Tutoring Reimagined for the Child with ADHD
A trained homework coach comes to your home to keep your child on top of schoolwork
Building Executive Function Skills
Our coach focuses on homework completion while working on time management and organization
No more homework battles.
Our ADHD tutors get students in control of their school work –for better grades, better study habits, less frustration and greater self-confidence.
Especially suited for ADHD students
In-home or online.
We believe most students with ADHD do better with in-person coaching. During the coronavirus crisis, we also developed an online service. See our coronavirus guidance
Building Executive Function Skills while Completing Homework
Nationwide In-Home ADHD Tutors
Students with ADHD need help getting order and routine into their home lives. This is how they build good study habits.
Read about our approach
Stop Being the Homework Police
We can offer affordable prices because we have less overhead than corporate tutoring businesses learning .
Why is HomeworkCoach better?
Now FREE with registration: the HomeworkCoach Executive Functioning Assessment. Receive a customized 4-page report when you sign up. The report will drive your child’s Executive Function skill building plan.
If you’ve ever said something like…
“Our daughter has ADHD and has lost all her self-confidence; she says she is stupid and no one likes her.”
“My husband and I work all day. We come home exhausted and can’t face a night of battles over homework.”
“My son tries so hard but he is so disorganized and seems to lose everything. We are constantly having to fish through loose papers to try and find his assignments.”
“I know I can help my teenager with homework, but she just doesn’t listen to me. I am sick of nagging her.”
“My daughter takes forever to get started on her homework and then is up half the night working on it. It just shouldn’t be this hard.”
… then contact HomeworkCoach today to get your student and your relationship back on track.
“Our daughter was struggling with executive functioning skills and completing homework assignments. My husband and I tried several different techniques and they would work for a short period of time but none were very successful. We were all frustrated and there were many instances where it consumed our daily lives. We had a referral to HomeworkCoach and it truly has been life changing! They found the perfect coach for our daughter (Raven Forney, above). We no longer would argue about homework. The coach helped our daughter immensely and brought such relief to our family. I would highly recommend using their services. It is worth every penny.”
Michela V. | Mooresville, NC
“HomeworkCoach has been a tremendous help to my 9th grade daughter. Our coach (Alison McTyre, above) was calm, nurturing and helpful with getting my daughter focused to finish her assignments. She always had a positive attitude and was patient, but also firm, at times insisting that she wrap up an assignment my daughter was unnecessarily dragging out.”
“I want to thank you for getting us the homework coach we needed on short notice and let you know how very pleased we have been with Alivia. My son and Alivia connected immediately and she had the perfect temperament to diffuse a tense homework standoff that was taking place between us and our son. Her college experience in the field of Sociology and her full time job as RA supervisor at Spellman College made her the perfect candidate to deal with our teenage son. We cannot compliment her enough on her patience and organizational skills! She is the ultimate professional and we so enjoyed seeing her twice a week.”
Philene A | Atlanta, GA
Dear all, I want to thank you for selecting Bryan Evans (pictured) to tutor my son, Lawrence. Bryan was encouraging and insightful. He quickly came up with a plan to get Lawrence focused and on track. He involved me as well as Lawrence’s sister in encouraging Lawrence and holding him accountable. Bryan was always prompt and professional — which was not lost on Lawrence. Lawrence began setting his own alarm clock and managing his time, and organizing himself. I could not have asked for better results. Is Lawrence a straight A student? Not quite but he has his own tools to get himself there, and the homework battles are gone. My son is so much more confident and has learned lifeskills to accomplish what he needs in life. With that said, Bryan has done his job so well that Lawrence does not need him anymore. And being a single Mom, this exchange was worth every penny and did not cripple me with a contract and driving all over to get the help we needed. Thank you so much for being so affordable. It was the best fit for us and I would recommend this for anyone who wants to equip their child with the life lessons that Bryan brought to our home.”
Case studies and free downloads
Free eBook: Understanding your ADHD Child’s Homework Struggles
ADHD and Executive Function: Download our free Parents’ Primer
Turning Around A Failing Sophomore Year
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Homework and ADHD
The parent’s role in the homework process is to manage rather than be active. We need to provide the structure at home to promote the learning process.
