With the end of year exams and report cards approaching, students need all the tools available to help keep them successful and focused on schoolwork. We all know school doesn’t end when students leave the classroom. Handling homework can be a daunting task for both children and parents. Add ADHD and homework together and you’ve got yourself a difficult challenge. Don’t be discouraged. As parents, it is important to help set up success for our children and tackle these tasks together.
Why Homework Matters
Even though students have already spent eight or more hours in school focusing, studying, behaving, and socializing, they have to come home to endless piles of more schoolwork. There is the constant tug-of-war between parents and children over getting homework done. Even though parents know homework is no more exciting than it was 20 years ago, they recognize the value of homework. The benefits of homework include:
- Giving parents an opportunity to see what their child is learning;
- Teaching students to work independently, set priorities and take responsibility;
- Providing parents a chance to review the class material.
All of this sounds like a manageable and recognizable opportunity for students and parents to focus on education, but in reality, homework is an exhausting and stressful task. It is difficult to motivate any student to stay on task to do their homework, let alone students with ADHD.
Simple Ways to Relieve Homework Stress
Kids are more successful in school when parents stay involved and interested in their school work and education. Use this opportunity to be a mentor and help monitor their school load. Ask about assignments, quizzes, due dates, check on completed homework, and make yourself available for questions or help. When they have someone to keep them accountable for their work, they will stay motivated and on task. It doesn’t just start at home, make sure you are also communicating and involving their teacher.
Set a Routine
In order to develop your child’s habit to complete homework, keep their schedule as consistent as possible. Set a specific time and place for them to complete their homework and eventually it’ll become a habit. Designate a homework location that is quiet, has good lighting, and is free of distractions that might cause an ADHD mind to wander. Experiment with your child to help determine the best environment for them.
Create a Reward System
As we mentioned in a previous post, your child will have a great chance at success in school if they are involved in a reward system. Meaningful incentives help to engage their brain and willpower. Create short or long term rewards that are valuable to your child, but generally short-term reward systems are more effective.
Before your child starts on any homework, review their assignments with them and help them separate tasks out to keep them organized. Each night go over their agenda and check on your child’s completed tasks. Help them sort through their notebooks and binders, putting loose paper where they belong and keeping old material at home.
Staying organized sounds like an easier task than it is. Check out our top organization strategies for ADHD.
Take a Break. Refocus.
While they are doing their homework, set a timer to help make time for scheduled breaks. When 20 minutes or so have passed, have them move around, dance, go outside, or do anything active. This will help enhance their alertness and feel re-energized to complete their work. When you see them distracted or daydreaming, tap them on the shoulder and comment on how well they’re doing, refocusing their minds on their homework.
Homework doesn’t have to a daunting task, but a beneficial one for your ADHD child. With these simple tips, you can begin to eliminate the exhaustive homework stress and spare your family the after school headaches.