Back to School…and Reading Lists

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Lesley and Mike have gone back to school, and each of them has a reading list that is longer than they would like. Lesley had a summer list, so she got a head start. Mike had his list this summer, too. But...well. Let's not chalk everything up to being of the male persuasion... Both Lesley and Mike are having to read classic titles that make me think of Mark Twain’s definition: “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” We've taken two effective approaches to slogging through these books. First on the list is reading aloud. One of Lesley's … [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...]

Balancing School and Life

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Last week, I told you about what's been going on at our house. Recent events included theatre, usual homework, high expectations, and Lesley's panic attack. One part of our solution has been to simplify Lesley's routine and not allow her to be over scheduled. This week, I'd like to fill you in on the role of Lesley's ADHD medicine. I don't want to portray ADHD medicine as a necessary evil or the root of every health problem. I also don't want to go to the other extreme and say the medicine was all we needed to fix ADHD. Neither extreme opinion is verifiable. Interestingly enough, last week … [Read more...]

Notebook Checks and ADHD

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I'm not sure there is anything worse for our kids than the dreaded notebook check. In case you're not familiar with them, brace yourselves. They're headed your way. Many teachers, starting in Middle School but especially in High School, require kids to keep all papers associated with their class in an organized notebook. There are usually sections for warm-ups (the work kids do as they enter class), homework, tests and quizzes, classroom notes, and classwork. At an announced - or un-announced - time, the children are supposed to show their neat and orderly file of papers to the teacher. … [Read more...]

ADHD Medicine Melodrama

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I would like to tell you that medicines to correct ADHD-Inattentive are great, and that once our daughter started meds that she immediately began feeling focused, organized, confident, and successful. Yet if that's all I told you, it wouldn't be the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Although Lesley was initially diagnosed in fourth grade, we survived without medicine until she was in sixth grade. Because Lesley's my third child and not the first, I wasn't overly concerned. I just knew that she would outgrow her ADHD tendencies soon enough. Unfortunately, the outgrowing didn't happen … [Read more...]

Timing’s Everything for an ADHD Child

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Kayla may have shared with you about how she almost kept Mike out of kindergarten for a year to let him start a year later. She and I have been discussing this issue lately because many kids (ADHD or not) benefit from maturing a bit before they start their school careers. What Mike ended up doing was taking a gap year after his first year of college. It looks like Kayla’s instincts about holding him back a year were accurate – he just ended up taking the time a little later than anticipated. We have our own timing story. When Lesley was 4, she started kindergarten in Maryland. It wasn’t my … [Read more...]

Three Tips For Managing Homework Headaches

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After the post about Ron and his college homework, you're probably ready for some positive hints on homework...and thanks to Alana Morales - here they are: Three Tips For Managing Homework Headaches! In my neck of the woods (or desert, as it is), we are gearing up for the second quarter of school. This semester, I have experienced teacher battles, homework nightmares and medication debacles. All in all, a pretty normal school year for an ADHD family, wouldn't you say? One of the things that I have found myself doing is reevaluating my homework processes and making changes based on the … [Read more...]

A Homework Nightmare

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Last week in the newsletter, I mentioned that all of our kids had come home for the weekend - Ron with college homework in tow. While he was taking a break, I read him an article I wrote back when he was in the tenth grade. Read, it, multiply it by four, and you'll understand why I'm able to write stuff like Waking Up from the Homework Nightmare and Focus Pocus! "Did you wash jeans? My Algebra assignments were in my pocket." Sure enough, crumpled up in the trash was a freshly laundered yellow sticky note, with penciled assignments too faded to read. So he pored through the Algebra II … [Read more...]

Three Tips for … Surviving Math Homework – by Alana Morales

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Don't let the headline get to you. For some kids, math comes easy to them. Then there are the rest of us. Not to be stereotypical, but math can pose some special difficulties for our ADHD kids. ADHD kids have a tendency to have difficulties with math facts, processing word problems and even following the order of operations. Special skills can help ease these troubles. Here are three tips to help your kids survive and thrive math this year. 1. Make it fun. I know I keep saying this, but make the math fun. Despite common belief, you can make it fun. Let them do math facts online. … [Read more...]

Three Most Important Ways to Take Charge of Your Child’s Education

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Today's blog post features a couple of things specifically for families with children or adults with ADHD. The first is an article written especially for our newsletter by Alana Morales, the author of Domestically Challenged: A Working Mom's Survival Guide to Becoming a Stay at Home Mom. In addition to being a writer, Alana is also a veteran English teacher and the mom of two ADHD kids. Despite being an English teacher, she dearly values her Psychology degree and is impressed at how often it comes in handy. You can learn more about Alana at her website, www.AlanaMorales.com. One of the … [Read more...]