Strategies for Kids with ADHD & Executive Functioning Challenges
Use a visual plan.
Help your child understand the benefits of having a visual plan of assignments. The ADHD brain tends to focus on what it sees, so it’s critical to have a written plan kept in sight. This can be in the form of a sheet of paper, a planner, or a small dry erase board. Electronic devices are not continuously visual and are often out of sight and out of mind.
• If your child has trouble writing down the assignment in the allotted time, see if he can get permission to take a photo with his phone and transfer it to a notebook or calendar when he gets home.
• If an electronic calendar must be used, support your student to print off the daily schedule and clip it to the front of a binder or calendar so it is in sight. This way, your child isn’t rushing to write down assignments that may turn out to be incorrect with inaccurate instructions.
People with ADHD are said to lack “timesight,” tending to “float in time,” unless a deadline kicks them into gear. Their concept of time is "now or not now." Our kids with ADHD are no different. They often estimate time inaccurately or not at all and tend to convince themselves it takes them shorter than actual, even when they have consistent proof otherwise.
• Make a game out of estimating the time it takes to complete some daily home activities or chores. Have him then perform the activities with a timer. Support her to compare the estimates to the actual times and notice the difference.
• Encourage your child to apply time estimation to homework tasks. Discuss how it's not necessary to be perfectly accurate. The priority is to develop time awareness and practice estimating time to complete assignments.
It can be difficult for our kids to prioritize and set up a plan to take action. Their brains can be flooded with uncertainty, where initiating, sequencing, and following through can be problematic. Provide a positive environment to help your child get unstuck and decide what tasks are important to complete first, and why.
• Encourage your student to problem-solve: If an assignment is due tomorrow, and another is due next week, what would be important to start on first?
• Support your child to help him prioritize the homework by numbering the tasks with low, medium, or high priority, or A, B, or C.
Capture Time in a Calendar
Our kids have a barbed wire fence around “to do” lists. A to-do list with lots of tasks can be overwhelming and will only contribute to procrastination in taking action. Because time is intangible it's helpful to capture tasks visually in a calendar.
• Have your child notate an amount of time to a task in a calendar .
• Support your child to visually allocate time to the task in the calendar so your child has reserved the time required.
• Model this in your own calendar
Plan Large Projects
When we need to complete large projects, various components of the project have to fit around the rest of our lives, such as school, sports, family and scheduled activities. Breaking projects down into concrete visual steps is important to compensate for challenges in planning and time management. Planning backwards allows your child to figure out the date necessary to begin the project with plenty of time for completion.
• Block out scheduled activities in your monthly calendar
• Using sticky notes, break down the project into steps with each step on a different sticky note
• Estimate time for each step on each sticky note
• Find space and time to work on the project by planning backward from the due date, leaving a cushion to arrive at a date of completion.
The ADHD brain is best when it’s focused for short intervals. Encourage your child to take breaks and recharge. Help him decide what breaks support him best.
• Your child may enjoy a quick game of basketball outside or a 30-minute TV show.
• Postpone video games for rewards after homework is completed rather than short breaks. Kids with ADHD have difficulty transitioning in and out of activities as it is. Video games are designed to hook in their players, will likely set you and your child up for frustration and conflict to get back to homework, and stretch out the "short break" as well.
Select a Homework Space
Select a place to do homework that is away from traffic but not so remote that you won’t be able to monitor your child.
• It might be helpful to have a few places that work for homework. This adds novelty, which acts as a motivator for our kids, to an otherwise boring activity.
• Involve your student in the process and help him understand what works best for him and why.
Design a Homework Insurance Policy
• Have your child check the homework online, if it’s available, to make sure she has the correct assignment.
• Set up a landing zone, such as the jacket closet, for finished homework, school materials, and backpacks for the next day so you’re not scrambling in the morning.
• Make a game out of it and have her reward herself for completing the correct homework and putting it in the required place.
• Tell your kids that their homework isn’t done until it’s in their backpack. Remind them, “Where do you put it away for the day?” or post the question on a Post-It in a well-trafficked area and take yourself out of it.
Support your child to problem-solve about the homework process and her own learning.
