08 Nov Top 6 Homework Tips for Kids with ADHD
TOP 6 HOMEWORK TIPS FOR KIDS WITH ADHD
Homework is a huge challenge for kids with ADHD.
And, of course, that’s due to their different brain wiring. Plus, children spend hours at school, which consumes much of their energy. When they come home, freshening up, eating lunch, watching TV, etc., drains the rest of their energy.
It is difficult for kids with ADHD to sustain their attention for so long. Hence, it often results in negative homework behavior.
You must be thinking: if that’s the scenario, then every child should behave the same.
The difference in their behavior is the stuck brain pattern of kids with ADHD that doesn’t allow them to perform executive functions or non-stimulating tasks.
Executive functioning is the set of mental skills like cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, working memory, etc., that help us perform our daily life tasks. However, you can seek professional coaching to help your kids with ADHD strengthen their executive functioning.
These homework challenges can be overcome with practiced habits and modifications in the study process.
6 Homework Tips for Kids with ADHD That Will Help You Reduce The Homework Hassle
1. Find study buddies
Find a study buddy for your kid. Partnering kids with a buddy helps them keep track on each other’s assignments and homework. Also, getting homework done along with a buddy makes it enjoyable.
Many researchers have established that cooperative learning is the most effective technique for students with ADHD.
It helps kids perform exceptionally well in academics. But cooperative learning comes with some challenges for kids with ADHD. These kids are sometimes rebellious, frustrating, and often veer off the topic.
Besides, kids with ADHD also disturb other people in the surrounding area. Therefore, it is crucial to keep a constant check on your kid.
Here are a few tips on managing study buddies to maximize the output of this strategy.
- Make kids work on a common goal.
It is important to emphasize that group success should also be individual success to let kids know they have to work at both the individual and team levels. Also, a reward will only be given if all the group members are successful.
- Encourage self-advocacy
Knowing when to get help and realizing there’s no guilt in asking for help is an important human skill that parents should foster among kids from the beginning. Taking help from a study buddy will not make homework monotonous.
Plus, homework will no longer seem like a one-way conversation (unlike regular sessions where kids feel bored and non-participating).
- Let your kid socialize
Socializing with other kids and making friends will help kids become better listeners. Also, it will help kids build the skill of understanding facial behavior, body language, and social interaction. These skills will push them to study in groups without causing problems.
People forget kids with ADHD are also exceptionally intelligent and creative. Therefore, group activities can be highly advantageous to them.
2. Respect your child’s saturation point
Do you know your child’s saturation point?
The point from where he/she can’t pull up no matter how hard they try.
And as a parent, you always try to push them up.
What’s this causing them?
Check out your child during the homework sessions – if he/she feels tired, please ask them to stop and take a rest.
Talk to your child and reduce the homework load if required. Discuss the same with the school teachers and ask them not to force your child beyond their saturation point.
Kids with ADHD become overwhelmed and overstimulated when bombarded with any work they don’t like doing or find difficult.
Start with identifying your child’s saturation point – don’t force them. However, you can gradually increase their working capability with time.
- Address the stressors of your child
What are stressors? Stressor refers to a situation that causes stress to an individual.
Not every kid has the same stressors. Parents need to monitor their child’s behavior in different situations and find the stressors.
Your child’s inappropriate behavior will reveal their stressors, especially in certain situations. Also, it would be best if you informed the school teachers about these stressors that can irritate your child.
3. Encourage sleep, movements, and green time.
For children with ADHD, movements play an essential role. Exercise has enormous benefits – it promotes brain development, reduces anxiety and depression, and improves concentration, etc.
Exercise, in particular, improves the sleep cycle, and better sleep is said to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
- ADHD and sleep
Let’s start with a question your mind triggered.
Is there really a connection between ADHD and sleep?
Yes, there is.
Insufficient sleep can make anyone less attentive – people with or without ADHD.
But it has more adverse effects on kids with ADHD.
How can you help your child to sleep better?
👉 Reduce the total screen time.
👉 Reduce caffeine
👉 Try to slow down an hour or so before bedtime.
👉 Cuddle with your kid before bedtime.
👉 Make use of aroma or scent to calm down your kid.
👉 If sleeping is still hard for your child, use relaxation sounds or background music
👉 Green time for kids with ADHD
Green time can benefit kids with ADHD. Spending time near nature increases their ability to focus and lowers anxiety & stress among kids with ADHD.
Additionally, it helps reduce the symptoms of ADHD to a more significant extent. It is one of the most straightforward tips to help your kids improve and grow fast.
Did going green help kids with ADHD: A case study
**Ming (Frances) Kuo, Ph.D., and Andrea Faber Taylor, Ph.D. Two researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign surveyed children with ADHD – who participated in different after-school and weekend activities to understand how outdoor activities affected ADHD symptoms during the mid-2000s across the country.
The children who spent time with nature experienced a greater reduction in their ADHD symptoms.
The conclusion: “On the whole, the green settings were related to milder overall symptoms than either the [control settings of the] ‘built outdoors’ or ‘indoors’ settings,” Taylor said.
