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Planning and Research Strategies for Students

April 11, 2012

Laura’s Blog Entry

We are three-quarters of the way through a wonderful school year for Mari. For anyone new to the blog, our daughter is 13. She was diagnosed with ADHD at age 7 and we’ve been working with this challenge ever since.

The early years were brutal; I’ll be honest. The bad days are few and far between now. One of the reasons for this is that we moved her to an alternative school this year. It is a ala carte program for homeschoolers. Mari takes a full schedule of classes, but some students take as few as one class. The flexibility is fantastic. Anyway, it’s been a great place for her to learn and grow and come into her own. She working harder than she ever has before, but is also happier than ever. It’s a combination we only dreamt was possible.

We’ve employed a couple of new strategies, and I thought it might be nice to share them here for anyone else who might what to give them a try.

The first is a goal list. I saw this online and made up a version on posterboard. Here’s a fun tutorial with instructions for making it. My kid loves sticky notes. If you do too it might work for you!

She recently used the list for a school history project. The goal was to turn it in by spring break. She broke down the tasks and set her own deadlines. This was big, folks. We’ve been working on this skill for years. A big project can be so overwhelming. Being able to decide how to break it down is challenging. She nailed it!

The other tool we made is based on a research system her literature teacher taught them for doing a research paper. It uses an ordinary manila folder.

But we don’t do ordinary! Neil decorated it with a Doctor Who theme. Cause every little bit helps! The front cover becomes a list of resources.

The inside of the folder has pockets. Index cards are stored here for each topic within the project. The whole thing is laminated so that dry erase markers can be used for the topics, etc. Wish I’d had this in college. For real.

Like everything concerning ADHD, you never know what coping strategy is going to click. These did for us, so I hope you might get some use out of them as well. Feel free to decorate your folder in any style that floats your boat. Or flies your Tardis, so to speak. 🙂

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