What Did You Learn Last Year?

Now is the time to review the last school year with your child and use that knowledge for the upcoming year. You’re looking for the “best practices” – those things that worked really well both at home and at school and that you would like to see continue next year.

If your child has ADHD do you think the teacher clearly understood ADHD and were they helpful in providing strategies for school and home? What were the skills the teacher had that you feel benefitted your child? Good teachers have excellent class management strategies, and are organized so that there is little “down time” in between activities. Teachers are flexible and use positive rather than negative reinforcements. They encourage and stimulate your child’s creative abilities. Teachers that do not understand the neurobiology of ADHD tend to have the opposite effect on children – they dislike school, do poorly and it becomes a struggle all year long.

First, how would you rate this year on a scale of one to five? How would your child rate it? What would make it a five? Think about those things and create your own list together to use for the new school year. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Homework strategies:

Do your child’s grades correspond to the amount of time they spent on homework?

Did they work right up until bedtime?

Did they “multitask” between homework and Facebook?

How much is too much time? (Most towns go by the 10 minute per grade rule – check the handbook)

Routines: Would you give yourself an A or an F?

Updating a master calendar for the family weekly

Having meals planned ahead of time (so you can all eat together)

Making sure your child has time to be a “kid” each day

Preparing for the next day the night before

Weekly backpack clean out and a “get ready” for the week

Things to think about for next year

After school commitments – was your child overbooked?

(Could or would you keep the same kind of schedule?)

How much sleep does your child get? (Teens need between 8.5 and 11 hours)

Are mornings rushed? What can you do to reduce that?

If you do this and plan the beginning of the year using it, you can avoid falling back on some old habits that can creep in if you’re not careful. Together you can make it a great year. For now, enjoy the summer.

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