07 Oct Survival Tips for School
In honor of October being National ADD/ADHD awareness month, I thought I’d share some tips and tricks that helped our ADD household survive the school year.
Our household was actually a mixed bag of learning complications that we worked through over the years: ADD w/inattention, ADHD, Dyslexia, Visual Processing Disorder, extreme auditory learner (in a visual household)…there are possibly a few more that I’m starting to repress for my own sanity. Kind of LOL but kind of not. Those were some tough years. And praise God I can say “were” because we officially closed that chapter of life in May 2020.
If this is your world right now, I know your pain, and I am here for you, and I want to help.
Here are a few of the tried and true tips that helped us survive.
If your student has trouble keeping his/her attention to the work in front of them, set the book or paper on top of a yellow piece of paper. Make sure the yellow is visible from behind the paper or book. Yellow draws attention. For signs or note cards, black writing on yellow paper is the most attention-grabbing color contrast.
If your student has trouble turning in their assignments, try a homework folder. We made it the first folder in their binder and designated the first pocket. After they finished their assignments, clip them together by class and placed them in class order in the homework pocket. I would even put a post-it note with the class name or period on it. It took a little bit of coaching for our ADD children to remember to look at that pocket at the beginning of each class, but it eventually paid off. Some teachers were nice enough to remind him to check the pocket.
The smell of peppermint stimulates focus. This is something I read and tried with my oldest son. It worked some, but it wasn’t foolproof. If it was a class that was particularly…unappealing, (Trig) nothing worked. If you want to try it, you can make up an aroma-therapy sprayer or necklace, something easy for your child to access. The best thing to do is to talk to the teacher for the best way to implement this.
Having been on both sides of working with students with ADD/ADHD, I can say with full confidence that communication is essential. Work it out with the teacher to stay on top of the assignments. And as your student gets older, make sure you are helping them take ownership of keeping up with their work. You may feel like you are bothering the teacher, but you need to advocate for your child. The teacher has multiple students to keep track of, so you need to be the instigator of conversation. Keep in mind that the teacher has many students to work with and supply alterations for, so be respectful when contacting them. Chances are if you are feeling frustrated, so are they.
If you are a teacher, please be sensitive to the parent when discussing the performance of their child. Parents will be defensive when you use words like lazy, or they at all feel like their child is being verbally attacked. Truth be told, there is a little bit of laziness with an ADD/ADHD as with any child, but that is not the driving factor, and it’s not helpful to bring it up. I know it’s frustrating to try to get the ADD student to complete assignments but don’t let that frustration come across to the parent.
There are a multitude of tips and tricks for every learning difficulty and learning style, but these are the tried and true for us.
Do you have any tips or tricks that worked for your family?
What was the most beneficial thing you did to help your student?
What songs or Bible verses encourage you during the school year?
We’d love to hear from you! Comment below and join the conversation.
Relatable Bible Verses: Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 55:22, Psalm 68:19
Susan E. Greenwood is a wife, a mother, and a mother-in-law :D. She has over 28 years experience in youth and children’s ministries. Susan loves to write blogs, articles, devotionals, and curriculum. She has blogged for bible.org, and authors Mary Demuth, Lynn Cowell and Ruth Schwenk. Susan writes regularly for skitguys.com. Her passion is to help people live their Life In Stride with the Word of God.