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> Child Behavior > Blog
     
Aug
18

Homework can be challenging for parents and kids when ADHD is in the picture. In order to prevent hassles, the first place to start is at your child’s school.

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Try to meet with your child’s teachers and learn what the homework expectations will be for the coming school year. (If the homework assignments seem to be excessive, remember that under 504 plans or an IEP, it is possible for the amount of homework to be modified to accommodate the abilities of the child with ADHD.) At this time, it’s also a good idea to set up regular quarterly meetings or determine a system for communication between parent and teacher to make sure that everybody’s on the same page.

The next step is to set the stage at home. Just prior to the start of school, it’s probably a good idea to have a time to talk about upcoming changes that the start of school will bring. Homework can be presented in the context of “It’s part of the work of a child to do some work at home, just like it is for adults.”  If you or your spouse bring work home from time to time, use that as an example.

Kids with ADHD often have trouble separating tasks and following through on them. To help them focus, try presenting this concept to your child: Tell them that every person’s time is divided into at least three different ways. For everyone, there is a time for play, a time for work, and a time for rest. It’s important to get the most out of each activity, and one way to do this is by keeping them separate. You could say, “After all, you wouldn’t want to bring homework to a party, so the same is true about doing schoolwork at home—we don’t bring the TV or video games on to homework time”.

In order to keep homework separate from other activities, there are at least two steps that you can take. The first is to establish a specific time or times for homework. These times should be agreed upon in advance and put in writing. The second is to establish a place for homework to be done. This area should be as free from distraction as possible and should have adequate workspace and all the necessary supplies readily available.

Taking these basic steps can set the stage for a school year without major hassles regarding homework. My next post will be on additional basic tips on helping kids cope successfully with homework.


     

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  • Carolyn Says:

    Dr. Bob: Thanks for these great tips. I think we let our 13 yo daughter’s study area get too crazy last year. Way too much was going on–ipod, cell phone, TV, etc. (What were we thinking?? :( )I’m going to talk with her about focusing on what she needs to do in school this year and set up her homework space with her before school starts. She loves decorating, so maybe we can make getting her desk ready into a fun thing to do together.

  • Lori Says:

    I currently have a home schooled child. He has never been diagnosed w/ADHD, however, has trouble staying focused on every subject. We’ve had a workstation set up that offers little distraction. We home school the same subjects, the same time every day and there is a schedule posted at the work station. Even though I have went to these great measures to help my child stay focused his mind still can’t stay on task. He will stay focused on things of interest to him, so I really would like to stay away from medication if possible. Do you have any more tips? Thanks, P.S. He has been homeschooled for 6 years.

  • Christal Roberts Says:

    Some parents who do not wish to medicate their children regulate their childs hyperness with the foods they eat or rather don’t eat. Just an idea. I really don’t know anything about this but I have seen some information on http://www.webmd.com in their ADHD section. My son is 7 years old and has been hyper since he was born, I’m not kidding. The day he was born, he would have rolled off the scale if the nurse hadn’t caught him and he hasn’t stopped since. He can stay focused on things of great interest to him expecially in the morning but the things that interest him are video games, playing with friends and self play. All of these are rapidly changing in format and the way the child has to focus so don’t be fooled just because he seems to be focused on certain things and not others. My mom didn’t think my son was ADHD at first because he could sit in the floor for hours and play quietly by himself but what she didn’t realize was that he was constantly changing the format of play in his mind therefore never getting bored. ADHD is a very complex and complicated issue and I would personally suggest a therapist who specializes in ADHD who can teach your child ways he can focus without help. Just remember that not every technique works and not every time just hang in there and I’ll be praying for you. I think you are a brave soul to do homeschooling LOL

  • Jorge Says:

    For those children who need help with homework, here is a list of useful sites that parents can use with information on every subject, from science to literature. There is even a site that will help you solve math problem
    http://www.parentssupportnetwork.com/p2p/?p=40

  • Cheryl Says:

    Hi, Lori. We have a similar situation with our homeschooled ADHD son. The most successful technique for us is to follow a dreaded assignment with something enjoyable. For instance, 10-11:30 is math (his hardest subject), with a break at 11:30 and lunch at 12.

