Here at The Leelanau School we couldn’t let the month of October – ADHD Awareness Month – go by without sharing some of the valuable strategies we have in place to ensure learning is a successful and joyful experience for students with ADHD.
Like Dr. Hallowell, Best Selling New York Times author and world-renowned ADHD expert, says in his 20 Tips For Helping Kids With ADHD Succeed At School , “Most teachers and adults could benefit from pretending that all kids in their class have ADHD – what is good for kids with ADHD is good for all kids.”
We couldn’t agree more!
Here are five of our favorite strategies to help students, especially with ADHD, to thrive at school.
1 – All students benefit from activities that boost the brain body connection, ahem, enter Morning Energize. We start each school day with this knowledge in mind. Students engage in activities that awaken their bodies and brains which is proven to allow them to increase the capacity to enhance attention during the academic day.
2 – And then there are Small Classes, I mean, how could you go wrong with the individualized attention available with an average class size of 6? Not to mention the personal relationships that are fostered in a setting where people are able to speak to each other and get to know each other.
3 – How about the energy and nutrients that students consume. Healthy food is brain food. Fresh, whole foods, prepared from scratch both nourish the mind and soul. Super healthy and diverse meals and snacks throughout the day help to fuel all of the wonderful learning being done.
4 – And then there is sleep. Sleep you say? Why would a school mention sleep when referring to learning? Well, we know that students who get a good night’s sleep are better equipped to focus. That is focusing on work, listening, interactions – everything. Our Residential Life Faculty creates an environment that encourages the right amount of sleep. In the evening students transition into low lights, with lights dimmed and screens put away.
5 – Lastly, we help our student’s with ADHD be organized. Not everyone does this in the same way, but they do it in some way. And we help them find the way that suits them best. Breaking assignments down, using planners, scheduled check- ins with teachers in the Learning Commons, and with other Academic and Residential Life Faculty assures no one falls through the cracks and things get done.
At The Leelanau School we already have the Awareness that ADHD can be tricky and sometimes down right hard, but we also know it can be a gift – A gift of intelligence, creativity, passion, and exuberance that can be channeled in a multitude of ways to allow for amazing things to be accomplished.