She is our bundle of joy and has the most pleasant of demeanor regardless of the situation. However, she is truly the definition of Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s rough for a parent to watch as their child simply doesn’t pay enough attention to detail and struggles to do the most simplistic of chores. She has to spend time in a special room at school in order to learn some of the most basic of tasks because she can’t keep focused in a regular classroom. After explaining the letter “W” to her five consecutive times, she will still assume it’s various letters other that “W.” It can be frustrating to say the least. However, we’ve been able to make strides in her development by creating a strict routine to help her stay focused. How does this help our little girl?

1. Repetitive Learning – Although she has a “varying level of ADD,” according to the school counselors, she is still capable of learning. It just takes her a little longer than the average child. In order to facilitate greater understanding of what needs to be done, we adhere to a strict daily routine that is followed to the letter. By repeating the same task over and over, she grasps the concept of what needs to be done and has made a great improvement overall in school and at home.

2. Uninterrupted – As we know that she is easily distracted by some of the smallest of objects, her schedule for the day keeps her away from other diversions. For instance, the small desk she uses for reading and homework is in her room and away from the diversions of television and other people. While I thought that her toys would have been an equal distraction, I found that she stays on task much better when she is alone as I periodically check on her.

3. Planning the Day – As we develop her schedule with her own input, we are teaching her the value of organizing time. She knows that in order to watch television at five o’clock, she needs her homework done by then. We’ve actually began to notice that she keeps track of her time quite well lately. This has been greatly beneficial to helping her retain knowledge of how to tell time. Since fun time is something she anticipates, the five on the clock has been made important.

4. Putting Things Away – One of our regular routines is placing objects back where they need to be. Every time an item is used regardless of its purpose, it needs to be put back. Although this aspect of the routine did take a great deal of time for her to accept, she now is in the habit of putting everything away. This has made additional impacts in how she interacts in the classroom according to her teacher. She is considerate and knows that stuff needs to be put away in order to find them later.

A stable and regular routine over the course of the past year has made a vast improvement in a great deal of her interactions. Although it can be difficult to keep her mind focused on random communications or instances she’s never experienced before, the projects and tasks that are important to her development are manageable and improving. While I am sure we’ll have to adapt as the years go on, the vast strides she has made this past year make the time worth the investment.

Author Bio:

This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @ gmail.com.

Music education is a proven way for aiding in the development of your child’s brain. Exposure to music can aid in language development, increasing IQ as well as spatial-temporal intelligence reports an article from PBS.

 Image from mindsonmusic.kindermusic.com

Most parents would love to give their little ones the benefits of an early music education. However, enrolling in special mommy and me classes or private lessons can be an extra expense for which many families simply do not have room in their budgets.

Luckily, with these 5 fun and mostly free tips, you can get on your way to teaching your kids the joy of music and enabling them to reap the learning and development benefits that go hand in hand with early exposure to music.

1. Keep the Rhythm

It may sound simple, but letting your kids pull out those pots and pans can be a great place to start music education. Whether it is sturdy dishes, toy maracas and tambourines or just clapping hands there are multiple ways to incorporate simple musical activities into playtime by showing them how to keep a beat and tap out a rhythm. If you or your spouse are not entirely sure how to go about this, then take advantage of multiple online resources for helping kids to learn rhythm through simple activities.

2. A Musical Field Trip

Perhaps down the road your child will be interested in taking guitar lessons, but right now it is probably simpler to start by simply exposing your little Mozart to the fun of live music. Most cities provide free concerts for children. These might take place on a Tuesday morning at the library or at an afternoon concert for children put on by the local symphony. This is a great way to inspire a love of music in children as watching performers and hearing the loud sound of live songs can be captivating. And many concerts geared toward children are free and put on by the community.

3. Make Your Own Instruments

A fun craft time activity can be made from collecting recycled materials and transforming them into musical instruments. Make a tissue box and rubber band guitar or a rain stick from an old paper towel tube and some dry pinto beans. Empty tin cans can be decorated into a beautiful drum set. The possibilities are seemingly endless. And while your children enjoy using their creativity and learning about music, they will also get the added bonus of being exposed to the idea of sustainability through using recycled materials.

4. Check Out the Public Library

Another totally free resource is the public library. The library will have picture books on the lives of famous composers as well as sound recordings to help your kids experience the different genres of music. Together, you and your child can learn about Mozart’s childhood and Beethoven’s struggle with deafness. This is an excellent way to make history and music come alive for children.

5. Share Your Own Music

Finally, pull out your own records from the era in which you grew up. Sure, the 70s and 80s may not be considered classical works, but they are still wonderful examples of the journey of music through the decades. Dance around the living room with your kids as you share rock and roll and other styles of music that they might enjoy.

Author Bio: Jessica Socheski is a freelance journalist who currently writes about finding ways to save money on health care, fitness, and nutrition. Connect with her on Twitter.