By collecting the information gathered in the survey – it is seen that whether it is a backyard, city park, school playground, or just a stand of some trees – there was a reduction in ADHD symptoms among children, plus there was an improvement in the child’s behavior. There were positive results among children with ADHD in diverse aspects like resilience, critical thinking, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, perseverance, etc.
Two types of attention scientists described in this study: directed or task-driven and fascination. And nature helps to regulate both. It is likely to help kids with ADHD overcome impulsivity and situational inattention challenges to some extent.
So plan picnics or scavenger hunts more often with your kids to help them grow and develop. However, you can also make a mini garden on your terrace or rooftop.**
4. Experiment: Understand your child’s learning style
Every kid is unique in their own way – you have to experiment to find what works best for your kid. Children with ADHD can’t learn immediately as things become monotonous.
They need moving activities – fidgeting, squirming, twisting, etc. Therefore, it is crucial to make the learning session enjoyable.
- Find out how your kid likes to learn.
Information or knowledge you transfer/teach to your kid should be absorbed easily for a better understanding. Therefore, try to figure out how your kid absorbs things fast. There are three different kinds of learners:
- Auditory learners – Children who learn fast by listening and talking are auditory learners. Some strategies like audiobooks, listening activities, discussing, storytelling, brainstorming, verbal instructions, etc., will help auditory learners.
- Visual learners – Children who learn fast by reading or observing are visual learners. Some strategies, like videos, multimedia presentations, models, illustrations, imagery, graphic organizers, maps, charts, books, flashcards, outlines, etc., will help visual learners.
- Tactile learners – Children who learn fast through physical touch or movements are tactile learners. Some strategies like active learning games, dance, field trips, role-playing, simulations, building, construction, labs, arts & crafts, etc., will help tactile learners.
Some fun ideas to make the study session enjoyable.
👉 Make predictions or “bets”– Ask your kids what can happen next. Offer some of your opinions and ask for theirs. This activity will push them to think. The best part is there will be no direct force on the kid to study or concentrate. It will be the child’s natural curiosity that will make them think.
👉 Invent silly acronyms– Learning can be difficult or tedious for kids with ADHD. Inventing silly acronyms can spice up the learning session.
👉 Make your kid re-read their assignments– The constant repetition of assignments and homework offers a clear view of expectations. Often, kids with ADHD rush through homework without understanding what’s expected of them, which creates challenges in completing homework correctly.
👉 Breaks– Offering breaks between homework sessions help kids with ADHD reset their minds. Don’t try to control their movements like fidgeting, etc. However, you can use different tools for kids with ADHD available online and offline, like fidgeting toys, etc.
5. Eat right
Food is the most undervalued element when you want your kids with ADHD to focus on completing homework. But you are a reflection of what you eat.
Human thoughts, emotions, perceptions, ability, behavior, etc., are all the result of the food they consume. Therefore, ensuring your child with ADHD is on the proper diet is of utmost importance.
By proper diet, I don’t mean having three meals or so a day. It all depends on your kid’s physical and mental requirements.
But what matters the most is giving your child a complete nutrient-dense food diet, for example, a combination of protein and fiber-rich food to fuel your kid’s energy. Avoid junk foods and others with artificial colorings or sweeteners.
Zinc, iron, and magnesium are the three trace minerals necessary for brain development. So, try incorporating foods with high content of these three minerals. It is advised to rely more on natural foods than supplements for kids with ADHD.
You can include healthy lists like avocados, beans & lentils, sesame seeds, spinach, dried fruits (figs, prunes, apricots, dates, and raisins), etc.
6. Reward the positive homework behavior
When one small smile, compliment, or reward makes your day – think of your kid’s happiness. Reward big or small achievements of your kid with ADHD.
Positive homework behavior should always be rewarded to encourage your kid to perform better every time. But go small with this; children can become greedy. Balance is the key here.
Few ways to reward your child:
👉 Few extra minutes for TV or PlayStation time
👉 Small treats like cakes, chocolates, etc.
👉 Privilege of shopping for their favorites.
Rewarding positive behavior doesn’t mean being neutral when things go wrong. There should be soft consequences for not showing positive homework behavior.
For example, you can remove some of the privileges from your kid’s daily life as a consequence of their misbehavior. But remember to handle the situation carefully and softly. A much harsh consequence can show a negative effect on your kid with ADHD.
Stay Positive and Healthy – A Word from Themba Tutors
It is the most neglected aspect in the life of parents. Running after your kid with ADHD for every other thing is challenging, but understanding your well-being is equally important for both the child and you.
Parents’ good mental and physical state is essential to keep up with the kids. Things get better with time if you will actively support your child with ADHD throughout.
Try out these strategies to help your kid with ADHD complete their homework. If you need more help than these study tips or an actionable plan to help your kid with ADHD, you can connect with our experts anytime!
Our experts’ multidisciplinary and holistic approach has helped many students with ADHD, and we can help your child too.
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