Category Archives: ADD & ADHD (Attention Deficit *Hyperactivity* Disorder)

Will Midterm Grades be disappointing?

As time draws near for midterm grades, are you prepared for what you might see?  Is your child afraid to show you his/her grades because they know you will be disappointed? What can you do to support your child in improving those grades when you think he/she may just not be applying his/herself?

First, ADHD/ADD  is real for many students.  The older the child the harder it is to realize this.  You may hear “he’s just lazy and doesn’t apply himself” or “he never turns anything in”  or the child constantly says “I forgot to bring my homework home or couldn’t remember what it was.”  THESE ARE REAL ISSUES regardless if diagnosed ADHD/ADD or not.  On the other hand, because you may hear these comments does not mean your child has ADHD/ADD.  That diagnosis can only be determined by a trained physician.  So what now?  Think back your school day and how your parent would have reacted to a less than favorable grade or comment.  What would you have liked to hear from your parent if you had a less than favorable grade?

  1. It is perfectly acceptable to be disappointed. How you react will play a huge part in how well your child will perform in the future.  State your disappointment in a non- confrontational  way.
  2. Ask your child why they believe their grades are low? (you will probably hear “Because their teacher doesn’t like them.” :o)  This is also the time to say something positive about their performance in some area.
  3. Ask your child to show you their binder or folder for the class in question.  Do they even have one? Is it organized? Do they have their graded work in there somewhere, even if not organized?
  4. Ask your child to describe a normal day in the class in question.  Listen to see if there is an agenda posted, if they have time to work in class, if they forget their materials in their lockers but can’t go get the.  Take notes if you need to.
  5. If the teacher has not contacted you to give you a heads-up before this point, ask to speak to the teacher and outline what you would like to be made aware of. (Good or bad but again in a non demanding way)
  6. Help your child get organized with folders and supplies.  I tape index cards to clients’ binders with a checklist of supplies to retrieve from their locker before ever stepping in class.  Included on this card is using the restroom so they don’t leave class which upsets many teachers.
  7. Make sure your child understands your expectations.  Let them know it is ok to ask for help. It’s ok to NOT understand, it’s ok to feel frustrated but they cannot give up. They must notify the teacher or yourself so you can work on strategies to help.  Start talking to them now (regardless of age) about the importance of grades in the future.

Lastly, please understand if your child has difficulty with reading, then EVERY other subject will be difficult. Attending to reading deficiencies is the first step in improving grades.

If you need further explanation of any of the above strategies, please shoot me an email.  I would be happy to go into greater detail.

Midterms are a great wake up call for students and parents alike.  Students begin to see what each teacher’s workload will look like and parents will see what type of communication they will have with each teacher.  I will post later on how to approach a teacher as a team member of your child’s educational path.

Study Skills are a lost art.

Study skills is a lost art in many schools today. It’s more like 40 minutes in this class and 40 minutes in the next class and so on so on all day long.  Students are forced to learn study habits on their own and many don’t even know that there is a skill to studying!

One controversial topic regarding studying is whether a student really needs absolute quiet, or needs to sit upright in a chair.  Another controversial topic surrounds when studying should it be done?

First, I do not want to dictate or contradict your family rules or beliefs but hey, this is free advice so take from it what you will. I recommend you do your own research to be open to ideas.  Let’s face it, whatever is being done now, isn’t working!

I have five children.  Each had their own study style and none were like what others may deem appropriate.  One of the five, needed total silence, at a desk or table and only on a full stomach.  This typically was after dinner.  Another child (my ADHD child) preferred to have music or some noise in the background, and laid on the bed or even upside down off the couch.  Point being, you need to find what works for your child. Not every child learns in the same manner in a classroom so they won’t learn in the same manner AS a classroom when they are at home.

  • Students with attention problems or short attention spans will do best in retaining information if they study in 20 minute blocks of time.
  • Many students need hands on learning and not just memorizing from a book.  Make a game of the study time if reading is not helping with retention or getting the main idea. Ask me for ideas for your subject.
  • Have all supplies in one area…whether a backpack or a drawer in the house,  have the pencils, index cards, stencils , extra paper.  A wise idea is to ALWAYS have a sheet of poster board hidden somewhere so when it’s 10 p.m. and your child tells you they need a poster by morning, neither of you stress out.
  • Post project dates on a visual and central calendar so you can help your child break big assignments and projects into smaller pieces.
  • Use post’em notes when reading and after 2 paragraphs, write the important idea down.  Use post em notes to write questions to ask the teacher about
  • If handwriting is an issue (and it is with ADHD and other learning issues) ask for a copy of the teacher’s notes.
  • If note taking is an issue for your child,  there are steps the school can take to help

Before going to bed, always double check that all work and books are back in the back pack and by the door.  Many students spend quality time on homework only to wake up late and rush out the door without it.

Any questions about your particular study issue, please contact me.