11 Sep Helping Children With ADHD Finish Their Homework
Helping Children With ADHD Finish Their Homework
Struggling to find ways to help children with ADHD finish their homework? You’ve come to the right place.
But before you learn how you can best guide your child in accomplishing their tasks, you must first understand the whys.
Getting to the root of homework struggles begins with taking a closer look at the possible reasons and underlying causes of a child’s difficulties. And for that to happen, teachers and parents must first understand how the ADHD brain works.
As an authority figure, it’s easy to fall back on the notion that a child who cannot perform tasks accordingly must lack discipline. And while this may be true for some, this typically does not apply to someone with ADHD.
Source – This thread is from the ADHD community on Reddit. You can read it here.
When a student with ADHD fails to deliver what is expected, this doesn’t mean they are incapable of doing so. Most of the time, this indicates that the systems you have created for your children to finish their homework could be better.
Of course, the brain wiring of someone with ADHD is different from a neurotypical child. However, this doesn’t mean they are not equipped to perform the same tasks and responsibilities.
So, as a parent, what can you do? Establish clear-cut systems to help your child with ADHD complete homework without any roadblocks.
Is Fidgeting or Excessive Movement the Problem?
If you have a child with ADHD, this scene may be all too familiar: You try to get your child to concentrate, but he or she can’t stop fidgeting. You think fidgeting is your child’s biggest enemy. You get frustrated as you can’t seem to get your child to listen and focus. What should have been a simple homework that could have been done in a few minutes turns into an hour-long, tension-filled battle.
It’s easy for parents to see the constant fidgeting and random movements as the main problem. But that is not the whole story. In fact, 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 conducted by the University of Central Florida psychology professor Mark Rapport.
According to Rapport, for a majority of children with ADHD, specific interventions designed to reduce hyperactivity may actually be counterproductive. That is not to say you should let children disrupt the classroom by allowing them to run or roam free. However, Rapport encourages teachers and parents to find ways to redirect and facilitate their movement to maintain concentration and alertness, which are necessary for cognitive activities.
How to Help Children With ADHD Finish Their Homework
Here are some of the most effective strategies that help children with ADHD finish their homework.
👉 Create a well-designed 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. However, that may not be appropriate for your child. Have you 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.
While you can undoubtedly incorporate fun and visual elements in your child’s workspace, it’s essential to make sure that these do not distract your child but motivate them to study hard instead. You can add sticky notes to the wall as visual reminders for your child to finish their task. You can also write short encouragements to keep them motivated. If your child taps their feet or fidgets a lot, you can consider replacing their study table with a pedal or bike desk. You can also stick a half-cut tennis ball on the floor. In doing so, you are not restricting their movement but instead channeling them to help improve their focus.
➡ 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 that this is homework time and he or she has to finish the lesson. It will also create a momentum of study, which will help children to focus their minds on accomplishing their tasks. This helps activate their subconscious into pushing them to stick to the job and avoid distractions.
➡ 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, including pens, notebooks, and markers, to name a few. Why? Color coordination reduces their struggle. It keeps them organized and less anxious.
👉 Break down tasks into chunks
Children with ADHD struggle with executive functioning – organizing, planning, executing tasks, etc. Breaking assignments into small chunks will make them less overwhelming. For example, if your child was tasked to write a book report, how can you break it down into small tasks? Below is an example:
➡ Plan large projects
Plan 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 c 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. However, making them work for extended periods is not a good idea. Allow them to take a break, depending on how long they can sit still on their own. Gradually increase the study period over time.
➡ You can use the timer blast technique.
Some parents and students use the Pomodoro technique to help them concentrate or study. But that is not everyone’s cup of tea because not all children can sit still or focus for 25 minutes.
The timer blast technique is customized to help your children complete their work. The timer blast technique allows working on any interval, whether 10 min, 15 min, 20 min, 25 min, 30 min, etc. However, it only allows extending the rest time to 10 minutes. This method works as follows:
- Set a preferred time interval on the clock.
- Take a rest. Rest should not exceed 10 min.
- Offer some rewards to your child during the breaks. Repeat!
➡ Maximize break time.
Breaks are equally important as the working periods for students with ADHD. What you both should do highly depends on the taste and interest of your child. Some prefer to play, while others would rather watch TV. 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.
Here are a few ideas to sort breaks better:
- Body stretch
- Making coffee
- Brisk walk
- Play with the dog
“Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise daily, 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 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 while continuing to monitor their progress.
It is imperative to foster independence in the lives of children with ADHD so they may become more equipped to handle their daily lives. This includes not only being able to complete homework but also finishing household chores, engaging in social activities, planning their day/month, etc. However, it’s important to remember that things do not happen overnight. Hence, establishing effective systems early on helps to deliver results, not depression or anxiety, in you and your child.
If you still struggle to help your children with ADHD finish homework – you can find directions with us. Themba Tutors has been coaching students with ADHD for years. We can also help you develop and strengthen your child’s other executive functioning skills.
Check Out Our Other Blogs:
- Relationship Between Executive Functions And ADHD
- ADHD Homework Guide
- How to Get Students With ADHD to Turn In Their Homework
Do you need help for your child with ADHD to finish homework? Chat with Themba Tutors Today!
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