From the Inbox: Distracted Boys, Homework Blocks, and Study Hall


I get a bit of email now and again asking for clarification on a topic in one of my books, or for advice on a certain issue. As much as I would love to, I am generally not able to answer inquiries via email. But on occasion, I like to answer a question on the blog.


 I just purchased your book, “That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life” to help my son with his organization and study habits.  He was diagnosed with ADD, slow processing speed and long term memory difficulties.  We are waiting to see if he qualifies for a 504 plan.  You state to schedule 2 hour homework blocks and I was just wondering if you could count a study hall as part of that 2 hour block?

 Thanks so much!

 ~ A Mom in Vermont

That is such a great question. The quality and definition of study hall time varies from school to school, and in general, I do not count it as part of the two hour block. In general, I look at study hall as a great time to regroup, make sure the binders are in order, the planner is filled out, and the flashcards are made for an upcoming test or quiz. In some schools, study hall is quite noisy and isn’t the most effective place to get things done – so it would be ineffective to count it as part of the two hour block.

 A note on the two-hour block, especially for a child who is easily distracted: break it into managable chunks of time, with a break for kids to get up, walk around, eat a snack, and do whatever else is needed. For example, I encourage students to work for twenty-five minutes, and then take a five minute break (also known as the Pomodoro method of getting stuff DONE). You can get a timer so that the five minute break doesn’t turn into a forty-five minute break. Twenty-five minutes seems totally doable for most kids (and for younger ones, start at fifteen minutes and work your way up) and as I like to say, “It’s the length of a sitcom!” Side note: all un-school related technology should be away during the two hour block, so having your child use their phone if they have one is an opportunity for distraction.

 Teenage student doing homework at home

Have a question? Contact us and we’ll answer one every now and again for everyone’s benefit.


1 thought on “From the Inbox: Distracted Boys, Homework Blocks, and Study Hall”

  1. I just would like to let you know I recently discovered your book and have started reading it today. It’s like you have lived in my house! I’m only on page 7 but I completely wish I read this long ago. My son is going into high school and without turning the next page I already wish we could walk into your office!!! And Your 5 criteria, we meet them all! Excited to get some tips and hopefully get my son organized!!

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