"My son is just starting grade 4 and the teacher is expecting him to do more homework than last year. I notice he spends 15 minutes hunting for pencils, or paper clips or something, then when he is finally settled he seems to have no attention span for the assignment unless I sit right there with him, and remind him constantly to get back on task."
I would like to call your attention to a very good web site where you will find suggestions that might help your child stay on task and organize themselves around their homework in some ways that might fit particularly well with how their mind works. Dr. Mel Levine, in his book A Mind At A Time , makes a very convincing case that some schools approach teaching with a "one size fits all" philosophy. But all brains do not work the same way, and some children, maybe all children, do best with strategies which you can help them design which will fit particularly well for them. This web site makes many suggestions your child can choose from.
A strategy not often mentioned but which became very important for one of my children, was to be allowed to listen to music (her choice) during times when she needed to concentrate. This was so contrary to what my parents or teachers ever said that I resisted it strongly. Eventually (years later, she would say!), I observed that for her, it really did work. She was definitely able to concentrate for longer periods of time with what I thought was "awful" music in the background. We tried Mozart but for her, it just didn't work as well. Maybe it will for your child!
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