Be curious and ask: (try stick to one question at a time, and space them out!):
• How is prioritizing working for you?
• What breaks are best?
• What are you noticing that’s easier to start with on a typical day?
Try not to take it personally if your child answers, "I dunno." They’re hearing you and will answer when they’re ready!
Our kids may not stick to a plan entirely but helping them think about how they learn , figure out what works best for them, and develop an awareness about how they get their work done effectively and efficiently is what’s most important. As they experience positive outcomes, success builds on success!
Need support to help your child be more successful so you can have a peaceful home with less stress?
Call 847-757-8780 or schedule a virtual session below.
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The first coaching session is typically an in-depth, 1–2 hour meeting to allow clients to reflect on their satisfaction in all areas of life and to develop clear, long-term goals to guide future coaching sessions. Regular coaching sessions may last 30 to 60 minutes and are used to report progress on the previous week’s goals, reflect on factors enhancing and inhibiting progress and develop a step-by-step plan for identifying and achieving the next week’s goals.
At the end of the specified coaching contract period, an evaluation session is held to determine objectively if progress has been made and to decide upon the client’s next step. Clients may choose to continue with the same meeting schedule, readjust it or terminate coaching.
Research on coaching
The majority of coaching studies have investigated its impact on college students and adults. Although limited in number, these studies have found consistent results. Overall, college students who received individual coaching were found to develop better executive functioning skills and self-determination skills. Those receiving coaching engage in more positive thoughts and behaviors, such as taking greater responsibility for their actions, using goal-attainment skills, modulating emotions, managing stress effectively and increasing positive expectations for performance. They also reported improved study skills and learning strategies, such as time management and effective ways to improve concentration. Study participants also reported increased self-awareness, self-esteem, and satisfaction with school and work.
Group (rather than individual) ADHD coaching programs have also been evaluated with generally favorable results. These studies show improvements in anxiety, homework, interpersonal interactions, planning, organization, assertiveness, self-efficacy, motivation, time management and test-taking strategies. In a large-scale study, first-year college students who were coached were more likely to persist in college and have significantly better retention and graduation rates than those that did not receive coaching.
How is coaching different from traditional interventions?
Coaching versus cognitive behavior therapy
An individual with ADHD may engage in coaching and/or may seek therapy for their concerns. Most coaching is based on principles found in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Both coaching and CBT often use the following elements: goal setting, prioritization, motivation, organizational skills, planning and scheduling, problem solving, stress management, impulse control, confidence and self-esteem building, relationships and communication skills, memory improvement and homework activities. However, coaching is viewed as a wellness model and not designed to help a client heal or deal with psychological barriers to growth.
Coaching is more likely to focus on practical daily living issues as well as forming habits for a balanced, healthy lifestyle such as finances, maintaining a home, nutrition, exercise and sleep. In contrast, CBT will more likely include issues of emotional regulation and direct treatment of co-morbid conditions such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse. Coaches deal with problems in everyday living and focus on what, when and how but rarely why. They are not trained to address psychiatric, emotional and interpersonal problems, unless they are also licensed mental health professionals. Through formal educational programs, mental health professionals (e.g., psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and marriage and family therapists) are trained to diagnose and treat mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders and interpersonal difficulties. They also must have a license to practice. Coaches do not have these requirements.
Coaching versus educational interventions
Coaching is not tutoring. Tutoring involves teaching content to a student on a one-to=one basis and breaking learning down in an individualized manner. Tutors can teach basic academic skills like reading, math and written language or subject matter like history or geography. Coaching is also not teaching learning strategies such as how to read a textbook, take notes in lectures, study for tests, take tests and manage time effectively etc. Both tutoring and learning strategies are directive interventions in which the educator is viewed as the expert who teaches, tells or shows the student what to do and provides practice opportunities for skill development. Coaching is a collaborative relationship that presumes the individual being coached is the expert. Coaching promotes reflection and self-discovery by asking curious, open-ended questions to help students develop a personalized approach to meeting his or her goals and an enhanced understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Educators who are trained as coaches have a wealth of knowledge of techniques and strategies that are offered in coaching as suggestions to be considered. Coaching collaboratively involves the student in deciding on which ideas to try, developing the best way to learn and implement the new idea.
