The school year is in full swing and the homework load is heavy! Many parents here at PRIDE complain to us frequently that their kiddo just can’t get through the homework load and it is causing a lot of tension and frustration. I put together a few tips and strategies on how to lighten the completion time and reduce the stress at home and just finish that homework quicker for you parents out there with an ADHD child. Hope this helps!
1. Schedule an established time to do homework daily.
Most children with ADHD need set routines and schedules in order to feel success. Help your child find a time for homework that works out in both your daily schedules. Some children do best right after school, whereas others need an outside fresh air break first. Because you know your child better than anyone, find that perfect time and make it part of the daily routine. This will help get through the workload quicker. I have my child take the dog for a walk around the block first, then come home to some milk and cookies and then settle down for homework. This routine works really well for us on a daily basis, and my son feels comfortable knowing the daily routine.
2. Take 5-minute breaks after every 20 minutes.
Find a structured break activity that your child can do after every 20 minutes of work. This could be a yoga stretch on the floor, deep breathing activities, etc. If you keep the break structured, the child will understand this as part of the routine and not a time to wander off and get distracted and lose focus. Short, frequent breaks help children recharge. This should get your child back to a focused state of mind and get through that homework quicker. I sometimes have my son do push-ups or chin-ups (he is pretty athletic and likes physical movement) we make it a game of increasing the repetitions each time.
3. Let your child stop when they can’t continue on.
If your child is too tired or frustrated to finish the homework, let him or her stop!
Experts in the field of education usually recommend that elementary students do 10 minutes of homework per subject per day. If your child’s homework sessions are taking longer than this, schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher to discuss the problems that your child is facing. It could be that the amount of homework is overwhelming or that it is too difficult for your child. If your child has problems focusing, writes and reads very slowly, or needs extra time understanding concepts, then homework will consistently take longer to get through. Make a plan with the teacher so that your child will feel success with homework and everyone’s time will be well spent.
4. Request an extra set of textbooks to use at home.
My son forgets his book at school at least twice a week. This is pretty common for a kid with ADHD. Students with organizational issues often leave their books at school. I bought a copy of each of his textbooks online used. This way we always have a copy at home and spend less time getting back to school to recover all the forgotten items. Having the homework material every day at home is crucial. Once a student falls behind in their coursework, it is extremely difficult to get caught up. Since so many schools do not have extra copies, you will probably need to purchase extra copies on your own. This will save many after school trips back to the school and give you more time to get through that homework load instead.
5. Find the right location for your child to do daily homework.
Make sure it has good lighting and a clear workspace with no clutter around. Children with ADHD become easily distracted at their workstations. Keep the homework area free of anything except a good supply of paper, sharpened pencils and a set of erasers, pens, and a computer or laptop. This will keep your child focused and hopefully help them get through that homework load a lot faster. I let both my children find their perfect spot. Both of my kids like to lay on their beds with their laptops and spread al the papers and books around the bed. It works for them.
6. Help your child organize papers for after-school homework and prepare for the next school day.
Watch your child put completed homework in the proper folders and put the papers that need to stay home in an accordion file that stays at the child’s workstation at home. All work that comes home should go in this labeled accordion file for future tests and quizzes (especially when they are in Middle and High School). All work should be saved until the semester is over. My son needs a lot of help with this as his homework usually ends up all over the floor. We go through it together. Getting through the homework is already incredibly challenging for him and I prefer to pick my battles. I do not mind helping him organize and put it where it needs to go. My daughter on the other hand always likes to organize her own backpack and put everything away nicely and neatly. Sigh… wish a little of that would rub off on her brother.
7. When your child has completed their homework, always praise them for a job well done.
If a parent conveys the message that a child is capable and worthwhile, the child will begin to believe this. Being supportive, having a structured learning environment and consistent routines will encourage success and motivation at home.
Have any other ideas that I missed? Please include them in the comment section below. Thank you so much for visiting my blog today!
Karina Richland, M.A., is the Executive Director of PRIDE Learning Centers, LLC, an educational company that works with children in special education and focuses on reading, writing and comprehension help. She is also the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers.
Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices.
You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.pridelearningcenter.com
If your child has difficulty paying attention in a way that adversely impacts his or her ability to learn, they may have ADHD. ADHD is often first suspected by attentive parents and teachers who notice these symptoms:
- Easily Distracted by Noises
- Difficulty Sitting Still
- Displays excessive excitement/protestation at changes in the routine
- Has difficulty transitioning from one task to another
- Leaves assignments incomplete
- Has difficulty coping with physical distress such as hunger, thirst, and mild bodily pains
These symptoms listed above are common symptoms that kids with ADHD may demonstrate in a school or home environment. A child with ADHD will experience these types of symptoms across environments, meaning their symptoms will not be confined to just occurring at home, or just occurring at school.
The following are suggestions for helping children with these types of symptoms to function more effectively and adaptively:
- Clear the child’s desk between assignments to minimize distractions and promote organization.
- When working on math problems, give the child one problem at a time, gradually increasing the amount to two or three at a time, rather than a full page of problems. Presenting many problems at once may overwhelm a child with attention problems.
- Limit choices in problem solving techniques to ones that the child has already demonstrated successfully, thereby teaching the child to rely on his or her strengths.
- Schedule breaks to allow the child to release pent up energy.
- Always make and maintain eye contact when giving simple, direct instructions. This promotes attentiveness.
