Back to School With ADHD
Summer is the time for kids to relax, sleep late, and have fun. No kid wants to trade vacation for the structure and routine of the school year.
Although kids with ADHD can have a hard time getting used to classrooms and homework again, you can take steps to make the transition easier for both of you.
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 post due dates and reminders
- A desk organizer and storage bins for school supplies to keep his study space neat and free from distractions
- Color-coded folders or a multi-pocket binder to keep assignments straight
Let him help make a shopping list for supplies for the coming year. Ask his school if you can get an extra set of textbooks to keep at home.
Plan Your Back-to-School Calendar
Write all of the activities your child has planned 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. Leave room in each day for homework, plus some time to relax and have fun.
Let her help design the schedule, so she feels a sense of control and ownership. Go over the schedule each day until she understands the routine.
Ease Into the New Schedule
If your child slept late during summer vacation, start waking him up a little earlier each day. That way he won’t be groggy when school starts. Make bedtime a little earlier each night, too, so he gets enough sleep.
Start him back on any ADHD medicines if you took a break for the summer.
Post the Routine
Put a list of the daily morning activities on the fridge or somewhere your child will see it. Write down everything she needs to do before walking out the door, including:
- Get dressed.
- Make the bed.
- Eat breakfast.
- Pack homework.
- Take backpack, sneakers, jacket, and lunch.
Talk to the Teacher
Meet with your child's new teacher(s). Talk about classroom changes that helped him learn in the past. For example, kids with ADHD find it easier to focus when they sit in the front of the class, away from distractions like friends and windows.