Getting the most from ADHD coaching
To be ready for coaching, clients must be able to admit that they have a problem, want to make changes, be willing to spend the time necessary to create strategies for improving their behavior and be willing to adhere to those strategies to the best of their ability.
There are several issues that can complicate the coaching process and often require a referral to a medical or mental health professional, including the following:
- The client has not applied self-management or organizational strategies to achieve goals, despite the coach’s resources and reminders.
- The client has untreated co-existing psychiatric condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, substance abuse or personality disorder.
- The client has stressful life circumstances such as marital problems, divorce, or death of a loved one.
- The client has a serious physical illness or other chronic medical condition.
Under such circumstances, the coach should work collaboratively with the medical or mental health professionals involved in the client’s care. In such cases, the client may benefit from the addition of traditional treatments such as medication and psychological therapy. In some cases, the client may be better served by terminating coaching and pursuing other treatments.
Coaching can be offered by a variety of professionals in the mental health and education field, including the following:
- licensed mental health professionals with an exclusive practice in which they only do ADHD coaching
- licensed mental health professionals who do some coaching, but also have a general mental health practice
- educators, such as a certified teacher or degreed professional at the college level, who are also trained in ADHD coaching and have a coaching practice or are hired to provide coaching in a school or college
- individuals who are not licensed mental health or educational professionals and who only do ADHD coaching
If assistance is needed with emotional, psychiatric, or interpersonal problems, then a licensed mental health professional should be consulted. If an individual with ADHD needs both types of assistance, it may be helpful to select a coach and a licensed mental health professional and ask them to work with each other. It is also possible to find licensed mental health professionals who have the background and training to work with multiple issues.
ADHD coaches can have different educational and professional backgrounds and diverse knowledge about ADHD. Many coaches, including those who work with individuals with ADHD, seek credentialing through the International Coach Federation (ICF), an international association of personal and business coaching that is the governing body for this field. ICF recognizes ADHD coaching as a special area of expertise but does not provide specialized ADHD certification. However, there are ICF-approved coaching training programs that prepare coaches to specialize in ADHD coaching while allowing them to earn hours toward their ICF certification. The Institute for the Advancement of ADHD Coaching and the Professional Association of ADHD Coaches offer ADHD coaching certifications as well.
Consumers need to be aware that coaching remains a very broad field with many areas of subspecialty, and it is still without a licensing requirement. Anyone can start a coaching practice. Many professionals use the word coaching but they are not utilizing the principals and skills of coaching described in this handout. Therefore, those seeking to hire a coach should thoroughly research a potential coach and learn about their education, training, credentials, their specific training and knowledge of ADHD.
Choosing an ADHD Coach
Step One. Coaching is a collaborative process, so it is important to find the right match in a coach. Asking yourself the following questions before contacting prospective coaches can help you figure out what to look for in a coach:
- Is it important that my coaching sessions be face-to-face? If so, look for a coach who is geographically close and offers this as part of a service package. Many coaches conduct the initial session in person and then do weekly check-ins by phone, text message and/or e-mail.
- Do I prefer to be coached by a man or a woman?
- In addition to the coach’s knowledge of ADHD, would I benefit from a coach who has a background in areas matched to my issues, for examplebusiness, academia, parenting, gender issues etc.?
- Am I looking for someone who has expertise in an area such as organizational or family issues?
- Do I want someone who has a lot of energy or someone who takes a more subtle approach?
- Is a sense of humor important? Would a more serious person make a better match?
- Do I also struggle with issues such as anxiety and depression? If so, is coaching really right for me and am I being treated for these issues?
Step Two. Compile a list of potential coaches with training in ADHD coaching. To find possible coaches use the websites listed in the resource section below. You can also contact your local CHADD chapter or the medical, mental health or educational professionals in your area, who might know of local, reputable ADHD coaches. Then take the time to do the research by visiting their websites (if available) and interviewing them using the following types of questions:
- What is your educational level and what areas of study did you major in?
- How long have you been a coach?
- What is your approach to coaching teens, college students or adults with ADHD?
- How many clients with ADHD have you coached?
