The school year is starting again with another opportunity to grow academically and personally. For most ADD/ADHD students however the new school year can be intimidating with different teachers and a new schedule. Here are a couple of tips for making the most of the new school year.
- Set your alarm for 30 minutes before you think you need to wake up. This gives you time to find all of the things you need for the day.
- Have a list in plain view of what special item is needed daily. For instance, band is on Tuesdays so you need your instrument; gym is on Mondays so you need a change of clothing.
- Start your day off right with a good breakfast high in protein and low in sugar.
- Get a planner that has enough space to write down assignments yet is small enough to carry around.
- Mark the days off and half days in your planner for the entire year.
- Take the syllabus from the class and mark any due dates in your planner now.
- Keep the syllabus from each class at the beginning of your binder so you can remember what is expected during the year.
- If on a block schedule (classes are every other day), mark the days for the entire year in the planner. Keep another schedule and post inside your locker door.
- If on a block schedule, have two 3-ring binders: one for one day, the other for the other day.
- If classes are every day, keep two 3-ring binders: one for the morning, one for the afternoon.
- Have blank paper in your binder to doodle or draw during class, this will help to keep your focus.
- Taking notes during class will also minimize the distractions and help you to focus (these are not notes that you pass to your friends!).
- Keep a paper clip in your pocket to play with when you get fidgety.
- Minimize bathroom breaks as it takes even longer to regain your focus.
- Most teachers will work with you if they understand your struggle, so be honest with them.
- Bring homework with you to your classes in case you have some free time. School time is the best time to complete homework because your focus is the best.
- Do a physical activity immediately after school, no video games or homework. Save that for later.
- Do homework after a meal and after some physical activity, but before playing.
- Make sure you have a fun activity at the end of the day; this is your down time.
- Go to sleep at regular times whether you are tired or not, routine and proper sleep increases your ability to focus.
While these steps will not guarantee good grades, they can help to improve your performance. More importantly, as you learn to minimize the challenges of ADD/ADHD, your confidence will improve and this may be your best year yet.
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