• Eliminate distractions: The tutoring area should be as free of disorder as possible. Get out only one assignment at a time, leave backpacks on the ground, sit away from other students if possible, put away toys, watches, silly bands, cell phones, packs of gum, etc.
• Stimulate the student: If the child is having a difficult time focusing, allowing the student to hold a single object, such as a stress ball, to help focus their energy. These objects will be stored in the education kits for tutor and student use.
• Give frequent feedback: All kids, but particularly those with attention issues, need to know how they are progressing. Combining work into manageable sections and providing praise or constructive criticism after each section helps the child see their progress.
• Highlight: When possible, highlight important texts in books or on worksheets.
• Gently redirect: When the student loses focus or goes off on a tangent, gently redirect him/her back to the task at hand. For example, “I’d love to hear all about your Grammy’s dog! Let’s finish your science so we have more time to talk about it!”
• Stick to a routine: The student’s work will vary from evening to evening but setting expectations and sticking with them (even when they are challenged by the student), can help the child learn how to cope with schedules.
• Engage in discussion: Let the student make choices during the activity. Ask her why she chose the answer she did or how she came to that conclusion. Children with attention issues benefit from choices rather than solely adult-directed tasks.
Note: These strategies work especially well for kids with Attention Deficit Disorder!