Jump to content


I've been shortchanging DS.... best way to lengthen lessons?

Recommended Posts

I am cross-posting this on the Curriculum board too, but I know you lovely ladies have the best advice geared towards LD kids. Plus, you all gave me much to think about in my last post about how long our lessons are. Too short, was my realization. :o



After much thought, I feel that I have been shortchanging DS by not pushing him to his limit with schoolwork. He has fairly severe LD's and ADHD, and so learning is a huge challenge for him (well, just about everything is a huge challenge for him). Because of that, I've been letting him slack off, and I often think "well, that's too hard for him" and so I don't push him. And not surprisingly, he is now fairly lazy, and not at all interested in doing anything that requires actual work or thought.


Anyway, I have our curriculum and schedule set up. In several subjects, I plan on greatly increasing our daily lesson time. I know it would be too much to just announce "we are now going to do twice as much math per day as we used to", but I'm wondering how best to go about lengthening daily lessons. A minute per day? Per week? Use a timer?


Anyone else decided to greatly increase school time? How did you make the change?

Michelle T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Add 10 minutes to your usual math lesson. Wait 2 weeks then add 10 minutes to another subject. I don't know that I'd use a timer, but instead just plan your lesson out with the thought in mind that you want him on task for an extra 10 minutes, or so. I'd let him know ahead of time that you will be doing this. Tell him as he gets older your expectations need to increase. I would expect that, at least initially, he'll complain or fuss when the lesson passes your usual time limit. I would bet that his performance will diminish for that last 10 minutes, as well. Give him some time to get used to the increased expectation, then up the ante, again. Save any easy part of the lesson for the last thing he does.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adjusting expectations takes a lot of time and work. I think the gradual method that Stacy suggested would be best.


My kids know (this is our 8th year of hs) that they should absolutely never expect to do anything fun before lunch! O.K...That was a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the picture. Mornings are for school only. No electronics, pretend games, etc. until all work is done. You can't impose that immediately, you have to work up to it.


(BTW, I fulfill my part of the bargain by also just doing school from 8 to 12. No phone calls or projects...I am there to teach, coach, check, monitor, etc.)


We do still use the timer, even in 5th grade. If he is working hard and hits 50 minutes on a *very difficult* math lesson, I let him finish it the next day. Math is our biggest potential blow-up, so I monitor that much more closely than I do grammar or writing.


We also do the math and language first. Then listening to a history story or doing a science project almost seems like fun, or a break, from the seatwork.



Holly S

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to be the "announce a change and the rationale for the change" type and then do it. That said, I wouldn't do everything at once. From my research 20 min. segments are quite optimal for kids with ADHD. I will allow a break at that point; however, if ds is still working well, I won't interrupt for a break. I just let him work. We do take several breaks a day. A break consists of going to the bathroom (otherwise ds either uses "I have to go!" to get out of work, or becomes aware suddenly when he isn't engaged in something interesting--don't know which, but it interrupted school too much), getting a drink (maintaining hydration is important for brain function) and some kind of proprioceptive or vestibular input (tug of war, push-ups, tramp, cross-crawls, etc.) Some of the breaks are outside to give him that calming nature break.


This seems to keep him focused without meds for the school day. I have heard that one of the theories of ADHD being co-morbid with mood disorders, ODD, etc. is the strain of trying to attend for too long. I have found that ds can attend with this type of schedule.


He is on target or ahead in most subjects and catching up in writing, so it's not a schedule that is allowing him too much slack. He is 11 too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...