Structure Work Time

Posted on April 11, 2006. Filed under: Attention/ADD/ADHD |

Some students have a difficult time sustaining attention or working for a long period of time.  Having students work in 15-30 minute increments, with a 5-10 minute break or at least a transition to a different subject can help students even out work performance and know that the end of work time is within reach.

I know some homeschoolers who set school hours between 9 a.m. and noon, working diligently without a break, and then school is done for the day.  For some students with attentional issues, this may be an excellent approach, allowing highly structured academic time with more free unstructured independent time.

Some students, however, require more structure throughout all areas of life in order to keep them from being destructive or getting in trouble.  Providing very short paper work sessions and extended hands-on projects, with freedom of movement rather than sitting at a table or desk can make learning more enjoyable and productive.  Scheduling chores, play time, television time, extracurricular lessons, and monitoring friendship relationships may also be necessary–even into high school years in order to help students with more severe attentional and behavior regulation issues.  Continued training in character traits and social skills can be helpful.  I often hear parents lament that they feel their family life must be extremely structured in order to maintain a peaceful lifestyle.  If you are reading this, and this sounds like your family and child, be encouraged that many parents have gone before you and have wonderful, responsible adult children.  If this is not the situation in your family, please take just a moment to pray for others who may be faced with these issues that their children will respond to their training efforts and that they will feel encouraged as loving parents on the tough days. 

Because each student has a unique set of attentional variables, designing a plan for school work, chores and family responsibilities, and personal choices for free time can be a challenge to balance and maintain.  For more ideas on providing structure, the ADHD Intervention Manual has MANY ideas and is one of the easiest to use resources.  If you would like feedback or someone to brainstorm with regarding your own individual situation, call 1-406-771-0069 or e-mail to schedule a consultation appointment with Sue Hegg.


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