Why Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework

Do Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework?

Do Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework?

why kids with adhd rush through homework themba tutors

Source- ADHD Collective

Are you aware that kids with ADHD rush through homework? Yes, they do.

Hyperactivity, fidgeting, restlessness, impulsivity. These are the most common behaviors associated with ADHD. Most of the time, we tend to focus only on what we can see–the lack of focus and rushing through different tasks–without a thorough understanding of what is going on in their minds and emotional state.

The brain wiring of children with ADHD is different. As a result, they cannot regulate their attention and often lack the skills to self-regulate.

Therefore, their brain highlights another new task when a child tries to hold on to one study. Then, when they switch to another task, their brain highlights a new task and persuades them to change again. And this process continues–making them rush through every task, whether homework or other household chores.

Why does this process loop?

There may be several factors that behind the differences in a brain with ADHD, but experts have yet to understand and uncover all of them truly. Among the most studied factors behind kids with ADHD rushing through homework include the following: 

  • Working memory

Working memory is the brain’s capacity to hold information for immediate or future use. Children with ADHD face difficulties in maintaining or remembering information because of weak or poor working memory. Working memory is helpful because our brain grasps and stores data to remember how to react in a similar situation in future times. But children with ADHD struggle with every situation because their brain has not stored enough info.

As a result, these children have disorganized thinking and often lose track of their activities. Therefore, they cannot continue any activity for a long time. Hence, they rush to complete all the tasks, including homework.

  • Medication rebound

Often, the child behaves well in school but shows inappropriate behavior, like rushing through homework at home. This can happen because of medication rebound.

Medication rebound is the brain’s reaction when the stimulant/medication wears off. As soon as the medication leaves the body, the ADHD symptoms return. However, this rebound often does not occur for long, often lasting for an hour or two. Consulting your doctor about modifications in the medicines you’re taking could help and prevent medication rebound.

➔ Why does this rebound happen?
Rebound is directly proportional to metabolism + rate at which the child’s body processes the medicine. However, this rate differs from individual to individual.

Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework

➔ The process.
These stimulant medications wear off evenly. These fast-acting medicines start functioning within 30-90 minutes of entering the bloodstream. Once they enter the bloodstream, they are gradually filtered through the kidneys and liver and later eliminated from the body. Generally, they are eliminated on the same day from the body.

However, this process is too quick for some children. Medication moves quickly from the body, which causes medication rebound. And therefore, all the ADHD symptoms reappear in your child’s behavior.

  • Fatigue

Kids pour all of their energy into school. It happens in all children, not only those with ADHD, but the frequency is higher in children with ADHD. They become physically and mentally drained when they are back from school. Therefore, if they are assigned homework right after school hours, they tend to rush through it to complete it as soon as possible.

It is better to frame the study hours of your child strategically. When setting the home study hours, consider different factors, like when your child is at high energy or when they need to rest and recover. Maintain a required time gap (this break can vary depending upon their energy levels or work preference) between school and homework. It will help your child refuel after school hours.

  • Poor time management skills

Children with ADHD are not good at managing time. They need to learn how much time to spend on which tasks. Sometimes, they spend more than two hours on one area, while they may rush through another job to complete it as early as possible. This is called time blindness.

They have poor time management skills because they lack executive functioning–mental skills that help people perform everyday tasks. You can train your child for executive functions by yourself or with the help of expert professionals.

Why Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework

  • Feeling defeated

It is the most common reason for children with ADHD rush through homework. Average or below-average performance in academics due to ADHD breaks them down and destroys their confidence. Even after trying hard, they constantly get average scores, which makes them believe that no matter what, their score will stay the same. It makes them uninterested in doing academic work. Therefore, they rush through homework to complete it as soon as possible without much effort. They feel homework tasks are only worth their time.

  • Difficulty in regulating focus/interest

According to research, children with ADHD tend to have a lower level of dopamine in their brains. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate attention and controls the brain’s reward system. Dopamine is present in a larger quantity without enough receptors, which causes messages to move quickly. Consequently, the brain cannot process and transmit all the messages. The need for more transmitters makes the reward system less attractive. Therefore, children rush through homework because the task does not seem rewarding.

However, the functional differences in the brain with ADHD also create a barrier to regulating attention. The blood flow in all the parts of their brain is not the same–some areas have less blood flow and are said to be underactive, while some have more flow and are said to be hyperactive. The hyperactive parts lead to restlessness among children with ADHD, making them rush through different tasks.

  • Problem with prioritization

Children with ADHD struggle to prioritize different tasks. Sometimes, they give more than the required time to one job while rushing through another, even if that requires more effort and time.

  • Learning challenges

Children with ADHD have learning challenges. Almost half of the students with ADHD have a co-morbid learning disability. As a result, they struggle to understand the subject matter and often rush to finish the homework early. Learning challenges create anxiety among students, which is a crucial reason for them to rush through task.

How do people from the ADHD community describe what that rush feels like?

