I wanted to tell a short story today about a fairly new student I have. He came to me, 4th grader, with mom worrying about being told that he had attention problems, and maybe that he needed to see someone to help with that. I always do a free consultation, so I talked with mom and the student and got him set up to come and see me twice a week. I wanted to work with him myself to see exactly what was going on with this sweet child.
His first day he came, and started working right away. I helped him through his math and it was very apparent to me that one thing that he needed was help understanding the math terms in the problems he was working on. It is hard to do a math problem when you don't understand the question. We went over the names of angles, and shapes, and reviewed some clock problems, and before you know it, the hour was over. We had worked through the whole hour, and surprise, surprise, no attention problems. He was right with me the whole hour. Even better, he was happy and smiling at the end of the hour, and didn't want to leave.
That has continued and each time he comes, he learns more and more and gets less and less confused.
His mom, of course, asked me what I thought about his "problem", and I told her that I did not see that problem. Yes, he needed help, but only to help him clear up and understand his schoolwork. She was relieved, of course. Unfortunately, this happens with my students a great deal of the time. Confusion, not understanding, and feeling overwhelmed creates things that look like attention problems. Too much, too fast, for example, in math, can devastate a child. Symptoms of this can be bad behavior, dullness, won't do their homework, and even sickness. Stomach aches, headaches, and generally not feeling well can occur because of feeling lost in a subject. Not wanting to go to school, is a big one!
Remedies, let's see! If your child is drowning in a subject, talk with him. Ask him or her when he felt good about the subject! When was math okay! You may be surprised at the answer! I asked a little boy that question who was in 3rd grade, regarding his reading, and he told me the last time he liked reading was in kindergarten! That will be your start point. Go back and see where your sweetheart went off the rails. Slowly check what he has learned from that point forward. Watch his or her face! You will get your answers from there also! When you a get a happy, relaxed little face and demeanor, you have hit the jackpot! It may take some time to accomplish this, but it is so worth it! One of the most beautiful sites there is, is a child who has that glow of understanding and feels so good about themselves.
As always, I am here for questions and concerns. Below is my contact information. I would love to hear from you.