- Have you received formal training in coaching? Did this include certification or credentialing of any kind?
- Have you had specific training in ADHD coaching?
- Do you have experience with college students/employment issues/relationship issues? (depending on your specific need)
- What coach training courses or conferences have you attended? Were they ADHD-specific?
- Are you involved in any local professional coaching groups? Are they ADHD-related?
- What are your fees and policies for working with a client?
- Are you also a licensed mental health provider who has expertise in associated mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression?
- Are there former or current clients with whom I could talk?
- Do you offer a trial coaching session? While there may be a fee attached, a trial of coaching might be the best way to evaluate whether a coach is a match for you.
Step Three. Take notes on each coach’s answers to these questions, as well as your own overall reaction to the personality and style of each coach.
Step Four. Review all of the information and select the coach that best meets your needs.
Although the field of coaching is still developing, it does have an emerging research base that demonstrates its effectiveness as an intervention for adults with ADHD. Many teens, college students and adults find that having a coach who is knowledgeable about ADHD can be invaluable in facing the challenges of daily life and eventually learning how to coach themselves. Because there is a great need for research evaluating the effectiveness of ADHD coaching, coaches and other professionals are strongly encouraged to pursue research on this emerging form of support for those dealing with ADHD-related challenges.
Suggested Web sites
ADHD Coaches Organization http://www.adhdcoaches.org/ International Coach Federation, www.coachfederation.org CHADD Directory of Professionals, Products & Services Edge Foundation-Coaching for High School and College Students: https://edgefoundation.org/
Hallowell, EM & Ratey, JJ. (2011). Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and coping with Attention Deficit Disorder. New York, NY: Anchor Books. Prevatt, F & Levrini, A. (2015). ADHD Coaching: A guide for mental health professionals. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Quinn, PO, Ratey, NA & Maitland, TL. (2000). Coaching college students with ADHD. Silver Spring, MD: Advantage Books. Sleeper-Triplett, J. (2010). Empowering youth with ADHD: Your guide to coaching adolescents and young adults for coaches, parents and professionals. Plantation, FL: Specialty Press. Solanto, MV. (2011). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult ADHD: Targeting executive dysfunction. New York, NY: Guilford Press Wright, S. (2014). ADHD coaching matters: The definitive guide. College Station, TX: ACO Books.
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The information provided by CHADD’s National Resource Center on ADHD is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number NU38DD000002 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
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Homework Help for Students With ADHD
Ann-Louise T. Lockhart, PsyD, ABPP, is a board-certified pediatric psychologist, parent coach, author, speaker, and owner of A New Day Pediatric Psychology, PLLC.
Homework, homework...does anyone really like homework? For a child with ADHD , just getting the assignment written down and the correct books in the book bag to go home can be a monumental task. Papers inevitably get lost, either en route home, at home, or en route back to school.
Oftentimes, assignments simply don’t get done. If they make it home, the energy that must be used to recall the instructions , understand the assignment, and focus on the tedious task of getting it completed with all the other distractions around may prove too much.
Homework really does involve numerous steps. One missed step can create loads of problems. For the child, it can become so overwhelming that it is easier to just not do it. Homework can be frustrating for parents, children, and teachers!
The middle and high school years can be an especially hard time. Students receive less supervision. They have multiple teachers with multiple teaching styles. Expectations and responsibilities are much greater. Self-esteem is more fragile and feelings of self-consciousness skyrocket.
How can adolescents with ADHD develop subtle strategies for getting homework done without drawing attention to themselves? How can parents help?
Be an Advocate
Be an advocate for your child. Meet with the teachers and discuss homework concerns. Sometimes it isn’t possible to meet with all your child’s teachers. If this is the case, send emails or contact them by phone.
If appropriate, the teachers can lessen the amount of homework assigned to your child. This can be done in a way that is not noticeable to your their peers. If the regular math assignment is problems 1 to 30, it may be that your child only has to do 1 to 15. This can be set up with teachers in advance. It is also possible for your child to be given extended time to complete assignments.
Provide Tools and Support
Go shopping with your child to pick out a notebook where they can write down homework assignments. Ask the teachers if they will help with verbal reminders to the entire class, “Your assignment tonight is... I will give you all a few minutes. Please write your assignment down now.”
