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JanYOUary: It's All About You...Well Kind Of

As a parent of a child with a learning difference or dyslexia, you have a lot of responsibility and people depending on you. There will be great days, where you see how truly unique and wonderful your child is. But the reality is that there will be some bad days, tears, arguments, and frustration.

With that being said, I wish I could say, “Hey, take some YOU time!” That’s not the most realistic approach, even though it sounds wonderful. JanYOUary is all about your kiddos and how they depend on you for love, support, strength, and daily necessities.

Start the year off by getting your children organized. These tips work for adults too, and especially for those of us who have attention issues or kids with attention issues.

1. Do regular backpack checks. Pick a day every week to help your kids clean up and organize their backpack. Teach them what is necessary and unnecessary to take to school and to bring home. Eventually, and hopefully, they will be able to do it on their own soon enough!

2. Plan ahead! Teach your kids to lay out their clothes the night before, pack up their backpack and homework, so the next morning is a breeze. Review what they need to do the next day and even the next week.

3. Create a homework space. This is so important for kids to have a distraction free space they can go to where they can get their homework done.

4. Chunk tasks and to-do’s. Breaking up school projects and chores is very important, especially if your child is dyslexic. A huge project all at once can be very intimidating. Allowing them to see a ending point is important for motivation and to avoid getting overwhelmed.

5. Establish daily routines. Get on a schedule! Simple as that.

6. Make checklists. Teach your kids to write down what they should be doing. Include chores, homework, and goals. Put this in a place where they will see it often.

7. Work on time-management. This skill is something that they will need to master as they become adults and their independence increases. When your child has a task, ask him to estimate how long it will take to complete. After it’s completed, have him gauge how far off he really was. This will teach him to make adjustments in the future.

8. Use organizers. If your child is at an appropriate age for organizers, use them! Show them how to take notes, jot down ideas, highlight important to-do’s, etc.

9. Create fun ways to remember things! For instance, Never Eat Soggy Waffles helps kids remember North, South, East & West. You could do this for all sorts of things, like everything they need before leaving the house in the morning (Homework, Lunch, Backpack: Howie Likes Bubblegum). Utilize music, pictures, cartoons and more.

10. Color code…not only is this easy, but it’s a great visual for kids. Color code subjects in school, or tasks by importance.

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