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What do you do with a distractable child?

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My ds is 7 and gets easily distracted. He's not ADD by any means but sometimes has a hard time concentrating. He has 2 younger brothers that are always making noise so it's not easy to find a quiet place in the house. He's moving into more difficult math that requires more thought and concentration and I can see that he's making simple mistakes because he's losing his focus. I've heard that some kids listen to classical music on headphones while they're doing the work. Has anyone used this successfully or have any other methods that might work?

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I don't have an answer, but my dd is the same! She's never been to school but I always wonder how she'd do in the school environment b/c any little thing is enough to distract her attention from her work. It drives me bonkers!


Of course, it doesn't help that she's got 2 younger siblings running around... :p But if they're not around, she'll find other things to distract her- the birds outside, the computer screen saver. ahhhh.

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Oh man, can I help you with this one! I have two ADD kids - one is hyperactive so I KNEW he was ADD from birth - the other is NOT hyperactive so it took me a long time to figure out I was dealing with ADD. This is to just give you my history; not to say that you're dealing with ADD, of course. Regardless of what you're dealing with, I've learned some techniques to deal with distractability, and I've found a great book to help as well.


First of all, check out this book: "How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and On to Learning" by Carol Barnier. Don't you just love that title? This book is so great because it is FULL of practical teaching techniques for the distractable child. I haven't seen another book like it yet. Loved it, learned from it.


Second, yes, we used the headphones quite a bit. Whatever kind of music the child likes best too. It really helped them to concentrate. Even if you think it would make YOU do anything BUT focus, if the child says it helps him/her focus, try it and see how the work goes. It may very well be the thing to help them buckle down and work.


I used frequent breaks for my child that needed the physical activity. We have a trampoline and that helped quite a bit when he was younger. As long as he knew he got 5 minutes every hour to jump, he could concentrate better the rest of the hour on his work.


Fish oil supplements! Yes, really, this had a tremendous effect on my children. Check out the website http://www.lcpsolution.com. Or the book "The LCP Solution" by Dr. Jacqueline Stordy. When we started Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation it had an amazing effect on how well my kids could concentrate, and this book is all about the wonderful studies that Dr. Story did with this supplementation and the tremendous results that they had with it.


Other techniques I used - one-to-one work for subjects that were especially hard for him, even doing things orally sometimes (I figured, hey, at least his brain is working through the material even if his fingers aren't writing down the results...that's how desperate I was sometimes), letting him/her work on a portable laptop away from the other children...


And the good news is that they've both grown out of this, so much so that I can't remember any more of what I did! But I hope that what I DID remember is a little bit of a help to you.



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