No kid likes homework. But for a child with ADHD, homework time can be extra hard. Assignments that might take other kids an hour can take yours 2 or 3 -- or more.
Homework doesn't have to ruin your kid's day. And it doesn't have to turn you into a stressed out, nagging parent. A structured routine can help your son or daughter stay focused and on track.
1. Set up a homework station.
Choose one spot where your child can do his homework every day. Make sure it's away from distractions like noisy siblings and the TV. (The kitchen table works well for some kids, since you can easily check in on them.)
The seat should face a wall, not a window. White noise, from an MP3 player or a fan, can help drown out sounds to keep his mind on the work.
2. Break up study time.
Does your child start strong, then sputter out? Split up assignments so she doesn’t have to do it all at once.
Instead of a solid hour, have her tackle three 20-minute sessions with playtime or a snack in between.
Or switch subjects: math for 20 minutes, then English for another 20, then back to math. She'll struggle less, and her work may improve.
3. Stay on schedule.
Kids with ADHD have trouble managing time. They also get off track easily. A schedule can help with both problems.
Ask your child to break down his homework into mini-assignments that take only a few minutes each. Then use an egg timer or alarm app to keep him on task for each section. Not only will it help him, but you won't have to nag as much.
Like the daily assignments, break down big, long-term projects (like a diorama or a book report) into simple steps. Set up a schedule with a due date for each step. These small deadlines will help him get the project done on time.
4. Plan studying around medication.
A child who takes ADHD medication may study better earlier in the afternoon, when the drugs are still in effect. She may have a hard time later in the evening, after they wear off.