Why Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework

Do Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework?

Do Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework?


Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework

Source- ADHD Collective

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

But have you ever checked what this rainbow feels like to them? The colors in this rainbow are different for these children – hyperactivity, fidgeting, restlessness, impulsivity, etc.

We only see their physical state – children rushing through different tasks. But understanding what is emotionally going on with them is more important.

How will you respond to this situation?

Of course, you will rush to hold as many as you can!

Children with ADHD do the same – they rush to complete every task as much as possible.

But the brain wiring of children with ADHD is different. As a result, they cannot regulate their mind as others, so their mind constantly chases them – similar to the balloons in the picture.

Therefore, their brain highlights another new task when a child holds onto one task. 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 are many reasons for this – however, researchers have not unveiled all of them.

Among the well-researched ones, here are a few common reasons kids with ADHD rush through homework:

  • Working memory

Working memory is the brain’s capacity to hold the information in mind for immediate or future use. Children with ADHD face difficulties in holding or remembering information because of weak or poor working memory. Working memory is helpful because our brain grasps and stores information 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 – what they are doing and how they do it, etc. 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. Again, it happens because the medication rebounds.

Medication rebound is the brain’s reaction when stimulant/medication wears off. As soon as medication withdraws or leaves the body – the ADHD symptoms return. However, the medication rebound does not stay for a long time – it lasts for about an hour or two. Most often, the modification in the medicines can help. Consult your doctor.

➔ 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. For example, it is ten hours for some people, while for others, it can be  four hours.

➔ 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 & liver and later eliminated from the body. Generally, they are eliminated 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 particularly 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. While crafting the home study hours, consider different factors, like when your child is at high energy or when the child is dull. Maintain a required time gap (this time break can be different for different students depending upon their energy levels or work preference) between school and homework timings. It will help your child refuel after school hours.

  • Poor Time Management Skills

Children with ADHD are not good at managing time. They do not know how much time to spend on which tasks – sometimes, they spend more than two hours on one study, 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 – it will profoundly impact your child’s behavior.

  • Feeling defeated

It is the most common reason for children with ADHD rushing through homework. Average or below-average performance in academics due to ADHD disorders 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 do not feel homework tasks are worth their time.

  • Difficulty in regulating focus/interest

According to the 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 lack of enough 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 homework.

After learning why children with ADHD rush through homework, I checked out some open ADHD community groups to know how this feels to them.

Here is how people from the ADHD community describe what that rush feels like:

➔ 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 stand out – 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?Why Kids With ADHD Rush Through HomeworkHere 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 with calm.

  • 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 schedule

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. This alliance 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 in training 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.






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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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