Often, homework for kids with ADHD becomes an intense battle with children getting very frustrated and parents becoming even more frustrated! It does help for your child to begin homework as soon after school as possible after a 15-20 minute break for snack, running around, bathroom, etc. If your child is on medication, it will likely still be effective immediately after school but the longer you wait the less effective the medication will be in helping your child stay motivated, focused, and able to complete homework.
Some ideas that help include:
- Pick a place in the home best suited for homework. Flat surface, cleared of clutter, and relatively quiet if possible. Name this spot like “John’s Launch Pad”.
- Turn off TV, computer, video games, music, and other distractors before starting homework.
- Put items needed to complete homework in a clear plastic container or bag and label them “John’s Launch Tools”. These items include pencils, erasers, crayons/markers, ruler, dictionary, and other items needed to complete homework.
- Develop a color-coded binder with a pocket for “Assignments”, a pocket for “Completed assignments”, and a pocket for “Notes”. Notes are for messages from the teacher to you or from you to the teacher. Continue your theme with labels such as “Satellite Transmissions”. Be sure that this binder travels to and from school with your student every day by placing it in the same place close to the door. The Assignments pocket may carry the agenda or planner that your child uses.
- Remembering to write down assignments and turn in assignments takes PRACTICE. At home, have your student practice keeping a calendar, one week at a time for example, in preparation for keeping an agenda at school with daily assignments, dates of tests, and other important dates.
- Set a timer for homework breaks every 10 minutes. The break should be for 2 minutes and your child can run around during break. Start helping your child estimate the length of time needed to complete certain homework so that you will not always have to supervise homework and your child can learn to manage their own timer.