Why Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework

➔ The understeering analogy.
Understeering is when your car cannot take a turn from enough distance and goes off the road. This analogy explains that a person with ADHD needs to put in extra effort to prevent going off the road. It is the same as driving a car without power steering.

➔ The low RAM analogy.
Have you ever tried opening multiple applications on a low RAM computer system? The system does not understand how to operate – it sticks. You see a warning – the system is not responding.

➔ The open tabs analogy.
It is the same as browsing the internet with around 50-55 tabs opened on an average-speed computer and internet. The system will freeze – it will not work efficiently and irritates you.

➔ The constant buzzing.
Have you ever heard cicadas or crickets buzzing around you? Recall what it feels like. You feel irritated and want to hush that as soon as possible. That is the mental state of people with ADHD all the time.

How do I slow down or stop my child from rushing through homework?

Here are a few ways you can help your child slow down.

  • Work on executive functioning

Remember, children with ADHD lack executive functioning–time management, planning, prioritizing, etc. It is a big reason why they rush through homework. Therefore, training them for executive functioning can show a huge difference and positive results. You can even hire an expert professional to train your child better for these functions.

  • Make use of timers

Timers can help in extending your child’s focus period. You can ask your child to work on a single task for a given time. However, do not set the timers for a long period as it will worsen the situation. Start with short and comfortable periods according to your child’s capability and gradually increase it. You can use different timer techniques like the Pomodoro or the timer blast technique. However, using the timer blast technique is better because not all children with ADHD can focus for 25 minutes or more. Every child has a different focusing power.

  •  Break down big projects

Big projects overwhelm the child, so they rush through homework to finish it as soon as possible. Breaking big projects into chunks will help children complete their tasks calmly.

  • Extend transition time

Children with ADHD struggle in switching from one task to another. Offering enough transition time can help them stay focused on the task and avoid rushing.

  • Allow fidgeting

You want your child to stop fidgeting. But that is the only way children with ADHD control and deal with their emotional and mental disturbances. You can help your child with fun tools like squeezing the ball to regulate their focus effectively.

  • Flexible homework scheduleWhy Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework

Children do not have the same energy levels every day at the same time. They may be active after school, while they may be dull at other times. Therefore, try not to have a fixed homework schedule. Instead, consider your child’s mood and energy levels to create a flexible homework schedule. However, gradually go ahead with some fixed homework schedules once your child gets into the habit of doing homework. Here are some homework tips for kids with ADHD.

  • Plan breaks

Breaks are the savior for children with ADHD. These children cannot regulate their focus properly for a longer time. Therefore, breaks are essential to shift their attention back to homework. Breaks can be for 5 min or 10 min–depending on your child’s requirement. Please include some fun activities and movements during the breaks. According to a study, movements help children with ADHD perform better. Movements can be light yoga stretches, a garden walk, or any game.

  • Foster self-advocacy

Self-advocacy helps children with ADHD become independent. Self-advocacy emphasizes understanding when you need it and asking for help does not make them weak. On the contrary, it will encourage them to ask for help–even when they feel like rushing through homework. Unfortunately, parents do not understand that their child always needs help. Therefore, foster self-advocacy in your child.

  • Offer rewards   

The lack of enough receptors for dopamine present in the brain of children with ADHD affects the brain’s reward system. Therefore, you should offer attractive rewards – create a reward system based on the child’s likes and hobbies. Analyze and know your child’s preferences.


Offer support and build trust: A work from Themba Tutors.


Try to establish a good working relationship with your child. A strong bond will help your child open up to the difficulties they are experiencing in finishing their homework. Sometimes, ‘I don’t understand’ and ‘it’s too hard for me’ are honest statements. Be open to assistance and positive feedback from your child. Emphasize that you want their best work and not the fastest.

Homework blues are common among children with ADHD. If you are struggling with supporting your child–you can reach out to us anytime! We are a team of expert coaches who excel in training children with ADHD. We are dedicated to helping and empowering children with ADHD to lead their best life.

Check out our other blogs:

How to Get Students With ADHD to Turn in Their Homework?
4 Tips To End Homework Battles for Children with ADHD
Helping Children With ADHD Finish Their Homework


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Meet Craig Selinger, the passionate owner behind Themba Tutors, a renowned practice specializing in executive function coaching and tutoring. Together with his team of multidisciplinary professionals, they bring their extensive knowledge to numerous locations: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as well as offering remote services. As a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of NY, executive functioning coach, and educational specialist with an impressive track record spanning over two decades, Craig has professionally assisted thousands of families. Craig's proficiency encompasses a wide spectrum of areas, including language-related learning challenges such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. He is also well-versed in executive functioning, ADHD/ADD, and various learning disabilities. What truly distinguishes Craig and his team is their unwavering commitment to delivering comprehensive support. By actively collaborating with the most esteemed professionals within the NYC metropolitan region – from neuropsychologists to mental health therapists and allied health experts – they create a network of expertise.
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