Students with ADHD can have challenges at home and school with organization, time management and completing assignments. Here are a few school and homework tips to try:
A Place for Everything
Make sure that your student has an assignment book to write down assignments, a homework folder to carry all homework papers to and from school, and a small binder that contains a supply pouch and is split into sections for each class. This way everything will have a place.
At first, you may need to sit down with your child to sort through papers and review work, each week at a designated time. As they get older, they should take this over themselves. Older papers can be removed from the binder and scanned to Google Drive (using the free app for your smartphone) or kept in a folder at home.
Students with ADHD are capable of focusing intensely on things that they are interested in. Think of ways to spark interest in school topics. For example, if your child is learning about George Washington, could you plan a weekend trip to visit his boyhood home, Ferry Farm?
The first step to creating an effective study environment is to remove all distractions. Your child should have a place to study that is stocked with all necessary supplies and away from main congregating areas or the television. If your child has a phone or device, a free app like Offtime that allows you to block calls, texts and notifications might be helpful. It also allows you to restrict access to any potentially distracting apps. Limitations can be set for a certain period of time and then removed.
Make a Plan
Parents should allow at least 10 minutes per grade level for homework time. For example, if your child is in sixth grade, you should guide them in setting aside an hour of time each afternoon or evening to do their homework. Your student should know what they are going to work on before they sit down for a study session. For younger students, it works better to set aside the same time each day to complete homework. Older students can estimate how long each assignment will take to complete and block off the homework time needed on a calendar.
It is helpful to study in short spurts in order to stay focused. Pick an amount of time that you know your child can stay focused. Select a task to complete and set the timer. Once your child has worked for the designated 5-, 15- or 25-minute time period without getting distracted, let them take a timed 5-minute break. After four chunks of time, take a longer 15-minute break to get a snack, exercise or do something they enjoy. Try to extend the focused time period.
I hope that trying these strategies helps your student to have a positive start to the new school year!