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Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Getting things done


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Mar 14, 2001 at 12:00:01 AM
Subject: Getting things done

I am really enjoying this forum. I have already gotten some great ideas for improving my homeschool assignments. My son who is nearly 12 may be ADD...I have written before...we chose not to test at the time he was in school. I was just reading in the "Teaching" portion of this forum about inattentiveness. This is definitely like my son. Just when I think he is not listening to a word I say he will repeat it verbatim. I try to be creative in his lessons, but it is exhausting to hold his attention. Further, I am at a loss as to how to handle those situations where, we simply butt heads. I want him to do it, he refuses. He gets to a point where he doesn't care what I ground him from, or what privileges or items of his I take away. I must admit up front, that consistency is somewhat of a problem in our house. Although, it is born of this problem (ie one week grounding seems to work the next he could care less). He is an extremely smart, sensitive kid...he often comes to me at the end of a trying day apologizing, promising to be better, expressing frustration at his own behavior. I have been coping with this since he could walk...I keep thinking I am better, then we slide back. I know this is common, but I want to progress! Will I not see it until he is grown?? Am I too impatient? Am I too lenient? Help!! JanetteD

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 28, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

: I teach middle school and it is exhausting to hold the attention of this age group. They are not programmed to sit still and listen. How many hours each day do you devote to in-house schooling? The beauty of homeschooling is that is does not need to be regimented. You don't need to be home all day x five days a week.What are those situations when you butt heads? Is there any pattern to what he resists doing? That would be helpful to know.All I can say from what you're saying here is that it sounds like you're teaching a middle schooler. While middle schoolers progress in their skills, they don't really progress in their complaince while in MIddle School. That's why we have Middle Schools. That age child is remarkably stubborn and willful and they remain that way for several years.As a teacher, I try not to butt heads with them as it only worsens the situation usually. I try to go with their flow a bit as their flow is so strong at this age group.I envy you the ability to call the indoor lesson to a halt and to go outside and do science in real world. I envy your son the opportunity to take art classes in the afternoon at a local art center or go to a film worth seeing. My students would love the ability to have a day without rigid structure to it and to be able to utilize the many learning opportunities that lie outside the classroom.I am really enjoying this forum. I have already gotten some great
: ideas for improving my homeschool assignments. My son who is
: nearly 12 may be ADD...I have written before...we chose not to
: test at the time he was in school. I was just reading in the
: "Teaching" portion of this forum about inattentiveness.
: This is definitely like my son. Just when I think he is not
: listening to a word I say he will repeat it verbatim. I try to be
: creative in his lessons, but it is exhausting to hold his
: attention. Further, I am at a loss as to how to handle those
: situations where, we simply butt heads. I want him to do it, he
: refuses. He gets to a point where he doesn't care what I ground
: him from, or what privileges or items of his I take away. I must
: admit up front, that consistency is somewhat of a problem in our
: house. Although, it is born of this problem (ie one week grounding
: seems to work the next he could care less). He is an extremely
: smart, sensitive kid...he often comes to me at the end of a trying
: day apologizing, promising to be better, expressing frustration at
: his own behavior. I have been coping with this since he could
: walk...I keep thinking I am better, then we slide back. I know
: this is common, but I want to progress! Will I not see it until he
: is grown?? Am I too impatient? Am I too lenient? Help!! JanetteD

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 28, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Greetings Janette,I've been HSing my now 14yo dd for about 15mos and I can relate to the problems you are expressing. We've certainly had more than our fair share of those days too. However, we are slowing finding our way. If you are "schooling at home", that is, using a purchased curriculum, then I would encourage you to try a more eclectic approach or a unit study approach. These approaches allow you to build off your child's interests rather than a prescribed "if you're 11 then this is what you must learn". I use a lot of library books, field trips, community sponsored classes, some textbooks and a lot of free tutorials, interactive websites and lesson plans on the internet. I bought a terrific book entitled HOMESCHOOL YOUR CHILD FOR FREE: More Than 1,200 Smart, Effective, and Practical Resources for Home Education on the Internet and Beyond by LauraMaery Gold. For example, right now she's using a terrific Study Skills program consisting of 24 lessons to which we found the website in this book, she will be beginning a money management video course that I got free, she's using an italic handwriting workbook that she selected and I purchased, she's using an online tutorial to learn about integers and to play math baseball, and at her request, she's reading autobiographies about the Holocaust, etc. Also, something I just began doing with my dd is giving her more ownership of her education. While I still outline what should be done for the day based on her interests (and a few requirements), she is now allowed to do it anytime she wants without me nagging her to get it done. Anything that requires actual teaching by me, she must schedule it for when it's most convenient for me to work with her, otherwise she's on her own although if she has problems, she can always ask for clarification. If she chooses not to do her work that day, she can choose to do it the next day along with that day's work but all privileges (phone, email, tv) are suspended until all the work is completed. The first day we tried this it went beautifully. Of course the second day, she decided to challenge me and did nothing in order to see what I would do. As agreed, I let it pass. But the next day, when she wanted to go rollerblading with the HS group, she didn't get to go. Of course she had a major fit but when she saw I was committed, then she buckled down and got it all done in time to have phone and internet privileges by the evening. The next day she managed her time better and got everything done with time to pursue other interests. These approaches would hopefully allow your son to see learning as an opportunity and a privilege instead of something awful he's made to do.Blessings, momo

