Homework time is rarely fun in most households. Parents of children with ADHD have extra challenges to manage. If a child is over-stimulated or stressed, homework becomes nearly impossible to complete. ADHD children have difficulty organizing themselves and their surroundings, and they have trouble concentrating for long periods of time. The following rules and tips can help parents of children with ADHD to better manage homework time.
RELATED: Download Our Free Homework Charts!
1. Create a Quiet Place
Many children can manage to do homework at the kitchen table while the hustle and bustle of the household goes on around them. This isn’t the case for children with ADHD. They need a quiet place where they aren’t easily distracted. Strive to create a homework spot for your child. It should be a comfortable, pleasant space.
Children with ADHD often have trouble sitting still. A balance ball desk chair allows them to move while working on their homework, which in turn helps them to concentrate.
2. Structured Time
Children with ADHD struggle to concentrate for long periods of time. Create structure for them so that they can get through these periods. Know your child’s patterns and temperament. For example, can they concentrate for ten minutes? Pop in and check on them every ten or fifteen minutes to see how they’re doing. Consider dividing up their homework time with short breaks. For example, once their ten minutes is up, give them an apple slice or do a few jumping jacks with them and then back to work for ten minutes. These small, healthy breaks can help them stay focused.
Related: How to Deal with Your Kids’ Homework Challenge
3. Create Structure
Children with ADHD have difficulty creating structure for themselves. Work with your child to create systems for homework time. For example, create a system for them to track their daily homework. Create a “Done” folder for homework that has been completed. Consider creating a homework routine for children. When they come home from school, they can have a snack, play with the dog for ten minutes, and head to their homework space.
4. Establish Expectations
Let your child know exactly what is expected of them and what the consequences will be if expectations are not met. It’s important to know your child’s learning style and how these expectations need to be communicated. For example, if your child is a visual learner then you might want to create a chart for the expectations. Be sure to follow through on consequences if necessary.
Clear and consistent communication with your child’s teacher is also imperative. It’s important to know how your child is doing in school if they’re getting their homework done on time, and how they’re managing in the classroom.
RELATED: Download Our Free Homework Charts!
Every child will likely have trouble with homework at some point. But for children with ADD and ADHD, the problem can go beyond a few assignments. Among other things, children with ADD and ADHD face challenges with focusing, patience, and organizing. These challenges can make it hard for students to perform to the best of their potential in, and out of, the classroom.
Helping Your Child Tackle ADD/ADHD and Homework
Children with ADD and ADHD can be hasty, rushing through their homework and making mistakes. They may lose homework, struggle to organize thoughts and tasks, and fail to plan ahead.
The challenges your child faces can be overcome with practiced habits and proper study skills for ADD/ADHD students. With these 10 ADD/ADHD homework tips, your child can learn how to focus on homework with ADD/ADHD and achieve success in the classroom.
Learn how you can help improve your child’s academic skills with these homework and study tips for kids with ADHD/ADD.
Study Strategies for ADHD & ADD
1. Create a homework-only space
Children with ADD and ADHD can be easily distracted by their surroundings. Find a comfortable place where your child can work with few distractions. Use this as a quiet study space away from noise and movement where your child can clear his or her mind and focus.
Don’t do homework in the bedroom. The bedroom is a place for sleep, rest, and relaxation — not work and stress.
2. Create a consistent schedule
It is important for kids with ADD/ADHD to have a consistent routine. This will help your child start his or her homework and focus. Set a time each day for your child to sit down and complete his or her work.
3. Study in spurts
ADD and ADHD can make it hard to focus, so breaks are a must. Studying in short spurts can help. Give your child regular breaks from homework for a snack or a walk, and let the mind refresh and reset! This will give your child a chance to burn off extra energy and improve concentration when he or she returns.
4. Get the teacher involved
It’s hard to always know what is happening with your child at school. Talking to his or her teacher can help make sure you’re informed. Ask the teacher about sending regular reports on your child and updates on homework assignments. If possible, meet with them every few weeks and for progress reports. Knowing what is going on in the classroom can help you and your child’s teacher make changes to make sure your child is learning effectively.
5. Get Organized
Organize school supplies and make checklists and schedules for homework and assignments. Help your child get his or her bag ready for school the next morning and make sure all homework is complete. You can make organization fun for your child with coloured folders, special pencils, stickers and cool labels.
6. Show Support
Encourage your child to always try his or her best. Although your child should be completing his or her work independently, it is okay to help when asked. Help your child look at challenges in a positive light to keep him or her motivated. This will show that you are willing to always help him or her do better.
7. Understand how your child learns
Whether it is auditory, kinesthetic or visual, knowing how your child learns is important. Change studying habits to fit his or her learning style with graphs, visuals, music, walking, or talking out loud. Every child learns differently. Studying in a way that works for him or her can help improve understanding and retention.
Read our Complete Study Guide For Every Type Of Learner for more study tips!
8. Know when it’s time to quit
Children with ADD/ADHD can become easily frustrated and overwhelmed. Encourage your child to keep going as long as he or she can, but don’t push your child too much. If he or she has hit his or her limit, stop for the night. If homework hasn’t been completed for the following school day, send the teacher a note to explain.
9. Offer praise and positive feedback
Congratulate your child after he or she finishes his or her homework. You can also do something special, like a small treat or trip to the park. Even if your child was not able to finish his or her work, praise his or her efforts and strive for a new goal the next day.
10. Move around
Sitting for long periods of time can be challenging for students with ADD/ADHD. Letting your child get up to move around can help him or her maintain focus. Try making studying into a physical activity, where your child counts out steps when practicing math problems like addition and subtraction. Having something he or she can fidget with while doing work can also help. Stress balls are a great item your child can take with him or her wherever he or she goes.
Children Can Succeed With The Right ADD/ADHD Study Skills
Children with ADD and ADHD feel at times they cannot control their own actions. They can become easily distracted, which can lead to poor grades, frustration, and disappointment. These ADD/ADHD study tips will help your child conquer these academic challenges, with improved concentration, time management and organizational skills. Most importantly, they will also help boost self esteem and confidence.
Remember, these changes won’t happen overnight. It will take time for your child to adjust to new routines and habits. Once you, and your child, understand how to study and do homework with ADD/ADHD, your child will be on the way to more effective learning.
Does your child struggle with a learning difficulty? Find out more about Oxford Learning’s Learning Disability Tutoring programs.
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