It’s not unusual for 2e children or teens to have weak organization skills and lack an awareness of time, especially of they have AD/HD. If your child has these characteristics, try not to be critical. He or she will need your support and "coaching" in order to be successful in school. Here are ways that you can help your child.
Organizing Household Chores and Responsibilities
Helping to Organize Workspace and Materials for Homework
Parents and kids can work together to:
Helping with Time Management and Awareness
Supporting Your Child with Homework
Working with the Teacher
Ask the teacher for feedback on your child’s progress. Don't assume your child is working on projects at school, even if he is given some time in class to do it. Avoid procrastination and last-minute scrambling to complete projects.
If your child consistently has difficulty keeping up with assignments, turning work in on time, and following through with projects and daily homework, see the teacher! Let the teacher know that this is an area of weakness for your child, and that you want to be in a position to help. Request the teacher's help in making sure all assignments are recorded daily. Then be sure to follow through by reviewing the recorded assignments with your child.
Reinforce with your child the need to not leave school until she checks her assignment sheet/calendar. Make sure she has any necessary books and materials needed to do the homework.
Have your child take the phone numbers of a few responsible students that she can call if there is a question about schoolwork. Ask the teacher to assign a responsible buddy for this purpose. Some accommodating teachers are willing to share their own home phone number.
Be sure to ask the teacher for progress notes that keep you aware of how your child is doing. If you haven't received any communication or feedback for a while, call the teacher or write a note.
If homework assignments seem to be taking an inordinate amount of time and your child is struggling, make an appointment with the teacher. Special modifications may need to be arranged (i.e., shorter assignments; oral rather than written projects; your child dictates and you transcribe for her). Make sure the teacher understands your efforts and the extraordinary difficulty your child is having surrounding homework. If the teacher is unwilling to accept any reasonable adjustments or make modifications, see the administrator.
Encourage your child and emphasize effort as the most important criteria. Praise your child for being on-task, getting to work, and taking responsibility. Give extra praise for accomplishment and progress. Rewards and incentives are appropriate as well as effective.
Adapted from these books by Sandra Rief: The ADD/ADHD Checklist (1998), The AD/HD Book of Lists (2003), and How to Reach & Teach ADD/ADHD Children, 2nd Edition (2005). Sandra Rief is an award-winning teacher, consultant, and author. Sandra has served on the Professional Advisory Board of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). She can be reached at www.SandraRief.com.
This article is reprinted with permission from the 2e Newsletter and the author.
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