School has started and at this point many children with ADHD are finding homework to be a challege. Or, maybe you have a child who is involved in sports or multiple after school activities, again they mab be having difficulties with homework. One of the most important reasons that students hae problems with homework is not understanding time management. This becomes an issue in students at the middle school level and up. Today I will be addressing this segment of the student population.
Time management is an executive function and those with ADHD are known to have delays or deficits in executive functions. Many students cannot gauge time and therefore have difficulty finishing assignments and projects. Another issue is that of problems with focus or concentration which will lead to loss of time needed to complete homework.
One of the first steps will be to make sure your student has a planner that has the days of the week across the top. They want to be able to see the whole week at once. Many schools will have their own planners that students are required to use. However, if it is not working for your student that is something you as a parent can speak to them about and maybe put it in their IEP. Next, you and your student need to fill in classes, time of classes and all their after school commitments. Once this is done the two of you can look and see what times are the best for homework. Does your student come home right after school and what time do they arrive? How much time do they need to take a break before starting? Half an hour, 15 minutes?
Once you have the daily times your student will start homework, next it's a matter of figuring out what subject they will start with. For example, if your child has problems with history maybe doesn't like it, if they decide to start with history it may be 10 pm before they can bring themselves to begin. So, they may want to start with something they like or are excited about just to get homework going..To make sure say history gets done,they may want to do that homework in 20 minute spurts. History 20 minutes, math half hour , history 20 minutes, science an hour.
What if your student has no homework one night? I advise that they do some type of work each evening even if there is no homework. They develop the routine this way for the future. The evenings with no homework your child can work on a long term project or read ahead in one of their books.
Some tips on focus:
- a snack with protein and very little carbs
- regular breaks during which they get up and maybe walk around
- music - some find white noise helps, but many students have some music that doesn't engage them but helps them focus on the work. Ask your student!
- body doubling: many students actually do better if there is someone physically in the room with them.
There is much more on this topic but I hope I have given the parents out there some ideas and tips to help with those homework challenges! Please send me questions or comments. Call me at 614 216 2283
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