more instruction and a source of inhaler tubes check out this How To Make an Inhaler article by Jade Shutes.
1Stein, S., (2018), An Age-by-age guide to kids and smartphones. Retrieved on 8/2/2018 from https://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/an-age-by-age-guide-to-kids-and-smartphones/