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That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life Paperback – January 5, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Homayoun, an educational consultant, has seen plenty of boys who score high on standardized tests but earn poor grades. Often the reason is that boys are not as good as girls at multitasking, a crucial skill that requires organization. She reports complaints from parents of boys chronically losing homework, forgetting tests, and not turning in assignments. She cites research on differences in how girls and boys learn, and examines them in the context of the distractions of technology, from video games to the Internet. Homayoun also looks at contributing factors, from sleep deprivation to overly involved parents. She helps parents to identify the particular style of their son’s disorganization—procrastinator, scatterbrain, slacker, underachiever—and how to tailor a program that will help him. Among the suggestions: goal setting, self-competition, breaking down tasks into steps, scheduling to avoid stress and manage extracurricular activities, and using an assortment of tools, including binders and planners. Helpful advice for parents struggling with disorganized boys—or girls. --Vanessa Bush

Review

"That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week provides an innovative and practical approach to helping boys find success. Ana Homayoun presents straightforward, easily implementable solutions that will help transform the lives of boys and parents. A wonderful read!"
-Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys and The Minds of Boys

"Ana Homayoun gets it! Combining an extraordinary feel for what boys face in schools these days with an enormously shrewd, practical sets of tips on how to get organized and excel, this book hits a home run. All parents and teachers as well as students (yes, I think girls could find it useful, too!) will find that this book makes school less of a struggle and more of a pleasure. Brief, to-the- point, and clear, this book is an invaluable, unique tool."
-Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Super Parenting for ADD and Driven to Distraction

"Filled with practical advice for the parents of disorganized boys (and that's an awful lot of young boys), Ana Homayoun's That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week teaches us how to help our sons navigate through a school environment that is less than kind to distracted and disorganized young men."
-Madeline Levine, Ph.D., Author of The Price of Privlege

"Homayoun, an educational consultant, has seen plenty of boys who score high on standardized tests but earn poor grades. Often the reason is that boys are not as good as girls at multitasking, a crucial skill that requires organization. She reports complaints from parents of boys chronically losing homework, forgetting tests, and not turning in assignments. She cites research on differences in how girls and boys learn, and examines them in the context of the distractions of technology, from video games to the Internet. Homayoun also looks at contributing factors, from sleep deprivation to overly involved parents. She helps parents to identify the particular style of their son's disorganization--procrastinator, scatterbrain, slacker, underachiever--and how to tailor a program that will help him. Among the suggestions: goal setting, self-competition, breaking down tasks into steps, scheduling to avoid stress and manage extracurricular activities, and using an assortment of tools, including binders and planners. Helpful advice for parents struggling with disorganized boys--or girls."
-Vanessa Bush, Booklist December 2009
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399535594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399535598
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Malinda Whitson on January 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book. It offers great advice and seemingly easy-to-implement tips on how to help your son perform better in school (and to help him enjoy other areas in life). It will help you re-think the whole "homework time is a nightmare" scenario. I especially appreciate the author's positive approach and her explanations for why certain strategies should be considered. It makes perfect sense. She also lists and explains different types of "dis-organizational" styles. They are dead on. Who knew that other boys have similar traits? And who knew that there were simple techniques, specific to their style, to help them get organized and more focused on their work? If your son needs some homework and organization strategies, get this book.
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I have to admit that Ana Homayoun's That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life sat on my bookshelf for two years too long. In my first year as the Head of Middle School at Crystal, I purchased the book as soon as I read the title. I purchased it, placed it on the bookshelf, and tried to keep my head above water. I finally pulled it off the shelf this spring and read it cover to cover in one weekend; remember that I have a one year old son, so reading a book in a single weekend is like reading a book in a single sitting. I then ordered a copy for each sixth grade advisor; it is our team summer read.

Too many education books are rich on theory and thin on solutions. The parent or teacher of a disorganized and distracted middle school student does not need much theory. They need to know what to do today, tomorrow and next week. Homayoun hits the nail on the head with this book. The majority of this title is filled with specific strategies, not just tips, for organizing and studying. On the first read I filled the pages with underlinings and marginalia. Since then I have added post-it notes to mark favorite pages for meetings with parents and teachers. The theory she does provide, a taxonomy of disorganized boys, will serve to assuage a parent's concerns; oh phew, he is not the only one with these problems!

My only criticism is that the title might cause parents of girls to miss this invaluable resource. While her taxonomy of boys is rather gender specific, all of the tips for organization apply to both sexes. Homayoun has tried to fill the need with a new book on girls, The Myth of the Perfect Girl.
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Homayoun's core belief that a child who has a set and predictable time, place, and strategy for doing their school work makes so much sense. You've heard it before. The experts all agree. BUT SHE TELLS YOU HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. Her strategies and systems are so easy to implement. She offers many alternatives for different kinds of families, households, and different kinds of kids. I've even implemented some of her strategies for my highly gifted, but somewhat disorganized, 2nd grader. They have taken a lot of stress off of our whole family and given him much more control over his life - and as she promises over and over in the book (a promise the book keeps) - given him much more free time to PLAY.
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As an educator for the past 7.5 years, I have seen a number of disorganized boys and their parents struggle to figure out school and how to be successful. Having successfully worked a number of years with disorganized boys, Homayoun clearly understands the individual students with whom she works. The book starts off with identifying the specific issues your child is having with school, then the proceeding chapters are framed around actual or composite students' issues and how Homayoun deals with these students. She is refreshing, funny, and understands the technological temptations that young boys have, especially in this day and age and offers simple suggestions that work, such as having your child put away his cell phone in a "technology box" until he finishes his homework. Or structuring your work time in 30 minute segments with appropriate breaks in order to maintain a healthy work pace. She reminds us that, as adults, we too should model organization for students if we are to expect them to be organized. And that being organized at any age will maximize the time we have to do what we really want to do--be it meet up with friends, write a book, get a few more hours of sleep, or take a class in something that we've always been interested in. Highly recommended.
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This is a great book that I highly recommend for all parents that have school aged children. Although it is geared towards boys, many of the guidelines and tips can be used by girls as well. The author analyzes the reasons why students are not successful in school, and gives specific examples of how to help students refocus and get their grades on track. The best part is that her advise creates an academic environment that is not stressful and helps students take control of their destiny. It's all very positive.
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If you've bought this book, you're probably at your wit's end when it comes to dealing with homework issues. This book provided a number of practical tactics and strategies with a nice dose of humor. Of course, at the end of the day, the strategies are only as good as their implementation, and the suggestions on that -- including the discipline of blocking out a certain amount of time each day for study -- are good. I noted that many of the strategies recommended are the ones that are forced on students at boarding schools (blocked off time for study halls with limited access to technology, for example). My son bought into the strategies but is still struggling with making them his reality. This at least started the discussion, though, on what needs to be done, and the book emphasized that the road to success on this isn't entirely straight...
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