This "Helpful Tips" page will list some helpful things I've used in my classrooms over the years to help students with many different learning needs.  It is a work in progress; tips will be added periodically.  They may work for your child "as is" or you may need to change something to better fit your child's needs.  Please email me at patriciaj@newegypt.us if you have any questions or have a tip of your own to share!
    -Many children benefit from visual supports to help them understand what is going on at home or in school.  Try making a picture schedule of the things your child has to do to get ready in the morning or to get ready for bed at night.  Your child can check off the things as he/she completes them, putting him/her in control while giving them a visual reminder of what they have to do.
    -Use a timer.  Kids love "beating the clock."  If your child has difficulty moving along, set a timer for a reasonable amount of time, and tell them they can try to beat the clock. 
    -To help develop handwriting skills, use a variety of writing utensils for practicing.  Your child may not be very excited to practice with a pencil, but if you try markers, shaving cream, colored pencils, soap crayons in the bathtub, chalk on the sidewalk, water-soaked paintbrushes outside the house, etc., he or she may be more interested in practicing writing.  All of those "big" movements to make letters and numbers will help develop muscles for the smaller movements of handwriting.
    -Make sure your child has an organized place to put his/her school things and to do homework.  There should be supplies available so he/she doesn't get distracted searching around the house for things that might be needed.  You can try putting together a special "Homework Tools" box that your child gets to pick out, decorate, and fill with pencils, crayons, scissors, tape, a ruler, colored pencils, etc.
    - If your child seems unfocused or overwhelmed when working on worksheets with several things on them, try blocking the rest of the sheet with post-it notes or sheets of paper so he/she only has to focus on one area of the worksheet at a time.
    -During homework, allow some movement breaks.  This can be as simple as getting up to take a walk to the other side of the house and back, getting a drink of water, taking the dog for a quick walk around the yard or down the driveway, or setting the table for dinner.  These breaks can actually help your child stay focused while working. We all take breaks sometimes, don't we?
    -Read, read, read!!!! Read aloud to your child from books (of course!) but also from other things around the house.  Children love to help follow recipes while cooking, follow directions to make a craft, read articles in a children's magazine, or figure out clues in a scavenger hunt.  These types of "fun" reading will not seem like work to your child, but he/she will be practicing reading.  Let your child see you reading "for fun" as well.