Is It Really Possible to Teach ADHD Kids How to Enjoy Learning?
Camille Roney is a certified Academic Life Coach whose work has appeared in the New York Journal, Quizlet, MD Femme, Motivate MD, and more. She empowers students to earn competitive grades while actually ENJOYING the process and overcoming obstacles that may be impacting how they show up in their academics. You can learn more about how Academic Coaching can transform your high school or college student at her site: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching. Today she’s sharing ways you can identify within yourself, via the use of a data, how to identify your, individual, best learning techniques! Enjoy!
In this episode Peter and Camille discuss:
0:57 – Intro and welcome Camille Roney!
1:28 – How do you get kids to enjoy it no matter the subject?! (i.e. Math)
4:18 – Ref: Yerkes-Dodson law
5:15 – On being in the zone of focus/flow
5:30 – Q&A for Peter about how he gets into and stays in the zone/flow
6:52 – On teaching students to be bored
8:26 – Tell me about first time college students and their study habits?
10:10 – Success leaves clues. These clues may present as follows…
11:38 – Give us some quick tips. i.e. I have a test tomorrow and I haven’t started studying, what can I do?
14:13 – How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @RoneyCamille on Twitter @thelearningmom on INSTA and @thelearningmomnet on Facebook
14:26 – Thank you Camille! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know. Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I’m www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via [email protected] or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse!
15:23 – Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
Hey everyone, how are you doing? My name is Peter Shankman, you are listening to Faster Than Normal the internet’s best, number one, most listened to podcast on ADD and ADHD and neurodiversity and it’s because of you. I’m glad you’re here. Thank you for that. Makes me happy.
We’re talking to Camille Roney today. Camille is a certified academic life coach whose works appeared in New York journal Quizlet MD Femme, Motivate MD, and more. Here’s the thing she empowers students to be to earn competitive grades while actually enjoying the process and overcoming obstacles that may be impacting how they show up in their academics. I’ll repeat that: she teaches kids to enjoy learning. All right. So Camille, you’re obviously lying, um, welcome to Faster Than Normal. It’s good to have you!
Thank you for having me Peter!
So, so you teach kids to enjoy learning the problem with ADHD is that when you enjoy something. You get dopamine from it. If you’re interested in it, you get dopamine from it when you explore it, if you don’t enjoy it, you don’t get domaine from it. So when, you know, if it’s English class or something that I loved great, all the dopamine in the world, math or science, not so much. So you’re telling me that you figured out a way to get kids to enjoy no matter what the subject let’s talk about that.
Absolutely. Yeah. I’d love to, I’d love to dive in. Um, so in my experience, There’s a few different ways that we can approach it. One is how we’re approaching studies in general and the expectations that we have around it. So many students. In fact, I would say the majority of us humans come to school with the expectation that we’re about to be bored out of our minds.
And therefore we have, we create the evidence to support that. And a lot of us are just thrown content at regardless of whether it has anything to do with anything that we as individuals care about at all. So what I like to do is invite students to consider what’s important to them. What are their personal values, their interests, what are they into? And then there’s a few different approaches that we can back; that gives us a bit of a compass with how to approach the studies. Do we need to integrate aspects of those into school? Um, what, you know, relating those values back into the, what the content that they’re learning. So if they, um, decide that let’s say peace wellbeing, global, um, like global warming global wellbeing. If we’re approaching that with say social studies, we can say, okay, how was this really? How did this stuff that happened way back? How could that have impact a global warmingm, or how could that have impacted global wellbeing? How did this impact the wellbeing of others- that kind of invites us to get creative with the content and play with it because some content you really, really have to get creative with- how am I going to make this interesting? And if you, if you assume, let’s say a student sits down for physics class, and the first thing that runs through their mind is I suck at physics. It’s going to be awful. Rightfully so. But if you can say, if you’re thinking throughout the course, um, man, I can’t like I’m mesmerizing these formulas so that when I sit at the dinner table tonight with my family, I just get to brag about it and man, I will look so smart and like that we’ll feel good. That’s their motivation. That’s totally fine. That’s great. Also, um, you’re you, are you familiar with the The Yerkes-Dodson Law of Performance?
