Slogging through Homework

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You eat an elephant a bite at a time. A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. These proverbs make big jobs sound easier, but in reality, they don't make much difference to our kids who are slogging through a night of math and science and social studies and that stupid book called Charlotte's Web that the teacher made them read. It's just overwhelming for our kids, truly. But what if you gave an incentive for each bite of the elephant - a small 'something to look forward to' for each milestone? What about these... 1. After every five math problems, give a sticker. 2. After each … [Read more...]

Book Review: Getting Schooled: 102 Practical Tips for Parents, Teachers, Counselors and Students about Living and Learning with ADHD

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So often books about ADHD are just full of fluffy, pie in the sky suggestions that remind me of an episode of The Brady Bunch - all conflicts can be easily solved in 30 minutes. Parents and educators aren't given any practical solutions. The book Getting Schooled: 102 Practical Tips for Parents, Teachers, Counselors and Students about Living and Learning with ADHD, isn't like that. Written by Margrit Crane, it's a down to earth, you can do this today sort of guide that is easy to read and absolutely do-able. Quotes from the book:     • Parent's section: … [Read more...]

Be SuperParent for Your Child’s School

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Sometimes parents can champion a cause that helps the school and earns them superhero status. ..using parental muscle. Step into the phone booth, and I'll tell you the story. At the beginning of the school year, one of our readers was concerned that the school wasn't providing Occupational Therapy for her daughter as was written into her IEP. They asked the teacher about it, and discovered the problem - the district hadn't hired a OT for the school. The school was every bit as concerned about it as the parents. Tugging on Superman's Cape. So at the fall IEP meeting, the parents used … [Read more...]

Spelling Success for Back to School

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Back to school. Whether you approach this time of year with anticipation or dread, it's about to happen. New teachers and classes, different rules and expectations, leave children and parents overwhelmed with excitement and anxiety. Below are six ways to send your child back to school with success. Supplies - Most schools provide a list of essentials for each child to bring on the first day of class. Make sure your child has exactly what is requested, and save enough cash for those supply needs that crop up the first week of class. Stock up on all types of paper, writing utensils, art … [Read more...]

Mrs. Anderson, Please Like My Child

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This letter wasn't written to a specific teacher, or about a particular child, but came from a hope that my sons would be liked by their new teachers. Since school is starting, I thought you might enjoy it - and might just want to pass it along. Dear Mrs. Anderson, My child Ben has been assigned to your class this year, and I'm glad. People have often told me what a wonderful teacher you are. You have had a lot of great things said about you. You've probably heard about my Ben, too, but I'm afraid the things said about him aren't always good. The truth is, Ben can be difficult. He's … [Read more...]

Redshirting* and Recent Research

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If you’re looking for another reason to consider redshirting, you may want to consider findings published online recently in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to research done over several years on elementary to middle school aged children in Iceland, younger children may not perform as well academically in mathematics and language arts as their slightly older peers. Additionally, children who are in the youngest third of the class are 50% more likely to be prescribed stimulants to manage symptoms of ADHD between the ages of 7 and 14. Let me be quick … [Read more...]

What To Do When They Just Can’t Sit Still

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You know the type. You can easily recognize her in a classroom setting. The teacher’s talking, and he’s in constant motion. She’s drumming her fingers on the desk. His leg is bouncing up and down with a rhythm to match the tune in his head….except he doesn’t recognize that he’s moving. The good news is that often, the wiggling and jiggling is an attempt to pay attention. The bad news is that the constant movement looks like distracting and annoying hyperactivity. Aside from starting gym class a little early, what can you do? Take a look at the following tried and true tips to help the ones … [Read more...]

The PAC-kit – Our Planner for ADHD

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We don't talk a lot about the PAC-kit, but this is the time of year that we should! The PAC-kit is the Planner, Agenda, and Calendar that evolved from our attempts to keep Ron and Joe organized. We always found that store bought planners didn't work for our guys. Here's what would happen. It's Tuesday night. Your son has a new $8.95 planner that you just bought because he lost the one he had before. You flip to today's date. Nothing is written on it. He patiently shows you where he wrote his homework - on the wrong page. Because he couldn't fit all the words onto the tiny lines, his … [Read more...]

Adding the Big C to ADHD

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To succeed, a child diagnosed with ADHD-inattentive needs the best of two worlds: home and school. Good communication between parents and teachers paves the way for a winning strategy for your child. Here are seven ways to improve two-way "reception": 1. Meet early and agree on the frequency of meetings. Don't wait until a problem presents itself. Be proactive and set up an appointment early in the year or semester to give the proverbial word to the wise. Think ahead about where your child is now and where you hope he is in 6 months. What are realistic goals? How can those goals be … [Read more...]

ADHD and Homeschooling

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This week we have a guest post by Shannon Stoltz, of Living Life at Home. In her article, she references a conversation the two of us had last summer on Blogspot.com. You can listen to the interview on her Living Life at Home blog, or you can read the transcript here. Shannon homeschools her four children, and she's got great insight about homeschooling, especially homeschooling kids with learning challenges. She almost (but not quite!) makes me want to go back and homeschool my boys! "You should just put them in school. It’s a lot less work for you," a well meaning friend told me years … [Read more...]