You would be surprised how many parents are tearing their hair out and saying the very same thing about their child or teen. How can the student possibly put so much effort into getting the homework done and then just not turn it in? Mind-boggling! But it happens all the time!
Josh, a freshman, was having that exact problem in most of his classes. He was never late to class, but he was typically a little late tuning-in to the teacher – catching the beginning of the lecture but missing the call for homework. Here’s how he solved the problem, starting with one class and gradually applying it to all classes.
Visualize and Talk It
We had Josh visualize himself going into the classroom and sitting down. As he visualized, he had to tell everything that he was doing – where he walked, where exactly his seat was, where he put his backpack.
Then he pictured and verbalized every step of seeing himself:
- opening the backpack and getting his homework out of his folder
- putting the homework on the left side of his desk
- listening for the teacher’s voice at the start of class
- hearing the teacher tell the class to pass their homework to the left
- passing his paper to Sami who sat on his left
Rehearse Before Bed and School
Before going to bed each night, Josh visualized and verbalized his way through getting his homework turned in. He talked through each detail. He repeated this in the morning before school. After a few days, he no longer needed to verbalize out loud to his mom but was able to go through the process in his mind.
Within a week, Josh was getting his homework turned-in in 3 classes and by the end of 2 weeks, he was getting it in all of his classes.
If done consistently, creating new habits can usually be done in 21 days. Visualizing and rehearsing in our mind is very powerful and particularly before bed, as the brain continues to work on it throughout the night!
When bright students struggle in school, strategies such as this one can be very helpful. Chances are, however, this is not going to solve all of the struggles because the root of most learning and attention challenges lies in weak underlying learning/processing skills such as memory, attention, auditory or visual processing, comprehension, reasoning, or processing speed.
The great news is that most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected by identifying and developing the weak underlying skills and remediating the affected basic academic skills. We have seen this thousands of times over the last 30 years and the brain research in the last 3 decades has proven that the brain can be retrained. If you or your child are struggling with learning or attention, we can help.
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“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”
We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Jill Stowell, M.S.
Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers
#1 Best-Selling Author: At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle, Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities