Atiya Chase, M.Ed

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Summer’s over and kids are in school. This means setting your alarm for “too early o’clock” and peeling the kids out of their cozy beds. The hussle and bussle of it all sets in real quick and soon your schedule fills up with Back to School Nights, open houses, PTA meetings, picture day, and dreaded homework. For some parents, school brings routine and structure back into their lives. For others, sheer frustration. And for the child, even more frustration. Finding focus can be difficult and anxiety inches up to an all time high. Rest assured, hope is not lost and help is here.


Dave Farrow

In an interview with Dave Farrow, a Guinness Record Holder & Memory Expert, he shared scientifically proven tips and tools to help you and your child set the tone for academic success within the first month of school. After being diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Dyslexia at 14 years old, Dave fought for control over his inability to focus. He developed his own memory techniques known as The Farrow Method to reprogram his brain to operate at its maximum potential in short bursts of time.

“I tried to solve one problem at a time. And the first problem was the fact that I couldn’t focus. If you gave me a task; to study something, read this, I would get distracted in about a minute and a half. And for the life of me I couldn’t focus on things longer than that. So, what I came up with and what my focus technique is, is a method that I’ve proven in a double blind neuroscience study at McGill University to be effective as a study strategy. If I can’t study for longer periods without getting distracted in a minute and a half, then all I could do was make that minute in a half really, really intense. I started taking all my homework and all my tasks and broke them down into these tiny little chunks. Essentially they were two minute chunks. I had a timer and I tried to make a game of it saying, ‘If I can force myself to focus intensely for two minutes, what could I accomplish? Could I do one problem? Could I read half a page? Then two minutes turned into 3 minutes, to 5 minutes, 6 minutes, to 8 minutes.”

These Focus Bursts (FB) are what helped Dave to turn his diagnosis around and can improve focus for all students.

Dave’s Tips for Academic Success at A Glance

  • Use a desk at home to complete assignments. It must be a seperate space carved out for homework.

  • Chunk assignments into smaller tasks.

  • Use a timer to “gamify” homework and studying.

  • Develop good habits like going to bed at a certain time and waking up early.

  • Practice “screen hygiene.” Shut off all electronics including the TV an hour before bedtime to wind down.

For more about Dave’s Farrow Method, online training programs, and his summer school options for schools, visit