Ask teachers if they will begin writing assignments on the board in addition to giving verbal instructions. This approach can be beneficial to the whole class, not just your child.
Your child's teachers can be on the lookout to make sure your child is focused and writing the assignment down as instructed. If they aren't, a simple tap on the desk or pat on the back may be enough to refocus them without drawing attention.
Teachers can even check the assignment notebook at the end of class to make sure it is accurate. If possible, try to get a schedule of the week’s assignments so you can have them at home as a backup.
Keep a Second Set of Textbooks at Home
Talk with the school principal about getting a second set of school books to keep at home over the school year. For children with ADHD, just getting the correct books home at the end of the school day can be difficult. A backup set at home can be a lifesaver on those more disorganized days.
Organize the Backpack
Help your child organize their backpack. Use part of homework time to help teach her how to clean out old, unnecessary items in the book bag. That way you won’t be surprised with a half-eaten, moldy apple left over from school snack two weeks ago.
Your child can also get their materials together and won’t be distracted by unnecessary items in the bag. At first, you may feel that these tasks are too simplistic, but for a child with ADHD , your extra support and guidance is vital.
Color coding is always helpful. When you buy the homework assignment notebook, purchase various colored folders, notebooks, book covers, even colored pens. Match each color to a particular subject.
Buy a separate closable folder to use for homework papers. This folder will provide your child with a consistent place to store homework papers, hopefully keeping them from getting lost in the backpack or elsewhere.
Structure Homework Time
It is a good habit to get to homework soon after your child is home from school or after-school activities. A snack to re-energize and a drink to refresh is nice, then it's homework time.
Some kids benefit from a little exercise and outside play first. If you find your child needs this time to release extra energy and refocus, simply structure it in right before homework time begins.
Have a designated area for homework like the kitchen table or a desk in a nearby quiet room, but preferably not your child's bedroom. Distractions may be too great there. Plus, the bedroom may be more isolated. It is important for you to be available to your child to respond to questions and provide prompts when needed.
Some children do best in quiet. Some do better with a little background noise or music. Some kids work best with periodic short breaks. You and your child can work out which environment is most productive for them.
Make the homework routine predictable and stress-free. After homework is done, check it over. Then help your child put the completed assignment in their homework folder and return all appropriate items to their book bag, zipping it up securely when done.
If a child is on medication , it is possible that the effects of the medicine have worn off by late afternoon homework time. Talk with your child’s doctor about trying to schedule one of the dosages of medication later to help during the homework hours. Be careful that your child doesn’t take medicine too late, or it may interfere with sleep.
Try to remain relaxed and upbeat during homework time. Use this time to provide positive feedback to your child for their hard work. At dinner, compliment their efforts in front of the rest of the family.
Sometimes it is so easy to focus on the negative. Remember to point out the things your child is doing well. At the end of the week, if all goes well, take your child out for special time together.
A Word From Verywell
Completing homework is a daunting task for students with ADHD. Extend grace and patience and provide extra support for your child. In many cases, establishing official school-based accommodations can provide the extra assistance your child needs.
By Keath Low Keath Low, MA, is a therapist and clinical scientist with the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina. She specializes in treatment of ADD/ADHD.
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13 No-Excuses Homework Rules for Students with ADHD
Help your child succeed with tried-and-true rules, like taking away the cell phone and encouraging study breaks. make nightly homework a little more pleasant with these tips..
Sit with your child and talk through what needs to be done. Once she starts to work, you may fold laundry, knit, or read in the same room. At some point, she may ask you to leave. If so, go.
Get him moving.
Physical activity — walking on a treadmill or fiddling with pipe cleaners — increases alertness for mental activity. Encourage your student to walk around the house reading aloud from a book. Chances are, she will soon settle down and be able to focus on her work.
Talk with your doctor about prescribing a short-acting medication for after school. When medication is working, students stay focused and complete homework more quickly. They also tend to remember the material they studied.
Set the stage.
Make your child feel comfortable as he starts his homework. Have him wear comfortable clothes, and make the sure the environment doesn’t distract him. Some kids need a quiet room with no distractions, while others need a little background noise.
