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...]

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...]

What To Do About Too Much Homework

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I don't have to tell you that your kids have too much homework. It's a rare parent that thinks that the nightly chore of reviewing and previewing and rehashing the day's work is as necessary as the government seems to think it is. Throw a dose of ADHD into homework time, and...well, it can be a nightmare. My kids and I both loved school. We generally had great teachers, good instruction, and lots of fun. But I still dreaded the start of the year because of the homework. (Okay, and because we couldn't sleep late, but don't tell.) There is supposed to be a homework standard. Children … [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...]

Jingle Bells, Homework Tales and Projects All the Way

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I love this time of year. The blinking lights on the front walk, the aroma of freshly baked cookies and spiced cider from the kitchen, and the sounds of our favorite Christmas music playing in the background create an exciting environment. As wonderful as they are, the holidays usher in huge distractions for children. She's trying to muddle through geometry homework while deciding what to wear as a "helping elf" for the special Christmas photos in the community. Or perhaps he's perfecting his Christmas list when you thought he was working on vocabulary words. And both your kids are trying to … [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...]

SAT Prep for an ADHD Student

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Just when you thought high school was falling into a predictable pattern, you discover it’s time for your student to take the SAT - the Scholastic Aptitude Test. SAT Prep for your ADHD student sounds like a nightmare, but you can help him prepare so he’ll know what to expect. She may not thank you today, but one day you’ll hear about how grateful she is for your support. Start your best strategic plan early and be sure to: 1. Secure test accommodations. The College Board can grant your student special testing accommodations like extra time or more breaks, but you must apply for these, so … [Read more...]

Homework and Project Hint – Using Wikipedia as a Source

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Teachers generally frown on using Wikipedia as a source. Back when I was in school they had the same attitude toward encyclopedias. Nonetheless, for a general overview of a subject, I find Wikipedia to be of great value. There is generally a good outline of any topic, an outline that you can use to formulate an outline for a report – or to identify areas that have sufficient information to expand. The links at the bottom of the page are usually very helpful, too. But sometimes Wikipedia is a bit over my head. (Should I admit that?!) Well, for kids (or adults) who need simplified English, … [Read more...]

Does My Son Have ADHD?

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This question is taken from a comment on our blog. Question: I am concerned about my 7 year old, who can be very hyper but in classroom he is calm but inattentive. In first grade we had a lot of unfinished work come home and homework is a struggle. A task that should take 5 mins could take him a hour on a bad day. He is above average at spelling and reading but struggles with writing. Math he has good days and bad. Apart from the spelling and reading, he needs a lot of hand holding i.e adult/teacher helper being there almost always to get him to finish his task. Reward points system … [Read more...]

Helping Your ADHD-Inattentive Child or Teen: How Much is Too Much?

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"You do too much! She should do it herself." This was the unsolicited advice our 19-year-old daughter gave me when she found out that her 16-year-old sister Lesley continued to ask for my editing help for an English essay. I immediately replied: "She still has ADHD-I, you know. That's not changed." Olivia was adamant: I helped too much. At the same time, I felt strongly that Lesley needed the help. My older daughter is majoring in English at her university, and any sort of writing project continues to be her strength. Meanwhile, Lesley's taking her first Advanced Placement English … [Read more...]