Homework Tips for Kids with ADHD

Homework requires disciplined attention and executive skills, which are often areas of weakness for children with ADHD. Because of this, homework battles often ensue. The best way to conquer homework and minimize battles is to establish consistent routines that become habits over time. It is critical to stick to the program with solid commitment. It often takes months for a routine to become a habit. Here are 11 tips for helping your child manage homework:

1. Consistency is very important. Explore the best time for your child to do homework and schedule homework for that set time each day. Be consistent from day to day and make sure that there is enough time set aside to complete the work.

2. Find a good place for your child to do their homework. Some children prefer to do their homework in their room without distraction. Others find it easier to do homework at the kitchen table. Some children prefer some background noise, such as music, whereas others need a very quiet work area. Explore different options with your child to find their optimal work environment.

3. Some children have difficulty with initiation of homework. Parents can support this by making it a habit for their child to start homework at the same time and by helping their child get started and fade out once they are on the right track.

4. Children with ADHD often have trouble self-monitoring, or checking their work. Teaching your child to get into the habit of checking homework will facilitate habitual self monitoring. Parents may need to monitor completion and quality of work, until the children learn to do it themselves.

5. Children with ADHD often benefit from breaking down assignments into subparts. Scheduled short breaks after each subpart is completed may help your child to remain focused and ready for the next assignment.

6. If homework is consistently taking an exorbitant amount of time, talk to your child’s teacher to see if homework demands can be adjusted. Forcing a child to spend an excessive amount of time on homework is stressful for everyone and counter productive.

7. Help your child learn to reliably use an assignment book or an electronic organizer.

8. Use praise to reinforce your child’s hard work. Compliment your child for their effort. Sometimes providing incentives or rewards after homework is helpful to keep a child motivated.

9. Often children with ADHD forget to hand in assignments. Your child may benefit from your help in making sure that their work is sent to school the next day so that they get credit for their hard work.

10. Long term assignments may be especially difficult for children with ADHD because planning and organizing the requirements of the project may present a challenge. Parents may need to step in to help their child keep on top of long-term projects by providing a calendar with subgoals scheduled along the way.

11. If homework battles are starting to interfere with your relationship with your child, consider hiring a tutor.