Although books about Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are plentiful, few authors can claim the firsthand knowledge Pamela L. Johnson shows in 8 Minutes a Day to Make An A! She not only teaches students with ADHD and created a trademarked organizational study system for a learning center franchise, but she was diagnosed with ADHD herself as an adult.
The author’s goal in sharing the tenets of her successful StudyQuick System is to help parents nudge children whose grades don’t reflect their academic abilities. Kids with ADHD often rank above average in IQ tests but lack “executive function” skills, she notes.
The book stresses the importance of structure and consistency, with an easy-to-follow, step-by-step method parents can use daily with their children until students learn to do it on their own. “You are changing what you do to change what your child does,” Johnson writes.
Divided into modules rather than chapters, the book consists of two parts: one offering advice for managing schoolwork, the other addressing life issues such as chores. Johnson begins by showing parents how to set up a three-ring “Quick Binder” for school subjects, in a specific order, as children with ADHD have trouble remembering where they put things, including completed homework. She goes on to explain how to help children study for a test, when to reward them for small tasks, and so on.
Unfortunately, numerous errors—from missing words to inaccurate word usage (e.g., “regime” vs. “regimen”) to punctuation errors—mar the text. Additionally, some advice can seem under-explained or confusing. For example, a diagram of a “mind map”—a way to simplify essay writing through visualization—contains three “spokes,” each supposedly representing a paragraph in the subsequent essay; the essay example, however, only has two paragraphs.
Despite such issues, parents will find helpful advice here. Although Johnson lays the responsibility for helping young students with ADHD squarely on the shoulders of parents, her message should empower both.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.