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 28, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

The amount of sit down time doing lessons varies. Usually, "school time" is between 8am to 12pm. Recently, I have been giving them their assignments and letting them complete them on their own time. I have one hour scheduled out for each child for 1:1 time (he tends to save all his work for this time). I usually schedule projects (ie cooking, science experiments, hiking etc) for the afternoon. Part of my frustration is that there does'nt seem to be a pattern to our confrontations...it sometimes starts when I ask him to do something and explain it too much (that seems to overwhelm him??). Other times stem around writing. He hates to write so much it is almost impossible to get him to do it. His handwritting is awful. I let him type sometimes. Thanks for the imput. Janette D
: What are those situations when you butt heads? Is there any pattern
: to what he resists doing? That would be helpful to know.: All I can say from what you're saying here is that it sounds like
: you're teaching a middle schooler. While middle schoolers progress
: in their skills, they don't really progress in their complaince
: while in MIddle School. That's why we have Middle Schools. That
: age child is remarkably stubborn and willful and they remain that
: way for several years.: As a teacher, I try not to butt heads with them as it only worsens
: the situation usually. I try to go with their flow a bit as their
: flow is so strong at this age group.: I envy you the ability to call the indoor lesson to a halt and to go
: outside and do science in real world. I envy your son the
: opportunity to take art classes in the afternoon at a local art
: center or go to a film worth seeing. My students would love the
: ability to have a day without rigid structure to it and to be able
: to utilize the many learning opportunities that lie outside the
: classroom.: I am really enjoying this forum. I have already gotten some great

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 28, 2014
Posts: 69138

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

: I venture to say,though, that there is a pattern. Have you shown his "awful" handwriting to anybody? Children who seem to hate to write and who have awful handwriting are often dealing with an underlying fine motor problem that makes writing very hard for them. Without some occupational therapy, forcing children who have these issues to write is like forcing children with asthma to run great distances. It can cause tremendous discomfort and lead the child understandably to resist the task.What does he say about why he blows up? What would he like to be doing differently? You are so fortunate to be able to plan together. I try to do that with my students but the many students I have makes joint planning very difficult. My students and I both long for more of the "give and take" that's possible in home schooling.Does he like computers? There are voice activation programs which can be purchased inexpensively. They don't always work well but he might enjoy the experience of speaking to his computer and having it type out what he says.The amount of sit down time doing lessons varies. Usually,
: "school time" is between 8am to 12pm. Recently, I have
: been giving them their assignments and letting them complete them
: on their own time. I have one hour scheduled out for each child
: for 1:1 time (he tends to save all his work for this time). I
: usually schedule projects (ie cooking, science experiments, hiking
: etc) for the afternoon. Part of my frustration is that there
: does'nt seem to be a pattern to our confrontations...it sometimes
: starts when I ask him to do something and explain it too much
: (that seems to overwhelm him??). Other times stem around writing.
: He hates to write so much it is almost impossible to get him to do
: it. His handwritting is awful. I let him type sometimes. Thanks
: for the imput. Janette D

