<![CDATA[My Site - Blog]]>Fri, 08 Jan 2016 14:22:15 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[A Homework Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD (or anyone who is tired of sitting!)]]>Fri, 16 Jan 2015 00:54:40 GMThttp://www.blossomot.com/blog/a-homework-survival-guide-for-kids-with-adhd-or-anyone-who-is-tired-of-sitting So your child comes home with homework; all day long they have been encouraged to sit still and be quiet and now you have to coerce your child to do the same. Quite often bribery, threats or even tears ensue. Well no more…here are some multi-sensory ideas to ease the pain.

An interesting thing to consider is that a major difference between the top performing education system (Finland) and ours, is the amount of time spent taking a break and moving around.  Finland gives students approximately 75 minutes of recess daily, while many of our schools allow just 27 minutes of free time to move a day (this is outrageous but a discussion for another day). SO, building movement into homework kills so many birds with one stone; your child gets to move and using their whole body (multi-sensory learning) helps accelerate learning.

Need to work on spelling words? 
Spell words out loud while:

  • Bouncing a tennis ball
  • Playing balloon volleyball
  • Playing catch
  • Swinging
  • Jumping rope (Coupling a rhythmical movement with a memorization task actually improves recall)
Have ‘read aloud’ each night?

Read aloud while walking around the room. At every comma, you stop walking and pause in the reading for one second before resuming walking and reading. At every period, exclamation point, or question mark, you stop and pause in the reading for two seconds before resuming. (You can add other movements or features when you encounter different types of punctuation. Here the kids can become very imaginative!)*

Working on skip counting?

  • Jump while counting on the trampoline
  • Swinging while counting on a swing
  • Choreograph a short dance routine that includes simple moves and count on the beat!
  • Use chalk to make a big number line on the sidewalk or driveway. Do addition and subtraction by walking the line.
Silence is overrated!

How about some ’thinking’ music in the background? Choose carefully.  Rhythmical drumbeats are very calming and organizing, and helps maintain attention.  Some classical strings can tap into higher level thinking skills.  DO NOT put on music with an irregular beat (this promotes inattention and distractibility).

Take it outside

How about interspersing answering some homework questions with 5 minute intervals on the playground/swing-set.  Use a timer so you can stay on track.

Switch up the seat

As long as you are armed with a clipboard who says you need to sit on a chair and work at a table?  Dig out an exercise ball and gently bounce while working through the worksheet. Lie on the floor propped up on elbows, or, my favorite for the serious mover is standing on a balance board and completing the assignment.

Heavy work

The most organizing and attention inducing activities are those that involve resistive or compressing actions on our major joints, simply put, pushing and pulling activities.  These could include climbing a rope, ladder or cargo net, tackling the monkey bars, wheelbarrow walks, tug-of-war, push-of-war, riding a bike.  These activities would be excellent to incorporate into homework time.

<![CDATA[Dyspraxic?]]>Tue, 07 Jan 2014 01:00:12 GMThttp://www.blossomot.com/blog/dyspraxicAt the age of 16 I was delivered to an educational psychologist, sat down and took a test, various tests actually. I had forgotten all about it until I read an article today in the website of the Guardian’s Comment is Free. The headshrinker told me that the reason I hadn’t been doing well at school was because I was dyspraxic and that I needed to organise myself better. I ignored him, didn’t really know what he expected me to do and more than anything didn’t really believe it mattered as if this was the case then I still simply had to live with it.

Now I am feeling the strain. I have felt it before but didn’t associate my feelings of frustration with my own performance at work with this so called “dyspraxia”. I miss things, obvious things that are easy to spot, I find it hard to deal with coding and I feel…like there is a block on me when it comes to carrying out certain tasks. Frustration is the word, it’s a really descriptive word for how I feel. I find myself zoning out when I am supposed to be carrying out certain tasks. Like when it comes to remembering short term things I…forget, so I write things down (after being told to by my more than patient boss….cheers mate) but then forget to check the list. I forget more than that, when I am in the middle of a task I forget what that task is. It takes me some time to remember once again what it is. It frustrates me.

The tasks at work are really simple to be honest. Once you know what you are doing you wouldn’t have any trouble carrying them out. Yet I do, even the most simplest of tasks. It makes me angry with myself, even writing an email in the correct format turns out to be too hard more often than not. I get in trouble when I get it wrong and I have no reason or excuse.

I am reminded of other jobs I have done, most notable a couple of months at Jane’s. I had problems there too, I couldn’t seem to get things right they had a system for saving articles on the computer but I kept getting it wrong. I kept making the most simple of spelling mistakes and submitting work with elementary problems which I had missed despite checking sometimes several times. Their patience with me was limited, my strongest memory was returning home and throwing things around in my anger. Anger mainly directed at myself.

Then there was school, by the age of 15 I regularly bunked sports lessons unable to explain to the other kids how it was that I often missed the football when attempting to kick it, they were arseholes about it, I hated myself for it. Now I miss the golf ball instead of the football and refuse to play any kind of sports in front of anyone, but it’s only as I write these words that I put all the pieces together.

So now I know that I have trouble fir the reason of a little known learning disability. So what? I still have to go to work tomorrow and for the rest of my life. I can hardly go in there and say I am unable to work. Which is kid of a catch 22 because who is more likely to read this than my workmates anyway? (hi guys).

The real problem is it feels like laziness or making excuses for doing shoddy work and I’m really not sure how to correct it. People have been very, very patient with me but that patience won’t last forever and I am going to have to figure out a way of overcoming. Or becoming rich through my writing. Were I a cynical man I would comment on my ability to put together this piece without a single mistake in it.

Maybe I am just making excuses, maybe I am just too lazy to work properly.