No. Tell us.
Okay. Beautiful. Beautiful. Imagine that this charge, if you will, on the, this graph on the X axis, you have stimulation. So low to high stimulation; and on the Y axis, you have performance. If this bell curve shape and on the left-hand side, we’ve got like, so you’re under-stimulated therefore your performance is low. You’re bored. You’re not having fun in the middle the peak stimulation level you’ve got focus. Engaged energized, genuinely having a good time. And then on the far end, you’ve got anxious, stressed, restless. I like to consider both internal stimulation and external stimulation and considering how the classroom itself plays into that curve. I also like to invite students to consider. And I’m curious what your answer to this here is Peter; what’s an example where it’s a case where it’s really easy for you to get into flow. Like you just, you don’t even realize how much time has gone by, you’re just your blinders are on your in the zone and it’s just, it’s amazing. You’re completely in flow.
When I’m on an airplane.
Gorgeous. Tell me more.
So when I get on the airplane, I’m flying to Asia. I have 14 hours with nothing but my laptop in front of me and I started working. Next thing we’ve touched down 14 hours later and I, I mean, I wrote my last two books entirely on airplanes.
Okay, cool. Can you give me another example with a completely different example of when you’re in flow?
Umm… looking at the dog park and there were other dogs playing. I can, I can go to work for a while and let the dogs just have fun and get lost.
Gorgeous. Okay. So what are, what are some of the common themes between those scenarios?
Headphones. Allowing myself to focus on the task at hand. No distractions.
Beautiful. How can you apply that to your school? Work life, something that you don’t want to do?
I would assume to get into the same zone when I’m doing something I don’t want to do. But of course, the problem is, is that the problem is, is that you get bored with it. And then you wind up looking for distractions.
Is there something wrong with being distracted?
No, there’s nothing wrong being distracted. Unless it leads you down a rabbit hole that then prevents you from doing the work in the first place.
Yeah, exactly. One of the most incredible skills that I wish we were taught in school that took me just way too long to do, to figure out, is I teach my students how to be bored. We’re often taught that boredom is like this awful negative experience. When in reality, it’s just one of many human experiences that we have and there’s nothing wrong with it, reframing it from negative to a positive. And what I see in so many of my students is that where again, when you approach school with the expectation that it’s going to be boring. Yes- we create that. If we come with the expectation that it could be fun; that shifts things like a bit. We can actually create different behaviors so that we are enjoying the experience more. So let’s say, um, to sit down to study a student suddenly starts bringing their favorite drink every time, some type of like fizzy soda or something that they genuinely enjoy, or like this pen that just like it glides so smoothly on the page that you think that you’re going to die. Like, it’s fun. Like enjoy the experience. It doesn’t have to be awful for us. Like honestly, if you want to. If coming to school and like a Hawaiian shirt and a wearing a lei and sunglasses, if that helps you like have more fun in school, that’s a win, right?
No, that makes sense. I mean, when, you know, when you think about it, does it make sense in terms of how you.. It’s essentially what you’re saying. It’s a different way of looking at things.
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Tell me about the college student, who’s in college for the first time and is on their own for the first time. And you know, whether they’re neurodiverse or not, and all of a sudden they don’t have a parent watching over them and then no one watching over them and they never, they never really learned that study to learn to do it. Now they’re stuck in a thing where it’s like, oh, no one can tell you where and when I can go out; no, one’s going to stop me and they get kicked out, right?