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 28, 2014
Posts: 69138

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

He definitely has fine motor skills problems. My initial clue that this was going to be a challenge was when he was about 2yrs. He was always trying to accomplish tasks beyond his "developmental stages" (ie tie shoes, button shirt). I guess it is normal to try these things, but he would obsess over them, would not allow anyone to show him how or to help. Then, when he could'nt do it he would become furious. Thank goodness for velcro shoes!! Anyway, he has a hard time really expressing why he blows up...he either says that he doesn't know, he's not a good kid or I shouldn't have asked him to do it in the first place. We have made adjustments together and that has helped...but I'm concerned...the real world is not going to walk on eggs or adjust thier schedules. I am trying to keep real life situation in all his lessons, relating math, english and trying to help him communitcate better. I'd hate to see him loose opportunities because if I had just done this one thing or not let him get away with something. I will check with the local school, they have been cooperative in other areas, maybe they will help with therapy. I know there is alot to it though. Thank you so much!! Janette D: What does he say about why he blows up? What would he like to be
: doing differently? You are so fortunate to be able to plan
: together. I try to do that with my students but the many students
: I have makes joint planning very difficult. My students and I both
: long for more of the "give and take" that's possible in
: home schooling.: Does he like computers? There are voice activation programs which can
: be purchased inexpensively. They don't always work well but he
: might enjoy the experience of speaking to his computer and having
: it type out what he says.: The amount of sit down time doing lessons varies. Usually,

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 28, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

A lot of this sounds just like home!!My beloved daughter, now 18, inherits a number of things from me honestly -- high verbal skills and good academic ability, lousy hand coordination with extremely late hand growth, and a sort of NLD pattern.My daughter started doing things for herself very very early -- ever seen an 18-month-old who insisted on dressing themselves, completely, and who learned how to do a somersault from a neighbour boy? I know, 18-month-olds have large heads and short arms and aren't supposed to be physically able to somersault; tell my kid that. She has always, since birth, firmly decided what she is going to do and then done it. She decided to read at age 2, but couldn't write until 7 or so (I was 4 and 8, so only to be expected) Along the way I decided to take a step back and an objective look, and I realized that the vast majority of her decisions are the best thing for her. I decided to save the confrontations (and we do have some real blowups) for the things that were actually life-threatening or near.Other than that, I suggest activities and options, aim her as much as possible in good directions, and help her when she has made a mistake and gotten herself in too deep into something.In giving her directions and her resisting, there are three problems. Ask yourself if these sound familiar:(1) She may already have an idea in mind. If I have the *same* idea, that ruins the originality of her plans. She insists on doing things for herself, and independence is a good thing even if sometimes wearing to live with. An idea that is old-hat to me may be a new discovery for her, and she doesn't want it put down.(2) She may have an equally good, if different way to do things. I may be thinking of fried chicken, and she may already have decided to make grilled chicken with pepper sauce. If I start telling her to get out the frying pan, that irritates her because she has her own plan in mind and I'm being the second cook that literally spoils the broth.(3) I discovered very early (part of the NLD pattern) that although she is very very verbal and intelligent in many ways, she cannot handle multiple directions **at all**. When she was little, I shut my mouth and treated it as absolutely natural: "Get your boots on, dear. . . Now find your coat . . .Where is your hat?" and so on. She didn't feel she had a problem at all, although her school teachers got frustrated at times (daily). Now she is a young adult in university she has re-analyzed things for herself. We were joking the other day that if I told her to get the Coca-cola and paint out of the car and then start the roast chicken, we would probably end up with coca-cola-paint-chicken soup and paintbrushes in the fridge.Also, she is 18 and her hands are *finally* growing to adult size (mine waited until 15) and she had retinal damage plus the NLD pattern and she does not visualize AT ALL.Does any of this sound familiar? If so, well, some of it you have to learn to live with, and some of it you can take a new viewpoint on, value it and enjoy it.-- Try having your son explain to you what he thinks will help him learn. Maybe he has some fine ideas that will re-organize your homeschooling in a more productive way. Maybe he's like my daughter, a bright kid boiling over with creative ideas that the world isn't ready to accept from a kid.-- What are his strengths? Is he verbal? Logical/problem-solving? Musical? Artistic? Mechanical? Able to construct things? Able to tame any animal? A great skater/skier? Many frustrated kids have a great skill that isn't finding an outlet and is stewing inside them. Any parent can work on one of these, but as a homeschooler you can really take it and run with it. He could spend three days a week on classroom work and two whole days on skiing, for example, if that were his strength. Or he could study with a trombonist from the symphony if he's musical. Or he could build a real treehouse if he's a builder. Or study math way ahead of his grade level with a tutor if he's a logical puzzle-solver. And so on.-- try some unusual and different activities. One example -- many adult local theater groups occasionally need a child to play a part. In this way the child is welcomed into the adult world as a valuable partner. Good for speech, responsibility, memory, organization, self-esteem.-- work *with* him on workbooks etc. Don't leave him sitting alone at the desk staring at a huge job (unless he wants to be alone -- but even then be in calling range, and stop by to see how he's progressing) He may be lost in the directions, or just need the moral support to keep driving himself to do a task that is very difficult for him.-- Give him physical help in writing. Get some markers and liquid-ink pens (so no downward pressure at all is required when writing) and work through an old-fashioned writing or calligraphy book, copying line after line of each basic shape until it is well-trained, and then copying model words and sentences until all the combinations are trained. If necessary, guide his hand at first until he can make the basic shapes properly. Have him do all his work, yes including math, with a marker or liquid-ink pen without having to fatigue and stress his hand.Some people give up on writing and go entirely keyboard; that is a last resort as (a) in the real world you do have to write notes and memos, and (b) fine coordination needs to be learned for many skills, from keyboarding to craft painting to sewing, so it is better to train as much as possible.-- Set reasonable but absolute boundaries. For example, he has to do two pages of the workbook over the next hour; but then he is free to do art or whatever. If he doesn't do the book honestly and properly, no art materials today period. A structure helps NLD kids a lot. Keep things immediate, for a day at a time, both jobs and consequences. He doesn't see beyond that anyway.-- Give only one direction at a time, period. Your complaint sounds so familiar. It takes time to retrain yourself out of giving hints and suggestions and "and then. . ." but it is worth it!-- Double-check that he actually understands the direction given; have him tell it back to you. It is possible that he can't. That could explain a lot of the conflicts and frustration, couldn't it? You may have to actively *show* him what you want done, *one* thing at a time. (Resist the temptation to show one thing and then another and then another.)-- Is he a visualizer or verbalizer or feeler? Copying a shape, does he look at a blank wall and picture what the shape looks like, does he describe it to himself in words, or does he grip the pencil or use a fingertip and model it? If you're giving visualizer directions to a verbalizer (our problem in this house), that's a huge source of miscommunication and frustration. DO NOT decide he thinks one way and use only that path -- he needs to strengthen all three -- but work from his strengths first. Find out what kind of directions he *does* understand, and use them.A grab-bag of ideas; some of these should help. Good luck