- Provide incentives for completing assignments and also reward the ABSENCE of undesired behavior patterns. This creates an effective pattern of reinforcement.
- Let the child know what is expected of him/her when giving assignments, thus helping the child to focus on what is crucial to successfully completing the assignment.
- Make sure your child always understands the directions before beginning his or her work.
These suggestions can help a child with attention problems to function more effectively on in-class assignments as well as homework assignments. They can help manage the child’s difficulties, but do not represent successful treatment of their attention problems. In order to treat your child’s attention difficulties effectively, contact a mental health professional such as a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist to begin the assessment process to definitively determine an ADHD diagnosis. Correct assessment is crucial as many times a learning disability can appear to be ADHD, but their treatment options are actually vastly different.
Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program
Dr. Jared Maloff is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist working with adult, adolescent and child clients in Beverly Hills, CA. Dr. Maloff also conducts psychological testing for clinical, educational and forensic issues with both adults as well as children. This includes obtaining testing accommodations for standardized tests such as the SAT, LSAT, GMAT, Dental Boards, California State Bar Exam, and most others. Below is a listing of the diagnoses and symptoms that Dr. Maloff often treats in his clinical work:
ADHD, Adult ADHD, Asperger’s Disorder, Autism, Anxiety, Bereavement and Loss, Body Dysmorphia, Depression, Hypochondriasis, Learning Disabilities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Problems with Motivation, Self Esteem Issues, Social Phobia, Somatization Disorders, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Trouble with Relationships. Learn more at www.beverlyhillspsychologist.com
by Dr. Nona Djavid
Our children are facing an epidemic. We live in an age that often replaces health with prescription drugs. 1 out of 10 American children has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But what is even more alarming is two-thirds of those kids are taking prescriptions like Ritalin and Adderall, the very same drugs responsible for 23,000 emergency room visits in 2011. ADHD without prescription drugs is possible!
We may be setting a precedent here, where we are substituting healthy lifestyle choices with ADHD for dangerous prescription drugs. As a chiropractor certified to see children and babies, I try and educate parents who bring in their children to my office about the choices they have to help their children diagnosed with ADHD. When children and parents are given the tools and treatment needed for optimal nervous system function, life changing results happen. This happens every day in our office. There are so many alternatives to prescription drugs. Chiropractic care, which markedly improves neurological function and eliminates blockages in the nervous system, can help restore optimal function of your child’s nervous system and brain function.
3 Things You Can Do:
They Are What They Eat:
Gluten-free diets with little-to-no processed foods are the best choice, but if you can’t fully commit to that, then avoid empty carbs like white breads and buttery cracker snacks. These break down quickly into sugars, providing little nutrients, elevating blood sugar levels and interrupting proper neurological function. INSTEAD: offer grainy breads (oatnut or whole wheat crackers and breads.) You can replace buns and breads entirely with gluten-free quinoa breads or brown rice buns. Also avoid ALL sugary drinks. These are the principle contributor to increased incidence of diabetes in children. This means no sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks or ANYTHING with added sugar or Fructose. INSTEAD: Find clever ways to get them to drink more water. You can try blending or infusing their water with real fruit like strawberries, lemons, blueberries or peaches.
Check Their Spines:
Chiropractic care is a safe and effective method for the treatment of ADHD. Most cases stem beyond neurological, and can even be structural. Postural problems, when correctly adjusted with corrective chiropractic care, can help heal complications associated with ADHD. Postural misalignments can affect neurological development and inhibit complete and healthy brain function. With chiropractic, the structural problem can be identified and the neurological problem improved. With chiropractic adjustments, the spine realigns to its peak state. A correctly aligned spine creates an optimal nervous system – allowing for normalcy and balance in behavioral functions.
Get Them Motivated:
ADHD without prescription drugs is possible! It’s important to look deeper into your child’s wonderful creative mind, and channel their bountiful energy. Find activities that encourage your child to become more active and explore mental facets that they seem interested in. If they’re constantly climbing up on things, get them involved in indoor rock climbing! If they’re constantly peppering you with questions and asking how things work, maybe they’d be interested in film making. Often an overactive brain is misdiagnosed into a behavioral disorder.
Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program
Dr. Nona Djavid
Founder & Lead Chiropractic Physician
Dr. Nona Djavid is a well-respected and trusted doctor of chiropractic and wellness coach with a private practice in Newport Beach, CA. Founder and head chiropractor at the Wellness Choice Center, Dr. Djavid is dedicated to the creation of transformative experiences of vitality for her patients, through nutritional counseling, lifestyle changes, and natural alternatives.
A graduate of University of California at Berkeley in the field of Molecular and Cellular Biology with an emphasis in Neurology, Dr. Djavid continued her education at Life Chiropractic College where she earned her post Doctorate studies in Neurology and Chiropractic Biophysics. With a background in neurological sciences she came to understand the nervous systems control over the body. Through her research the importance of the nervous system was evident as the key to the overall health of the body. Specialties of Dr. Djavid include postural correction, and a unique knowledge in extremity adjustments.
Dr. Djavid is also the founder of WOW – Women of Wellness group – an organization that empowers female health care professionals to build healthy caring relationships through education and integrated health and wellness services.
With a state of the art facility at her disposal, educational background and her genuine passion for life, people, and health, Dr. Djavid provides the very best care with intelligence and compassion. For more information check out her website at: www.wellnesschoicecenter.com