Well, let me first say, there’s nothing wrong with going out. I encouraged students to enjoy the college, the university experience, like what a magical time in someone’s life. But when else are you going to be surrounded by so much diversity of experiences and people? Fantastic. What I like to suggest is. sorry, let me, let me take a step back. What I often see is people falling into this trap of, oh shoot. The expectation suddenly skyrocketed on my performance levels in academia, but I haven’t, we haven’t like we haven’t had a class called how to read since like the third grade, yet the expectations of our reading skills are completely different since then. So what I, the tracks that I often see students in is they look around I what everybody else is doing and they just do that. So they’re copying word for word what’s on the lecture slides at the cost of not paying attention to the lecture. They’re apt to suddenly sit still in a class for three hours at a time, which is a huge shock for a lot of students transitioning from high school. They’ve got all these things on their plate. And frankly, it’s too much for a lot of people when you just try and do things the way everyone else is doing. What I like to say is success leaves clues. So let’s look at the data, look at your information completely objectively, something that is so fantastic about academia is you do some work and you get a result. You get a specific number grade. So what you can do is take track, like keep track of as much data as you, as you feel comfortable with such as, um, how much sleep did I get before a test? Was I hungry while I was studying? What methods did I use? How many, how long did it take me to read this content that I read every word, consider the data and then look at the results of those yields because, but students often, like what I often say to my students, if you’ve mastered a very specific way of doing things. And you now have, are starting to collect the data of what type of result that yields. whether you like it or not is up to you. But this is a fantastic time to experiment and try new things and see what works and what doesn’t. And the key isn’t to do everything. The key is to do what you know, works best. Finish all the rest. You don’t have to, like, you can get through your entire degree without taking a single note. If that doesn’t work for you, stop taking notes. You’re wasting your time. Use it in another method for studying and really comprehending information. I think give your brain a break!
Makes sense. It does make a lot of sense. Tell me about, um, give us a couple of quick tips. Um, other than the ones that you’ve given us are great. A couple of quick tips. I have a test tomorrow, um, I haven’t started studying, what can I do? I’m not saying that’s what they should do every time, but.
Right. This is such a good question! Okay. What is your favorite- to go from short-term memory to long-term memory for this specific type of content, because you should be studying, you know, how you study for Calculus, for example, should it probably looks very different from how you would study an English class. So that’s my first question. How you go from a short-term memory to long-term retention. Just do that. If you get time to do anything else, that’s gravy. Fantastic. So, um, I like, I get really into things like techniques, like speed reading or different memorization techniques. The high yield thing is to, sorry. My recommendation for you is strictly focused on the high yield content. Master that. Use your course syllabus or, um, a professor teachers outline on what’s going to be covered on the test, how that, how the content is going to be tested matters, like how you study for a multiple choice problem. Uh, exam, it looks different than how you would study for an essay exam. So again, that’s a matter of data collection. What works for you for that specific type of content and work with that. Um, my, if I had to give you just one, one quick takeaway from this is: As you’re reading your textbook, never go beyond a single paragraph without asking yourself. How would Mr. Jones test me on this content?
That’s really good!!
And you would think that that takes you longer to get through the content, but because we’re strictly focusing on the high yield content, you’re not reading every word in the whole, you know, in the assigned reading and because you’re really giving yourself that time to get curious and play around with the content. Oh okay. I can see this being a multiple choice question. What would some of the potential answers be? And like really getting curious and creative with the content. Chances are, you don’t have to review at all before the test. You’ve taken the time to really master it the first time, bringing it from short-term memory, to long-term retention, applying it based on how it’s going to be questioned, know quizzed or examined on. And then you move on.
Excellent. I love it. Very cool. Um, Camille, thank you so much. How can people find you? [[ Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @RoneyCamille on Twitter @thelearningmom on INSTA and @thelearningmomnet on Facebook ]]You can find me on Instagram. I’m at the learning mom or on my website, a non-trad accelerator.com.
Awesome. We will definitely link to all that. We will have you back. There’s a lot of fun. Camille Roney, thank you so much for taking the time! I really appreciate it.
Uh, guys, as always Faster Than Normal, we try to bring a new and interesting different ways to learn and think about, ADD and ADHD and all forms of neurodiversity, as well as fun stuff. I know recently we’ve had some interviews about. We interviewed someone who, um, works with drug addiction, we talked to an accountant to is helping people with ADHD in their math. If you know anyone who you think might be a good interview for us, let us know. We would love to have them on the podcast. You can find me at, at Peter Shankman. You can find past episodes at FasterThanNormal.com or anywhere that you get your podcasts, including-“Alexa”. I have to say her name very softly, because if I say her name..And if I say it three times Jeff Bezos appears in my apartment and tries to sell me something. So thank you guys for listening. We will see you next week. Camille, thank you for being here. ADHD is a gift, not a curse as is all neurodiversity, stay safe and stay well. —
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Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week!