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 28, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM

Greetings Janette,Sounds like you have great things going on with your kiddos! Regarding handwriting, at age 11 going on 12 and through most of age 13, my dd also had absolutely awful handwriting - she couldn't even read what she wrote and really didn't care. Just this year (having turned 14 yesterday) she finally decided she wanted to improve her handwriting. We looked at both Handwriting Without Tears and the Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting programs that I have seen recommended at HSing sites. I allowed her to select the one she wanted and she chose the Italic program because it has less loops and is more like connected printing. She has been very diligent and dedicated and has completed about 3/4 of the program. Her new handwriting, while not automatic yet, is beautiful. The key for us is that she finally took ownership of the problem and wanted to correct it.Blessings, momo

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 28, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Mar 14, 2001 12:00:01 AM
Subject:Re: Thanks

I can't say enough good things about this forum. I'm so glad I found it. Thanks for all your great ideas...I feel better already. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again. Janette D
: A lot of this sounds just like home!!: My beloved daughter, now 18, inherits a number of things from me
: honestly -- high verbal skills and good academic ability, lousy
: hand coordination with extremely late hand growth, and a sort of
: NLD pattern.: My daughter started doing things for herself very very early -- ever
: seen an 18-month-old who insisted on dressing themselves,
: completely, and who learned how to do a somersault from a
: neighbour boy? I know, 18-month-olds have large heads and short
: arms and aren't supposed to be physically able to somersault; tell
: my kid that. She has always, since birth, firmly decided what she
: is going to do and then done it. She decided to read at age 2, but
: couldn't write until 7 or so (I was 4 and 8, so only to be
: expected) Along the way I decided to take a step back and an
: objective look, and I realized that the vast majority of her
: decisions are the best thing for her. I decided to save the
: confrontations (and we do have some real blowups) for the things
: that were actually life-threatening or near.: Other than that, I suggest activities and options, aim her as much as
: possible in good directions, and help her when she has made a
: mistake and gotten herself in too deep into something.: In giving her directions and her resisting, there are three problems.
: Ask yourself if these sound familiar: (1) She may already have an
: idea in mind. If I have the *same* idea, that ruins the
: originality of her plans. She insists on doing things for herself,
: and independence is a good thing even if sometimes wearing to live
: with. An idea that is old-hat to me may be a new discovery for
: her, and she doesn't want it put down.: (2) She may have an equally good, if different way to do things. I
: may be thinking of fried chicken, and she may already have decided
: to make grilled chicken with pepper sauce. If I start telling her
: to get out the frying pan, that irritates her because she has her
: own plan in mind and I'm being the second cook that literally
: spoils the broth.: (3) I discovered very early (part of the NLD pattern) that although
: she is very very verbal and intelligent in many ways, she cannot
: handle multiple directions **at all**. When she was little, I shut
: my mouth and treated it as absolutely natural: "Get your
: boots on, dear. . . Now find your coat . . .Where is your
: hat?" and so on. She didn't feel she had a problem at all,
: although her school teachers got frustrated at times (daily). Now
: she is a young adult in university she has re-analyzed things for
: herself. We were joking the other day that if I told her to get
: the Coca-cola and paint out of the car and then start the roast
: chicken, we would probably end up with coca-cola-paint-chicken
: soup and paintbrushes in the fridge.: Also, she is 18 and her hands are *finally* growing to adult size
: (mine waited until 15) and she had retinal damage plus the NLD
