Homework routines with ADHD: Build them and then stick with it!

We recently wrote a post about establishing routines, and why this can be especially helpful for people with ADHD. Well, with the school year now underway, the thought of returning to homework may have you feeling daunted.

Homework is often a source of stress for parents and children, especially for those with ADHD who might experience difficulty with task initiation and completion. Establishing a homework routine can help make this time easier for you and your child.

By having expectations set in advance, everyone can stay on track and committed.

Homework blog FacebookHere are some suggestions for establishing homework as a routine in your home:

Create a clear gameplan. Share and collaborate about this with your child in advance. Pick a time that works strategically and isn’t too much to “bite off”. Work to stay consistent so your child can get used to this being something that is everyday in their lives. Reward both of you when you are able to stick to it!

Make a homework checklist. This is a step-by-step plan that helps your child remember the steps they need to take before, during, and after homework time. Individual checklists will vary, but might include a list of materials needed during homework time, a list of homework tasks and deadlines, a reminder to check work for mistakes, and a reminder to return homework and materials to a certain place (e.g. backpack).

Designate a homework space. During homework time, it is important to minimize distractions, such as sounds from other children/siblings, television/screens, and toys. Perhaps work at the kitchen table or somewhere where you can help keep them motivated. Many students will do well with someone sitting beside them, even if you are doing a different task. It can be a way to get some stuff done yourself too:)

Schedule timed breaks. Use a timer and set an age-appropriate time to focus on homework. When the timer goes off, allow for a five- or ten-minute break. During breaks, your child may wish to stand up, stretch, walk around, or get a drink of water. Avoid activities that are difficult to transition away from, such as screen use.

The more you can take the fear and stress out of homework time by doing it everyday the better!
- "Mindful Parenting for ADHD" by Mark Bertin


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