Homework tips for children with ADHD: A complete guide
Homework tips for children with ADHD: At school, any child might have trouble with homework. This being not understanding the assignment or taking forever to finish, etc. However, for children with ADD and ADHD, the problem can go beyond just the simple issues. Children diagnosed with ADHD have a hard time staying seated, focusing, planning, organizing, etc. In this article, we will explain homework tips for children with ADHD as well as other tasks.
Children with ADHD are generally restless and act impulsively. In other words, they act without thinking about the consequences those actions may have. They may feel stressed and pressured when doing assignments and might get distracted by their environments or their own thoughts. This is why its so important to have homework tips for children with ADHD.
The different responsibilities of bringing the right books, keeping track of due dates, focusing, etc. are overwhelming. However, here are some homework tips for children with ADHD that can help.
Homework tips for children with ADHD at School
Children with ADHD often need classroom and school program adaptations or accommodations. Teachers can take these homework tips for children with ADHD at school as examples of things that might make the child learn with ease and feel comfortable with his surroundings.
- Give the student a study companion. Making “study teams” to check each other’s work and making sure everything is in the right place. This is particularly important when packing books for homework since your partner can make sure the child with ADHD is packing what is necessary for the homework activity.
- Give extra time to write down homework assignments. Be sure to write the assignment on the board and have another student read the information so as to make it clear what it is.
- An alternative to the tip below is to hand out a typed-copy of the assignment. This helps with ADHD children with severe attention or language deficits.
- Create a “back to school folder”. This folder helps remind children what needs to go back to school after the homework is done.
- Include a sheet for parents to sign once the work is finished. This will help the child remember the homework and keeps the parents involved in the school progress.
- Give less homework. Cutting down homework can help the student with ADHD concentrate better. Examples of these might be doing just the even numbers on the math worksheet.
Homework tips for children with ADHD at Home
Parents can also help their children with ADHD cope with homework in an easier way.
- Establish a routine. Remember to have homework time set. Some children may take a break after school and then start homework while others do it right after school. Whatever works best at your house but remember to make it a thing.
- Keep homework time at a constant hour. Setting a specific hour every day, helps the child be organized and plan ahead.
- Don’t let the child procrastinate. Explain the assignment and make sure the start right away, avoiding all procrastination.
- Train cognitive skills in days with no homework. Rely on apps that help train ADHD cognitive skills such as attention, focus, memory, etc. These apps help train these cognitive skills in an interactive way and children can view this as a fun activity even though it is still kept as homework time.
- Another way to help an ADHD child with their homework is by asking them what they have to do and organize their assignments: Plan out time for each assignment. If you organize their homework and keep to a schedule, they will learn to improve their time perception. They will learn how to stick to a schedule and manage their time.
- Create a specific homework area. Find somewhere around the house where the child can work comfortably.
- Keep distractions to a minimum. Remember that sounds, excessive things around, etc. Avoid placing the homework areas near windows so the child doesn’t feel the need to look out and distract themselves.
- Schedule breaks. Maintaining focused is very challenging for children with ADHD. If you plan 5-minute breaks every 20-30 minutes it might help the child recharge attention span and then continue.
- Children with ADHD need constant supervision while they do their homework: At least until they get used to the routine. Until they do, one parent should sit next to them while they do their homework. It’s important that parents take an active approach to help the child.
- Parents should summarize each problem or question and make the child repeat it to make sure that they understand the assignment.
- Ask them questions about the explanations you gave them: This way you’ll know if they understood the explanation and if they were paying attention.
- Make eye contact so they don’t get distracted.
- Keep their attention: We can use non-verbal gestures, like snapping our fingers, to regain their attention.
- Present the information visually: This may be more effective than oral explanations. Use a chalkboard or pieces of paper to make representations with simple drawings. This will be useful to simplify the content and help the child understand.
- Don’t get frustrated when the child doesn’t understand an exercise: Try to explain it patiently and use different visual strategies.
- Don’t yell if they get distracted: It’s better to redirect their attention by asking where they were and what they were doing.
- Make a checklist for school bag supplies after homework. This list helps them keep track of the things that need to go back to school and helps them be independent and responsible.
- Positive reinforcement really is important: Help them associate their accomplishments with positive rewards and always keep your patience. This may mean letting them have extra dessert or extra screen time if they finish all of their homework. Each family is different, which means you need to think of the best reward for you!
- If your help isn’t enough or the situation is too hard on the family, you might want to think about getting a specialized teacher that knows how to help an ADHD child with their homework.
We hope you like this article on homework tips for children with ADHD and if you have any more tips, feel free to comment below!
Alejandra is a clinical and health psychologist. She is a child specialist with a diploma in evaluation and intervention in autism. She has worked in different schools with young children and private practice for over 6 years. She is interested in early childhood intervention, emotional intelligence, and attachment styles. As a brain and human behavior enthusiast, she is more than happy to answer your questions and share her experience.