help children with adhd finish their homework

Helping Children With ADHD Finish Their Homework

Helping Children With ADHD Finish Their Homework

help children with adhd finish their homework


How to help children with ADHD finish their homework? Before every how there comes a why!

Before finding answers to how to help your ADHD child with homework, you need to know why they struggle to complete it – I do not mean into their brain wiring and learn how the ADHD brain works! 

Look at this:help children with adhd finish their homeworkSource – This thread is from the ADHD community on Reddit. You can read it here.

The systems you have created for your children to finish their homework are not ideal.

Of course, the brain wiring of ADHD children is different from normal. But that does not mean they cannot complete their homework. 

Therefore, we came up with clear-cut systems to help your ADHD child complete homework without any roadblocks.

The Half Truth

You try to get your child to concentrate. 

You think fidgeting is your child’s biggest enemy. 

We live with half a truth because we feel that our child’s constant fidgets and random movements are the main issues.

But that is not the whole story. 

Movements improve the performance of children with ADHD!

Chair scooting, leg swinging, foot tapping, etc., help the child stay alert and perform executive functions better.

According to a study at the University of Central Florida, children with ADHD perform better when moving.

“The typical interventions target reducing hyperactivity. It’s exactly the opposite of what we should be doing for a majority of children with ADHD. The message isn’t ‘Let them run around the room,’ but you need to be able to facilitate their movement so they can maintain the level of alertness necessary for cognitive activities.”

– by the study author Mark Rapport in UCF’s Colleges and Campus

The systems you have created for your child that restrict movements to facilitate concentration need to be changed.

The National Bureau of Economic Research says ADHD students have lower math and reading scores. In fact, they are likely to get repeated grades in middle and high school. 

Around 35% of ADHD children drop out of school before graduation. Also, these people are 11x more likely to stay unemployed or earn less than $2 per hour.

But, creating workable systems can reduce the effort and stress involved in finishing children’s homework. Furthermore, a study shows that behavioral interventions and the right parental help can beat long-prevailing ADHD symptoms and improve educational performance.

How to Help Children With ADHD Finish Their Homework

Let’s roll down some most worked strategies to help your ADHD child with homework.

👉 Create a well-designated homework space.

Parents spend money on creating visually appealing and aesthetic homework spaces. Some parents build a creative homework space, while some fit a table and chair with a few other accessories in the area. 

But that is not a well-thought design for your child. Have you ever checked whether the homework space aligns with your child’s needs? You have to experiment and analyze what is working for your child. 

Children with ADHD struggle to filter out noise and distractions. Therefore, it is essential to make sure the area is distraction-free.

Look, the workspace should not be a flat-colored surface with no fun elements. Instead, try putting in visual content that does not distract your child but motivates them to study hard. 

For example, you can add sticky notes to the wall so that when he sees them, it reminds him to complete homework. Also, if your child fidgets a lot or taps his feet continuously – you can replace the chair with a sitting bicycle or stick a half-cut tennis ball on the floor.

➡Separate homework space
Have you made a separate homework space for your child?

Children with ADHD are easily distracted. Therefore, separating the study area from other spaces will alert or remind your child – this is homework time, and he has to finish the lesson. It will also create a momentum of study, which will help children to concentrate their minds on finishing.

Also, their subconscious mind will activate – pushing them to stick to the task and avoid distraction.

➡ Color coding
Colors have a profound impact on children and their brains. Color coding is vital in every aspect. Therefore, the workspace structure should be color coordinated. The accessories like pens, folders, notebooks, book covers, etc., should be color coordinated.

Color coordination reduces their struggle. It keeps them organized and less anxious.

👉 Work on chunk assignments

ADHD children lack executive functioning – organizing, planning, executing tasks, etc. Breaking assignments into small chunks will make it less overwhelming.

For example, the task is to write a book report. How can you break it down into small tasks?help children with adhd finish their homework

➡ Plan large projects
Plan the large projects ahead of time. The best way to help your child get good grades in school is to maintain a schedule. A scheduler will help your child stay aligned without missing any work.

➡ Maintain visual progress +chart
A visual progress chart will show the child’s current status and how much work is still left. The graph will motivate your child to complete the homework at the earliest.

👉 Plan breaks

It is crucial to help your children finish their homework since they struggle with regulating their focus. It is not a good idea to make them work for longer periods. Give them breaks – depending on how long they can sit naturally. Gradually increase the study period over time. 

➡ Use the timer blast technique.
People often use the Pomodoro technique to help their children concentrate or study. But that Is not everyone’s cup of tea – Not all children prefer to stay up for 25 minutes. 

The timer blast technique is customized to help your children complete their work. The timer blast technique allows working on any time intervals – 10 min, 15 min, 20 min, 25 min, 30 min, etc. However, it does not allow extending the rest time to more than 10 minutes. It works like:

  1. Set a preferred time interval on the clock. Race it.
  2. Take a rest. Rest should not exceed 10 min.
  3. Also, offer some rewards to your child during the breaks. Repeat!


➡ What should you do during the breaks?
Breaks are equally important as the working periods for your ADHD child. What you both should do highly depends on the taste and interest of your child. Some like dancing while a few prefer walking. But ideally, you should do activities that encourage movement. Movements are essential for children with ADHD. Research shows that movements sharpen the brain focus of children with ADHD.

Few ideas to sort breaks better:

  • Body stretch
  • Making coffee
  • Brisk walk
  • Play with dog
  • Dancing
  • Hopping


“Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise a day, four to five days a week, improves focus and executive functioning skills, especially in students with ADHD. If your child doesn’t play a sport, encourage him to run with your dog or shoot some hoops just before he sits down to do schoolwork. Although any aerobic exercise will do the job, the most helpful exercises for students with ADHD are ballet, yoga, and tai chi, all of which require students to focus on their body and their mind.”

– Ann Dolin, M.Ed., ADDitude Magazine

Foster Independence: A word from Themba Tutors

The primary goal for these activities is to establish a habit of completing homework in your child. Therefore, it would be best if you gradually withdraw your assistance as your child learns to do their homework. But keep monitoring your child’s progress rate.

It is imperative to foster independence in the lives of children with ADHD for their bright future. Independence in everything – doing homework, finishing household chores, social activities, planning their day/month, etc. Things do not happen overnight. So, make way from their early childhood through effective systems. Establish systems that deliver results, not depression or anxiety, in you and your child.

If you still struggle to help your child finish homework – you can find directions with us. Themba Tutors has been coaching ADHD students for years. We can also help you train your child for other executive functions.





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Craig Selinger, CEO of Themba Tutors (serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut), is a NY State licensed speech-language pathologist, executive functioning coach, and learning specialist with over 18 years of experience working professionally with over a thousand families. His expertise includes language-based learning issues, e.g. reading, writing, speaking, and listening, executive functioning, ADHD/ADD, and learning disabilities. Check out his interviews with top-notch professionals in the field on Spotify.
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