How Do You Study?

Dylan’s brilliance has, apparently, only carried him through 6th grade.  He’s now hit what someone on my GT/LD email list called “a wall.”  He’s been able to skate by on his intelligence for years and years.  Now he has to learn how to study.

I know better than to think I can teach him anything. He recoils from my advice like I’m a venomous snake.  I say, “Hey, let’s go over … (blah)” and Dylan says, “WHY?!  I don’t NEEEED to go over that!  I already KNOW all there is to know about that!”  And within minutes, we are in a screaming battle that ends with one of us storming out of the room saying, “FINE.  WHATEVER.”

But his dad?  His dad thinks like Dylan does.  He acts like he does.  And oddly enough, he probably learns the same way, too.  So I asked Bill to help him.

The two of them sat at the kitchen table tonight and prepared for Dylan’s algebra test as if they were long lost study buddies.  Dylan didn’t whine or moan.  He didn’t fight or complain.  He sat there with his notes and plodded through algebra with his dad – just like he’s supposed to do.

It was amazing.  They sat there for more than an hour without any issue whatsoever.  Dylan doesn’t take pills on weekends (really – why would he?) so he did the whole thing with no medication – and the tapping on the floor and beating on the table didn’t start for 70 minutes.  An hour and ten minutes of STUDYING ALGEBRA.

I am beginning to think I have a lot to learn about my son, whereas up till now, I was pretty sure I knew everything.

Best of all, I think Dylan knows more about algebra now than he’s learned all year in school.  We shall see…


  1. Cherie says:

    One of the hardest challenges that a gifted child faces is when his school work becomes challenging enough that they HAVE to study – it comes as a big shock to them – because from preschool until about the 5th grade – they never had to study before. And they DO NOT like it. I am thrilled that you were able to find an outside stimulus free environment; and that he responded in such a positive way to Bill’s help.
    Having said that – Dylan is at the precipice of being a teenager – and you really may wish to consider allowing him to also have his ADD medication on the weekends. Not only will he need it for weekend assignments – but – it also helps him to stay on task, follow directions and understand that it is NOT appropriate to stay on the phone ALL night texting friends, or on the internet on his tablet, kindel, laptop, computer, (you get the picture) it also seems to eveen out the testosterone rage temper tantrums and allows him to interact socially much better. These are just issues that I have seen happen with Xan; and I find he is a much happier person when he takes his meds every day. I do understand all kids are different – I just want to try to help “spare” you and Dylan as much as possible. Keep up the fantastic work! You are a great Mom!


    • Thanks so much for the tips! Tomorrow’s blog is about how Dylan functions incredibly well when he is hands-on – which really alleviates the need for medication, since we let him do all kinds of ‘hands-on’ stuff over the weekends! We also have ridiculously strict rules about video games (an hour a day – and ONLY after ALL homework is done).

      We’re still trying to figure out how/when to regulate texting. I remember, as a teen, talking on the phone for many, many hours when we didn’t even have call waiting! So I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t allow him the same privilege through texting – but it DOES drive me nuts. I really appreciate your reading all this stuff – it’s really meant for moms like us 🙂 And I also appreciate your trying to spare us further pain! It’s a long road… but with help, the navigation (and hopefully the bumps) will be a bit smoother!

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