Sunday, September 7, 2008


That is my response to any question asked of me while I am reading. I possess the wonderful/vexing trait of being able to completely immerse myself in anything I am reading or watching. Paradoxically, I have ADD and also do NOT possess the ability to focus intently on anything that I do not enjoy for long periods of time. Usually more than a few seconds.

Reading, writing, blogging, word puzzles... are tasks to which I can devote undivided attention. Sorting, laundry, organizing fall by the wayside. Frequently.

So it shouldn't come as any surprise that J.T. also has trouble paying attention. I was nodding my head while reading Stomper's post about Climber at school. We started the school year with a note home from his teacher about daydreaming. Like me, he is an A student. Bright enough to get by, but in a small enough class that his teacher notices when the other kids begin their word assignments and J.T. is still staring off into space, engaged in a virtual super hero vs. villain battle for the ages. Had I not come through school in the age of 30 plus kids in each class, I would probably have gotten more notice from my teachers as well. I daydreamed my way through Math, was quite attentive for Social Studies and Reading and perhaps Science... depending on the subject matter. His teacher has commented that he was completely focused and interacted during a lesson on Chameleons, but tuned out for the phonics session and wasted his morning time instead of going to the library for a new book.

It isn't fun getting notes home every other day, but I think in the long run, we will be glad that he has a teacher who holds him accountable, even if daydreaming is just part of who he is. I have had to learn some strategies to help me focus on things I don't enjoy doing like starting each day with a list detailing all of the mundane, easy to forget tasks I need to complete. He needs to start learning to cope with it now.

Believe me, I understand the frustration his teacher must experience everyday as she asks him, probably hundreds of times, to pay attention, focus, complete x or y. Rob and I spend each morning reminding him repeatedly to brush his teeth, put on his shoes, his shirt... Wait! You've got it on backwards again! Put on your socks, your shoes. Ready? WAIT! Your shorts on backwards.... again!

So hopefully, we'll make improvements this year. I say "we" because every parent knows that education is very much a "we" undertaking. And I could probably use a little more focus myself.


M said...

I think JT, Climber and PL share some of the same traits regarding attention at school.

At least you're getting notes home. I notice these traits in PL but don't get notes home because, frankly, there are many kids in his class much worse that his teacher needs to concentrate on.

And yes, every morning we have to give Multiple instructions are simply ignored, misheard, forgotten.

Stomper Girl said...

Oh Melinda I identified so much with this, I get so immersed in a book too that I can't hear and I really feel like I'm being dragged back up to the surface when someone interrupts me. Allegedly Climber is very engaged when he likes the subject matter, like PE and art or music or dance. It's stuff that seems like boring old work that has him tuning out. Or boring old instructions to get out of the house of a morning. Lucky for our boys, they have such noticing, bossy mothers, really. Well, I tell myself that anyway.

bluemountainsmary said...

You - me.

Me - You..

JT - Will

Will - JT

In our habits and responses.

Anonymous said...

Pip is 14. Every morning we say - get out of bed (repeat x6), have you brushed your teeth (repeat x4), have you done your hair (reapeat x4), hurry up (repeat x12), five minutes til we leave (countdown 4, 3, 2, 1), we're walking out the door, don't forget your shoes.

Did I say he's 14? If you work out how to change your boy I'd love to know your methods - otherwise I say...

Long live the daydreamers!

Rob said...

Hey, as long as he isn't nailing puppies to posts for fun then everything else can be worked out in time.

I might have daydreamed about super-heroes and Star Wars myself when I was his age.....or yesterday.....or this morning.

caramaena said...

I think my parents would have received notes too - had there been less kids in the classroom. I remember well how I got through boring lessons - hiding a book under the desk - so it looked like I was concentrating on the work. Was caught out once though...

I mostly got the 'could apply herself more' on the report cards.

Fairlie said...

I think it's fantastic that you're getting notes home. How great to have a teacher who cares enough to do that.

(And if it's any consolation, I have to do the 'say and repeat' in the mornings too!)

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map