Undoubtedly, children will at some point experience challenges with their homework. However, for kids with ADHD, such issues often exceed just a few assignments. As earlier mentioned, children with ADHD, have issues with patience, organizing and focusing. Such issues usually make it difficult for students to perform optimally both inside and outside the classroom. Kids with ADHD usually rush through their homework; they can be quite hasty and this typically results in lots of mistakes.They may even lose their homework and find it difficult to organize their thoughts and tasks which prevents them from planning ahead. Well, you don’t have to despair; the challenges that your child may be experiencing right now in their studies can be overcome by leveraging practiced habits as well as appropriate study skills for students with ADHD. In this chapter, we shall be going through some homework tips which will help your child to focus properly and achieve success in school.
Start by Creating a Homework-Only Space
The starting point is to establish a homework-only space for your child because kids with ADHD can easily get distracted by their surroundings. Search for the ideal location in your home where your child can study with fewer distractions. This location can serve as a quiet study space away from noise and movement; a place where children can easily clear their minds and focus on their studies.
Establish a Consistent Schedule/Structure
This point can never be overemphasised; children with ADHD needs to have a consistent routine. It ensures that they start their homework and remain focused. So, parents need to establish a time each day for their children to sit down and read or finish their homework.
Actually, it’s an excellent habit to encourage your child to focus on homework shortly after your child gets home from school. Also, don’t forget to provide your child with a drink to refresh and a healthy snack to re-energize. For some kids, a little exercise and outside play works best for them and once you discover that your child requires time to expend extra energy and refocus, then all you have to do is to structure it right in just before commencing homework.
While some children do better in quiet places, others will need a little background music to help them concentrate. Ensure that your kid’s homework routine is stress-free and highly predictable. Once homework is completed, ensure that completed homework is safely placed in the homework folder, by your child, and that they return all appropriate items to their bag.
Study in Spurts
It’s important for kids with ADHD to take breaks because ADHD can make it quite difficult to focus. One strategy that can help is to study in short spurts, so provide your child with regular breaks from homework and make room for a snack or a walk. This will help refresh and reset your child’s mind. In addition, it will offer your child the chance to expend extra energy and enhance his/her concentration once they return.
Create checklists, schedules for homework and assignments – organize school supplies. You need to help your child prepare for school the next day and ensure that all your child’s homework has been completed. You can even go the extra mile by making organization fun for your child. You can do this by providing your child with coloured folders, cool labels and special stickers, and pencils.
Observe how your Child Learns
Understanding how your child learns is crucial; whether it’s auditory, visual or kinaesthetic. It’s advisable that parents should try to modify their children’s studying habits to fit their learning style with talking out loud, music, walking, graphs, and visuals. Understand that every child learns differently, so helping your child to study in ways that work for your child can significantly improve their understanding and retention.
Get Your Child’s Teacher Involved
It’s not always easy for parents to know what’s happening with their children at school, but as a parent, you can get informed simply by talking to your child’s teacher. You can ask your child’s teacher to send you regular updates on homework and other reports concerning your child. If possible, try to meet with your child’s teacher occasionally for progress reports. When you know what’s happening with your child in school, it will enable you as well as your child’s teacher to make the required changes that will ensure that your kid learns effectively.
Always Show Support
Constantly encourage your child to put in his/her best into their work. It’s perfectly okay to help when your child asks for help even though they should be encouraged to eventually try to complete their work independently. Helping your children to look at challenges positively will keep them motivated and will show that you’re interested in their improvement.
Know when to Quit
Generally, kids with ADHD can become easily overwhelmed and frustrated. So, while it’s good to encourage your child to keep going as long as they can, it’s important that you shouldn’t push your child too much. Once you discover that your child has reached a limit, then stop for the night. Send your child’s teacher a note to explain why homework wasn’t completed.
Provide Praise and Positive Feedback
Learn to congratulate and reward your child after completing their homework. Praising your children does not only have to be when they have completed their homework; you can also praise their efforts even when the homework wasn’t completed and encourage them to achieve a new goal the next day.
Try Moving Around
It’s usually challenging for children with ADHD to sit in one place for a long period. So, allowing your child to stand up and move around can significantly help to maintain focus. You can even turn to study into a physical activity; for instance, asking your child to count out steps when practising math problems like subtraction and addition. Parents are also advised to provide their children with something they can fidget with as they study; stress balls are an excellent item for children with ADHD.