: pattern and she does not visualize AT ALL.: Does any of this sound familiar? If so, well, some of it you have to
: learn to live with, and some of it you can take a new viewpoint
: on, value it and enjoy it.: -- Try having your son explain to you what he thinks will help him
: learn. Maybe he has some fine ideas that will re-organize your
: homeschooling in a more productive way. Maybe he's like my
: daughter, a bright kid boiling over with creative ideas that the
: world isn't ready to accept from a kid.: -- What are his strengths? Is he verbal? Logical/problem-solving?
: Musical? Artistic? Mechanical? Able to construct things? Able to
: tame any animal? A great skater/skier? Many frustrated kids have a
: great skill that isn't finding an outlet and is stewing inside
: them. Any parent can work on one of these, but as a homeschooler
: you can really take it and run with it. He could spend three days
: a week on classroom work and two whole days on skiing, for
: example, if that were his strength. Or he could study with a
: trombonist from the symphony if he's musical. Or he could build a
: real treehouse if he's a builder. Or study math way ahead of his
: grade level with a tutor if he's a logical puzzle-solver. And so
: on.: -- try some unusual and different activities. One example -- many
: adult local theater groups occasionally need a child to play a
: part. In this way the child is welcomed into the adult world as a
: valuable partner. Good for speech, responsibility, memory,
: organization, self-esteem.: -- work *with* him on workbooks etc. Don't leave him sitting alone at
: the desk staring at a huge job (unless he wants to be alone -- but
: even then be in calling range, and stop by to see how he's
: progressing) He may be lost in the directions, or just need the
: moral support to keep driving himself to do a task that is very
: difficult for him.: -- Give him physical help in writing. Get some markers and liquid-ink
: pens (so no downward pressure at all is required when writing) and
: work through an old-fashioned writing or calligraphy book, copying
: line after line of each basic shape until it is well-trained, and
: then copying model words and sentences until all the combinations
: are trained. If necessary, guide his hand at first until he can
: make the basic shapes properly. Have him do all his work, yes
: including math, with a marker or liquid-ink pen without having to
: fatigue and stress his hand.: Some people give up on writing and go entirely keyboard; that is a
: last resort as (a) in the real world you do have to write notes
: and memos, and (b) fine coordination needs to be learned for many
: skills, from keyboarding to craft painting to sewing, so it is
: better to train as much as possible.: -- Set reasonable but absolute boundaries. For example, he has to do
: two pages of the workbook over the next hour; but then he is free
: to do art or whatever. If he doesn't do the book honestly and
: properly, no art materials today period. A structure helps NLD
: kids a lot. Keep things immediate, for a day at a time, both jobs
: and consequences. He doesn't see beyond that anyway.: -- Give only one direction at a time, period. Your complaint sounds
: so familiar. It takes time to retrain yourself out of giving hints
: and suggestions and "and then. . ." but it is worth it!: -- Double-check that he actually understands the direction given;
: have him tell it back to you. It is possible that he can't. That
: could explain a lot of the conflicts and frustration, couldn't it?
: You may have to actively *show* him what you want done, *one*
: thing at a time. (Resist the temptation to show one thing and then
: another and then another.): -- Is he a visualizer or verbalizer or feeler? Copying a shape, does
: he look at a blank wall and picture what the shape looks like,
: does he describe it to himself in words, or does he grip the
: pencil or use a fingertip and model it? If you're giving
: visualizer directions to a verbalizer (our problem in this house),
: that's a huge source of miscommunication and frustration. DO NOT
: decide he thinks one way and use only that path -- he needs to
: strengthen all three -- but work from his strengths first. Find
: out what kind of directions he *does* understand, and use them.: A grab-bag of ideas; some of these should help. Good luck

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