We homeschool, but I believe strongly in the value of homework. I realize that this is probably a carryover from my public school education, but I think it can be valuable (if done right).
Tigger is the only child in our family who has homework, since she’s in fourth grade this year. I don’t assign much and I allow her some flexibility as to how she completes it. But there are days when she has trouble getting it done anyway.
If you assign homework to your ADHD homeschoolers, try these tips to help them complete their work. Even if you’re not homeschooling, though, you can benefit from these homework strategies for ADHD kids!
Image: Monkey Business / Dollar Photo Club
Homework Strategies for ADHD Kids
Have the kids eat before they get started.
No one can concentrate on an empty stomach, right? Naturally, our kids need food for their brains in order to maintain focus on their assignments. If your kids are coming in from public school, it’s very likely that they’re hungry. Serve them a protein-heavy snack paired with a complex carb (think: apple and peanut butter) and a glass of water before they begin.
If you’re homeschooling, try to assign homework after snack time. In our family, Tigger does homework after the morning snack before she hits the lunchtime hyper hour. 🙂
Fight the urge to procrastinate.
Kids and adults who have ADHD tend to procrastinate if they have a deadline that’s too far into the future. To avoid this, encourage your kids to start on their homework right away. Add an incentive by giving them a soft deadline. For example, if your child has a particular television show she wants to watch, challenge her by asking her to finish the homework before the show begins.
We don’t watch much live television, but I require Tigger to finish her homework before we watch anything that day. Once it’s done, I review it and if there are a lot of errors, I have her fix them before we begin. (A lot of errors implies that she was rushing in an attempt to get to the TV.)
Supplement with additional resources.
If your child is struggling with homework because he is confused about a topic, stop and offer him some additional help. Tigger and I had to review multiplication several times before it finally started to click. I would assign her homework, thinking that I was reinforcing our lessons, but until she really understood the concept, there was no point in doing endless worksheets about it.
We took a break from multiplication for a while and came back to it a few weeks later. I supplemented with a few math programs, and when she finally understood it, I went back to assigning her homework. This time, she had a much easier time getting the work done.
Do your kids with ADHD struggle to complete their homework? If you’re homeschooling, do you even bother with homework? Tell us in the comments!
This post is part of the 31 Days of ADHD Homeschooling series! Stop by tomorrow for Day 24: How to Calm Your Frustrated ADHD Learners!
Homework is something we do in my home also. However, I don’t ‘assign’ it. The kids have a set daily lesson plan they have to finish. If they are not in the mood to finish it all, or if they have to ‘revisit’ a fact or quiz/test, then it’s moved to ‘Weekend Homework’. So essentially my kids only have homework on the weekends, usually of their choosing. For example, my 13yr old asked if she could take her Algebra 2 test on the weekend and research her paper on the weekend when she can ask her older sister questions. My 11 year old asked to move his Geography project to the weekend. I give them til Sunday after afternoon. If nothing is finished all electronics are checked into our home library and the work gets done before they are returned. I’ve only had to do that at the beginning, now the kids know the rules.
My son goes to public school and he is struggling to do his homework. I am not home to help him to make sure he is doing it right or with the TV off. By the time I get home it’s pretty late. So, he is in the bed. I really would like to know how I can help him. Also, in school he is failing. Can you please help?
Selena Robinson says
Hmmm….that’s tough. Since kids with ADHD have so much trouble with self-regulation, it’s tricky to get them to do their own work without supervision. Have you looked into getting a tutor?