Back to School With ADHD
Summer is a time for kids to relax, sleep late, and have fun. But vacations end, and then it's time to get back into the structure and routine of school. That can lead to a lot of whining and grumbling if you don't prepare your child ahead of time.
There are ways to make the back-to-school change easier for both you and your child with ADHD.
At home, help your child stay on top of homework. Great tools for organizing include:
- A calendar or daily planner
- A dry-erase or bulletin board to note due dates and keep track of important reminders
- A desk organizer and storage bins for school supplies that keep your kid's study space neat and free from distractions
- Color-coded folders or a multi-pocket binder
Let your child help make a shopping list of supplies for the coming year. Consider getting an extra set of textbooks to keep at home, too.
Plan Your Back-to-School Calendar
Write all of the activities your child has planned for the school year on one big calendar. Include things like after-school clubs, sports, music lessons, and regular play dates. Add special projects and tests as they come up. Make sure you've left time each day for homework, plus some time to relax and have fun.
Let your child help design their schedule, so they feel a sense of control and ownership. Go over the schedule each day until they understand the routine.
Ease Into the New Schedule
If your child got used to sleeping late during summer vacation, start waking them up a little bit earlier each day so they're not groggy when school starts. Make bedtime a little earlier each night, too, so they still get enough sleep.
Start them back on any ADHD medicines if you've taken a break for the summer.
Post the Routine
Put a list of the daily morning activities on the fridge or wherever your child will see it. Write down everything they'll need to do before walking out the door, including:
- Get dressed
- Make the bed
- Eat breakfast
- Pack homework
- Take backpack, sneakers, jacket, and lunch