parenting

How to Conquer ADHD/ADD Homework Struggles

At some point during your child’s school career, as a parent, you will run into a few homework challenges with your child. But when a child has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD), homework struggles and challenges are likely a sore subject in your household. Daily work and homework are a huge part of the daily curriculum and is a requirement in order to pass.

The kids often come home from school and doing homework is probably the last thing on their mind. After a full day of learning they are tired and lack the focus to sit down to complete their homework without being hounded. With a bit of consistency, homework struggles no longer have to be a constant struggle with these ADHD/ADD homework tips.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you have any questions about ADHD or ADD, talk to your child’s doctor or health care provider.

Overcome Forgetfulness

Does your child constantly forget their homework in their locker or they can’t remember what they are supposed to complete? Even though this is frustrating for you, it is best not to get upset with them. Instead, help your child come up with a solution that helps them remember to bring home their homework. Here are a few suggestions:

  • use Google calendar
  • ask the teacher to email you the directions and a copy of their homework assignment
  • create a designated folder for each subject
  • keep a homework journal

Have a Designated Folder for Homework

Teach your child to place their homework in a designated folder starting in elementary. Hopefully, starting this habit at an early age will stick with them through high school.

Keeping a designated homework folder will help keep your child’s papers organized so that they can find their assignments at home. Don’t forget to make sure that completed homework goes back into the folder so that it can be turned in on time.

Once your child gets to middle or high school, teachers expect students to keep up with their own belongings, including homework.

Request a Copy of the Teacher’s Daily Notes

The classroom has changed over the last several years and kids are no longer lugging home a backpack full of textbooks. Without textbooks, children are forced to rely on taking detailed class notes.

With new teaching strategies, trying to help my child with their homework can be challenging, especially common core math. Without teachers notes, it is very difficult to help my child with their homework.

If your child is struggling, ask the teacher to email you the daily notes. Middle and high school students can typically use their smartphone in certain instances in class. Ask the teacher for permission so that your child can photograph any class notes and assignment details.

Develop Effective Study Habits

Children are not taught how to study in school. Instead, they have to figure out how to develop their own study habits and tricks to help them pass the test.

Don’t be afraid to discuss study habits with your child’s teacher if they are struggling. Maybe your teacher has some tips for your child’s learning style.

Get Homework Done First

We always found it best to have our kids start their homework before they are allowed to play but children with ADHD/ADD, this strategy may not work effectively. It may be best to give your child a chance to unwind and decompress from school but you don’t want them to put off doing homework either.

In our home, we always tried to make sure that my older son got started on his homework within 30 minutes to an hour after he got home from school. He would go to his designated homework station to work on his homework. Getting his homework done first gave him plenty of time to get it done and prevented him from waiting until bedtime to tell me that he had homework that he needed to complete.

Set Up a Designated Homework Station

Find a quite place, that is free from distractions, in your home and set up a designated homework station for your child. Supply all the necessary supplies that your child may need in order to complete their homework or school projects.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Complete Projects

Your child’s teacher may assign occasional projects for your child to complete throughout the school year. Most teachers give students an ample amount of time to work on the project and kids typically will put it off thinking that they have plenty of time to complete it. Then the night before it is due, your child may scramble to get the project completed.

Kids with ADHD/ADD should get started on projects as soon as they are given the assignment. You child will likely need to break a project into smaller steps so they don’t get overwhelmed with the project. It gives them the opportunity to reach out to their teacher if they are struggling or having trouble completing the project.

Advocate for Your Child

Most teachers now, don’t expect kids to go home and complete hours worth of homework every night. At the beginning of the school year, ask your child’s teacher about your child’s homework schedule. If you notice that your child is spending several hours on homework every night, let your child’s teacher know. Kids with ADHD/ADD tend to get frustrated easily and shut down when they feel overwhelmed.

Children with disabilities, including ADHD/ADD can qualify for modified instruction to help meet their specific needs. Accommodations can help significantly reduce or eliminate the effects of a students disability, including those diagnosed with ADHD/ADD.

Ask your child’s teacher or contact the 504 specialist in your district, to determine if your child would benefit from Section 504 accommodations. If your child qualifies, a team of educational experts will determine how your child’s disability affects their learning based on their learning style. Then the team will come up with an individualized educational plan (IEP) based on their specific educational needs.

Monitor Their Grades

Take the time to monitor your child’s grades and intervene whenever necessary. Your child’s grades could be an indication that they aren’t turning in their homework, studying, or even rushing through their assignments.

Teachers usually allow students to correct papers with a failing grade. If your child is consistently failing their assignments, they may need to have their IEP modified or it may indicate that they need additional assistance or tutoring.

Do Watch for Frustration or Fatigue

Children with ADHD/ADD often get frustrated or fatigued while they are doing their homework. We suggest that you have them take a break and come back to it later. When they are frustrated or feeling fatigued, they are most likely going to shut down and not accomplish their homework assignment. You also don’t want them to end up hating school either.

Let them go outside for some fresh air, play for 20 to 30 minutes, or do something that they enjoy to help them change their focus and recharge. Sometimes a break is enough to help them refocus on the problem so that they can figure it out. If a break doesn’t work, reach out to your child’s teacher and let them know.

Does Your Child Like to Fidget While Doing Their Homework?

Does your child like to fidget while they are working on their homework? Fidgeting is mindless play or touching that helps children with ADHD/ADD help focus on the task at hand. In this case, mindless fidgeting may help them complete their homework. You can try a wiggle seat, fidget spinner, squishy animals, fidget cube, or tangle toys.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

When your child runs into a problem with their homework, let them use technology to their advantage. Depending on the age of your child, you might want to supervise them while they are using technology for educational purposes. Try finding an app that turns learning into a game or allow them to watch educational videos.

Offer Praise

Always praise your child for trying their best, even if they are struggling with getting their homework done. Try praising them next time they stay focused, come home with a good grade, or even completing their homework assignment. Simple praise goes a long way and it encourages your child to continue working hard, even if they feel like giving up.

Try Rewards

Implement a reward system to help motivate your child to get their homework done. Rewards give your child something to work towards. When they meet their goal, make sure that you follow through with the reward.

Children with ADHD/ADD tend to have more homework issues than their peers. Daily work and homework are an important part of learning the material for tests, quizzes, and end of course tests when your child gets to high school.

Don’t let ADHD/ADD get in the way of your child accomplishing their homework. With a bit of consistency and applying these tips can help you overcome homework challenges.

How are you overcoming ADHD/ADD homework struggles?

icecreamnstickyfingers

Christy has been married to her husband for 10 years and has three children. She has over 22 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom and a single parent. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.

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