Thursday, December 22, 2005

When Kids Don't Want to do Homework

Finally got around to checking out ADDitude, a magazine devoted to ADD/ADHD. Found an interesting tip for getting homework done with the least possible resistance.  The authors suggest encouraging homework following a not very interesting task such as taking the trash out, setting the table, or bringing in the mail. They call it “behavioral momentum.” If you let kids do interesting, fun things first, the resistance to homework is greater.

Same idea would work in the classroom. If your class is going to start learning long division after the holiday, introduce it before you do something fun with the class. You’ll find the on-line version of ADDitude at

My only complaint with ADDitude is its emphasis on prescribing drugs for ADD/ADHD.  I always suggest that parents and teachers try other things first: cutting out sugar, checking for allergies to artificial additives, less television and video games (more on why in another Blog posting—you may be surprised at the answer), more physical activity, setting firm boundaries, following schedules, and of course, Brain Gym. Teachers and parents have found that some children who do Brain Gym on a regular basis can stop taking Ritalin (and similar stimulant drugs) or at least drop down to a lower dose. You can check out Brain Gym at   Obviously you wouldn’t stop the drug or change the prescription without seeing a doctor first.

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