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Tactics Tackling Homework for a Child with ADHD - KidCompanions Chewelry & SentioCHEWS
Tactics Tackling Homework for a Child with ADHD
Tactics Tackling Homework for a Child with ADHD
By referring to the characteristics of a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder), you should be able to furnish an efficient, study nook for your child and establish a set of guidelines to make everyone happier about the thorny issue of homework. Your child might be able to comply to the following suggestions if these homework strategies or guidelines are discussed with him and he is given a little input in the decisions.

 These are the main characteristics of a child with ADHD: impulsive behavior, inattention, hyperactivity, disorganization, hyper-focus, or forgetfulness. This is what you and your child are working against so counterattack each tendency.
Why Have a Regular Routine

Have a regular routine for doing homework so that there are no arguments every day. Your child knows when it is time to do his homework and he knows where he does it. Allow for movement breaks and be nearby so you can quickly explain a detail misunderstood so he can move ahead. You surely want your child to have a positive attitude about accomplishing his assignments.

What Features Should the Study Nook Have

The study nook should be quiet, away from family activities and be stripped of distracting objects. Depending on the type of work, your child can sit in a chair, sit on the floor, lie on the floor or stand. If you have space, you could have more than one type of chair or stool and more than one height of working surfaces. Be sure that your lighting is just right and the lights do not hum or flicker in intensity. Provide fidgets, like Kid Companions, worry stones, silly putty or glued Velcro strips on or underneath the table to busy the hands to allow the brain to focus on the main task
Tactics Tackling Homework for a Child with ADHD

What Homework Tools Work Best
The tools of the trade—simplest is best! Have sharpened, ordinary pencils ready. Do not have any colorful, mechanical pencils to take away his focus. The same applies to his other ‘tools’ for homework. Make sure all he needs is right in his nook because you want his study session to be productive and as short as possible.

How to Know About the Assignments
All this physical readiness is useless it your child does not have an organized manner of knowing what his homework is each evening. Moreover, the necessary text books have to be brought home or make an arrangement with the school to have extra texts at home. Be sure that the child, the teacher and you, the parents, have a plan so you are all on the same page. Some schools have a weekly list of work to be done at home. Others have students write their assignments is a plan book that ‘lives’ in the book bag so it is at home each evening. In this day and age, some schools have web sites with all communications with parents done electronically.

How to Organize the Work for Different Subjects
With your child and teacher, decide how the use of colored folders or thicker binders can make it easier for your child to sort, store and find what he needs. Label everything with the same color system and easy read print so book, scribbler, or notes are where they should be when he needs them.

What to Do When the Homework Takes Too Long
Tactics Tackling Homework for a Child with ADHD All this preparation is to make sure the homework sessions do not turn into a nightmare. If the required work is absolutely too much for your child, meet with the teachers and have a study contract drawn up so less is done but the requirements are still met. Another accommodation could be a longer due date. However, do not put your child in the position that his classmates see he is treated differently.
 It is of up-most importance that your child continues to blend in with his peers. All strategies implemented to assist your child with his homework have to go unnoticed by his classmates.
 By striving for homework quality instead of quantity your child with ADHD will feel better about himself, about school and especially about homework.
What approach works best in your home to get homework done?


  • Jean Nicol Posted September 15, 2010 1:53 pm

    Hi Lorna, when I was working as a special education teacher I would set up individual work areas like you described here and suggest that parents do the same at home for homework, stating in Kindergarten! This could be an independent 15 minute period at the same time every day/evening. I would suggest 3 baskets with an activity in each one that should take about 5 minutes. The use of a visual timer will facilitate success, followed by a favorite activity as a reinforcer.Initially these can be things the child enjoys doing and gradually activities can change to accomodate areas that need extra practice. As time/years go on the time can expand and so can the activities/homework assignments, but the structure and expectation for independence could continue. Baskets could become folders or binders in a filing cabinet ~ whatever works. Parents have been amazed at how well this works.

  • Pierrette and Lorna dEntremont Posted September 25, 2010 10:16 am

    Thanks, Jean, for taking the time for writing this informative comment. Your organizational skills also come out in your invention of the meal planning resource The Eating Game. Lorna

  • C… Posted December 12, 2010 3:26 pm

    What do you suggest for divorced parents to get on the same page? I have to compete with more lenient grandparents (not mine) and an ex-husband who basically lives with his parents so they conflict in their parental/guidance role with him. Where at home I don't have to deal with someone interfering with parenting. My son with Asperger's son has most of his really bad meltdowns at school or around his dad. I noticed they occur most when it's his weeks with me but not at home with me. Maybe I he tries really hard to behave with me and then let's it all blow up at school and then again when he's with his dad. I keep getting tips on changing his diet but this kid would starve before trying anything new.

  • Pierrette and Lorna dEntremont Posted December 13, 2010 2:13 pm

    Hi C, Somehow the adults in your child'd life must ge on the same page…your child must not have mixed signals or feel caught between two sides. Do you and your ex-husband attend the school conferences together? This would also be important so that you both know what is expected and you both know that you heard the same suggestions. I suggest that a daily journal,'that lives in the school bag', be written by the teacher and also by the parent who has him which ever day. So before leaving school, the teacher writes a summary of the importants events of the school day and before leaving home the 'parent of that day' should write the events that happened overnight. Like this there would be continuity and perhaps a common thread could be found on what causes his meltdowns. Good luck! Lorna

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