    If he still hasn’t finished his independent math work by 11:30, he must continue working until lunch (or beyond if necessary). But if he finishes by 11:30, he is free until lunch. He loves his free time….

    Before, it was 10-11:30 Math, then 11:30-12:30 Grammar, so the only “reward” for finishing math was more work right away. No wonder there was little motivation.)

    Hang in there–Total Transformation has been a Godsend for us.
    Cheryl

  • Chris Says:

    Several things I have discovered help with the “homework heartache” is first to jump on the homework right after school. they are already in the learning zone. Give them a quick snack and keep it going. This is especially helpful for those kids on add/adhd meds. Their meds wear off later in the day. take advantage of the time you have. Also, I found my daughter and I going to battle everytime I had to help her with homework. My solution: tutoring. Many teachers tutor after school or during latchkey for a fair price. Some schools have a volunteer program worked out with other parents. As i’m sure you know, most kids behave differently with others. Hope these tips help

  • Cheryl Says:

    Hi, Lori. We have a similar situation with our homeschooled ADHD son. The most successful technique for us is to follow a dreaded assignment with something enjoyable. For instance, 10-11:30 is math (his hardest subject), with a break at 11:30 and lunch at 12.

    If he still hasn’t finished his independent math work by 11:30, he must continue working until lunch (or beyond if necessary). But if he finishes by 11:30, he is free until lunch. He loves his free time….

    Before, it was 10-11:30 Math, then 11:30-12:30 Grammar, so the only “reward” for finishing math was more work right away. No wonder there was little motivation.)

    Hang in there–Total Transformation has been a Godsend for us.
    Cheryl

  • IrisP Says:

    My nephew has ADHD and it is really hard to keep these kids focused and interested in learning. I do believe that making learning more fun can capture their interest and attention more. Jorge mentioned a great site that offers a lot of homework help. KStars, http://www.k5stars.com is also a great website that offers fun a innovative ways to teach your kids math and reading. Most importantly it is actually fun for the kids and they forget that they are actually learning. They think they are playing a game.

  • Kevin Broccoli Says:

    I agree with IrisP that kids need to enjoy learning.

    If the school isn’t making it enjoyable, telling them it’s simply ‘work time’ and they need to buckle down and differentiate it from play time won’t work.

    They need to see learning as “play” and have a ball doing it. I see homeschooling of children with ADD as the best solution to this.

    One way to get them to have fun during homeschooling is by using a whiteboard to teach, and having them draw on the board and actively participate. The other is by fun games that you can invent or find in which you can teach while involved in the games.

    My wife and I do this with her brother, Steven. We play indoor basketball and hockey (in our hallway) while we review Spanish phrases and sentences. He LOVES it and he remembers a lot more than any other method. It’s similar to the Brain Gym method is some ways.

    I have no formal education in teaching, but we’ve tried many methods over the past two years. And we’re having tremendous success with games, whiteboard use, role-playing, centering learning around areas of interest and other fun, stimulating ways to learn.

    Kevin Broccoli, Author of the “Homeschooling ADD Kids” blog, http://homeschoolingADDkids.com/blog/

  • Melissa Wilson Says:

    I NEED HELP AND ADVISE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have 5 children all boys ranging in age from 15 to 11 my 15 yr old is the biggest challange of my life. He was diagnosed with ADHD several yrs ago now. He is in the 9th grade where I fear he will remain for life. He is getting no credit for this yr. He has an E in every single class including Gym. It is bad. He wont do homework and when he does its so messy and he never turns it in. I am at a loss it is a daily struggle. I am losing my mind. I feel so bad I praise my children for positives however I feel bad when it comes to this because he is always getting negative.
    I need help I just don’t know what to do anymore.

  • silent D Says:

    where do you findadhd right for modified home work cause im a kid with adhd an i cannot do my home work at home cause my brain just says ok youre not at school any more so you can relaxe but my teachers wont let me get modified home work

  • Lukesnana Says:

    I’m with Melissa, above. My 9-year-old is completely rebellious over homework. He comes home, feeling that he’s done his day’s work, and often REFUSES to do it. He is making all Cs and Ds, and many Fs on tests. You can literally lead a horse to water, but how do you make him drink???
    Need help, too!!!!