Teaching the Tests for ADHD Student
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016

    Default Teaching the Tests for ADHD Student

    Hi there,

    I'm trying to teach my 12 year-old son some study habits and have decided recently to print out all the questions to his tests in all his subjects, cover up the correct answers, and have him read the questions and take his best educated guess as to what the correct answer is. Then I take his test and grade it on paper first using the answers in the answer keys. Finally, I have him go through the material and find the correct answers for all the questions that he got wrong. Then when he takes the actual tests online, he almost always gets an 80% or above.

    I almost have a moral dilemma about this approach though and sometimes feel as if I'm letting him "cheat." However, his brother who is 2 years younger than he is goes to public school. I've noticed that usually, the teacher does nearly the same thing. He receives worksheets at the beginning of each week with questions on them for each subject. He is supposed to look up the answers to the questions in his material or books. Then on Friday, he is given a test based on the answers to the work sheets. Is this not basically the exact same thing?

    This seems to be the only way I can help my son get through his schooling without a huge fight. He and I both have ADHD and I can understand how difficult it is to get through Social Studies and Math. I've been trying to find shortcuts for him in at least these two subjects. He does great with Language Arts for the most part and is VERY interested in Science even though he still had trouble testing in those subjects until I tried this approach.

    When he's looking up the answers, I teach him how to scan the titles of each section to figure out if the answer to the question might be there. Once we find the likely section, I teach him how to scan for key words. It seems to be helping him get through the material a lot faster than he used to. I think that maybe next, I will teach him how to take notes for each section so he can skip through them a little bit quicker still to find the correct answers. He hates writing however so that is another challenge to overcome.

    All-in-all, am I wrong for teaching him this way? Is this method what public school might call "cheating?"

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Robin's Avatar
    Robin is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Teaching the Tests for ADHD Student

    I wouldn't have an issue with it. As homeschoolers, we are in charge of how we teach or test. If this works for your child and he's learning, sounds like a win to me. I allow my kids to use the notes that took for quizzes.

  3. #3
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Teaching the Tests for ADHD Student

    Hi. I don't want my kids to have to memorize something just long enough to "pass" a test they wouldn't be able to pass a week later. That isn't learning. That's committing trivia to very short-term memory.

    I also let my kids use their notes on tests. Taking notes forces them to pay attention to the lesson, so they can decide what is important enough to write down. Also, taking notes now is great practice for when they go to college (if that is their goal) or even if they are on a committee or need to attend meetings for their future job. Using notes during a test causes the test to become an additional learning activity instead of a waste of time . . . because, really, you are only testing what they can remember at that moment.

    I've made sure my own kids are familiar with a wide variety of topics, without insisting they memorize all the details and dates. We once used a science curriculum that expected fourth graders to memorize the names of a bird's bones. :P Fortunately, as a homeschooler, I could tell them to just familiarize themselves with the names so, if they ever DO need to know the names of a bird's bones when they grow up, all those synapses are already formed and they will be able to learn it more easily.

    Can YOU pass the science or social studies test you're expecting your child to pass? I usually can't!

    There are a lot of different ways to look at testing, so thank you for letting me share my thoughts about it. Of course, there needs to be some way to be sure the student can perform basic math functions and that they can read and understand what they read, so testing might be a little more appropriate for math and language. Science and social studies are SO broad that no one could ever learn everything there is to know in those two subjects, and every curriculum has different ideas about what a student "should" memorize. I would rather they know where to find the information when they need it.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

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