10 simple tips to make homework easy for the ADHD child

As the new year is upon us, many parents become concerned about how they will be able to help their ADHD child manage his homework.  The challenges of being easily distracted, difficulty to focus, having impulsive and hyperactive behaviour, on top of being easily frustrated can be a recipe for a very challenging school year both for the child and the parents.

I hope this article will help both you and your child feel more successful and accomplished.

  1. Find the best time frame when your child will have the most concentration and ability to focus.  It could be after having a snack after school, or after supper.
  2. Make the schedule a set and regular time.  ADHD children feel more secure with routines and don't like changes.
  3. Use the timer.  Break the homework into small manageable chunks.  Set the timer for 30 minutes, then give the child a 10 minute break using the timer.  Continue until the homework is done.  During the break have the child move around, stretch his legs, take a glass a water, go to the bathroom, or have a small snack.
  4. Eliminate any distractions, - no television, loud music, or distraction from siblings.
  5. Ask the teachers to give the child a homework assignment sheet.  Have them divide it into subjects that clearly outlines the work needed to be completed.  The parents can get the child to check off each assignment as it is finished.
  6. Make sure he has the phone numbers of a few classmates he can call if he is unsure of the homework assignments.  Let him be the one to make the call, it will build his self-confidence.
  7. When his homework is completed, praise him for starting his homework on time, sitting quietly and working,
  8. It takes a lot of effort and self-discipline for your child to complete his homework.  Giving him a reward can help him stay motivated.  It can be a small amount of money, a trip to the mall, playing a game, gaining a privilege or just some one-on-one attention.  Rewarding positive behavior is much more motivating than punishing negative behaviour.
  9. Be consistent and set reasonable consequences.  If he forgets his homework, no TV that evening.
  10. ADHD children have difficulty dealing with anger and stress. They have low levels of frustration and react quickly to criticism.  Teaching him breathing exercises, how to express his feelings calmly and encouraging physical exercise or sports can help the child manage and channel his anger more constructively.
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