Tips for Helping Kids Manage School

bored_kidSchool is far too often the place where a child’s ADD creates the most trouble.  The teachers are overworked and underpaid so many problems get neglected.  On the other hand, a lot of kids with ADD can also have behavioral difficulties and teachers are paying so much attention to those that there is little time left for dealing with issues of learning and succeeding.  Can you arm your child with skills that can compensate for his difficulties?  Absolutely!  And most of the techniques are easy to implement!

1.  Sit in front of the class. Kids who sit in the very front row of a class are leas likely to be distracted by what’s going on behind them.  They are better able to participate in class discussions because they are more likely to be called upon to answer questions, hand out papers, write on the chalkboard, etc.  When their attention does drift, it’s easier for the teacher to catch their eye and pull them back “in” without having to constantly reprimand them in front of classmates.
2.  Develop a relationship with teachers. Let them know about your child’s special needs and how you are trying to address them at home.  This will put you and the teacher on the “same page” so that there is a sense of continuity to your child’s structure.  Develop a system through email whereupon you can communicate with her often without taking too much of her time.
3.  Teach your child to keep a schedule. Help her develop a system that works for her in order to keep track of things that need to be done now, later, etc.  Teach her to prioritize her time so that she doesn’t feel so overwhelmed.  One way to do this is have her list all of her assignments and then put a quantity of time (e.g., 30 minutes) that she thinks it will take her to complete them.  Pick those items that need attention first and break them into small, accomplishable tasks.  As she begins to see that she indeed has enough time, she will relax and become more focused.
4.  Don’t be afraid to write in books. While many of us were taught not to write in books, this is an excellent technique for kids.  Teach them to highlight portions of a book that the teacher is reviewing so that when he studies at home, he will instantly see the most important material.  Some schools don’t allow this practice because books are turned in to the school at the end of the year.  If this is true for your school, it might be worth the extra cost to buy the books so that your child can succeed.
5.  When reading chapters for homework, read the chapter summaries first. This gives a kid the chance to see what is considered the most important material to be learned from a chapter so that she can focus on that.
6.  Check your work, and then check it again. For the ADD child who tends to be rushed and neglectful of details, this is an important skill to learn.  Many errors are created out of carelessness and impulsivity.  Catching them will not only improve your child’s grades, but provides another opportunity for him to review what’s been done.
Just implementing these six suggestions should make a world of difference to your child.  The key is to do these things frequently and consistently!  Not only will he benefit now, but he also will likely take these skills well into adulthood, thereby ensuring even more success!