Make it fun.
Writing the definitions of 25 vocabulary words is boring. Turn it into a game. Post words and definitions around the house for your child to match. Have him jump on the trampoline while learning multiplication facts. Talk with his teacher about ways to make homework active.
[ Free Resource: Solve Your Child’s Homework Problems ]
Once the student begins homework, hold his telephone calls until break time or until homework is completed. You may have to take his cell phone away to keep him from texting.
Spice things up.
If a homework assignment is boring, play music or TV at low volume. For reading, break assignments into segments marked by colored paper clips. When the student reads as far as the clip, he can take a well-deserved break.
Skip missing information.
Students with ADHD often look for excuses to stop doing their homework. So if he needs information to answer a question, have him work around it, leaving a blank that can be filled in later that night or the next day.
Nag no more.
Ask your child how many reminders she’ll need to stay on task in order to finish an assignment. If she says she’ll need two reminders, stick to that number. When she’s off track, state that you are giving a friendly reminder and then walk away. At any point when you see that she’s doing the right thing, praise her diligence.
[ 10 Secrets to Studying Smarter with ADHD ]
Check for completion.
Rather than arguing with your child over the quality of the work he’s producing, hold him accountable only for completing the homework thoroughly. Leave the quality check to the teacher.
Help the right way.
If your child gets “stuck” from time to time when doing homework — solving a math problem, say — don’t do it for him. Ask your child if there are similar problems in his notes or if there’s an example in his textbook. This encourages problem-solving and self-reliance, and takes you out of the equation.
Take a break if no homework has been assigned.
Don’t require your child to study on those rare days when he doesn’t have anything to do. Use the time to have fun with your child. You will deepen family relationships and build his self-esteem.
Find a tutor.
If you find it hard to help your child with schoolwork, find someone who can. A junior or senior high school student may be ideal — and charge a modest fee — depending on the need and age of your child.
[ Scripts to End Every Homework Fight ]
Readers’ Choice: Best Tips For Homework
- Physical activity breaks
- Accommodation for reduced homework
- A reminder note or a timer to let the child know when it’s time to start
- Limiting homework time to an hour total, doing it in 10-minute bursts.
- Parent writes down child’s responses to questions
- Having a snack before starting homework
- A homework club/program with peers
- Breaking homework assignments into small pieces
- A reward after finishing homework
- Doing homework in the morning
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Completing Homework Can Be Struggle For An ADHD Student
ADHD is often characterized by traits like getting easily distracted, impulsivity, sensory overload, and inability to pay attention. These can make accomplishing homeworks difficult. How can we make school work more exciting and less stressful? The answers and more in this article.
We have created an ADHD Self-Assessment Workbook designed to help you understand ADHD and how its symptoms can affect your life .It should be used alongside your diagnosis process to inform your medical professional.
ADHD, Homework, and School Struggles
During my student years, I often struggled with different school matters. There were plenty of times when my teacher scolded me because I was busy daydreaming instead of focusing more on the subject she was teaching. My classmates likewise often saw me as someone who would always get in trouble because of my impulsive behavior . However, with these traits and experience, I still managed to get fair grades and make my parents proud. 💪 Looking back, I realize how confusing and frustrating my experiences were: I struggled a lot in school, but I don't know why .
One thing I'll never forget is when people tagged me as "lazy" or someone who needed to “do better” or perform well in school. And I guess that was one of the reasons why I became more puzzled by the experiences I had. 😵 It sometimes caught me off-guard when people made these remarks because it’s not like I didn’t want to do things their way - I just couldn’t.
I wish I had known sooner that what I experienced were ADHD symptoms that can affect how I study, interact with people, and perform in school. It wasn't until I was 29 that I was diagnosed with ADHD and started knowing more about my struggles.
Alice, As An Undiagnosed ADHD Student
Whenever homework or assignments were given to us, all I did was read them and leave them hanging until the day before they were due . Often, I prioritized playing a video game for hours, going outside for a walk, or doodling illustrations of anything that I liked. 😅 I found myself not interested in doing my homework unless someone forced me to or if the deadline was just around the corner .
Studying was a “hit-or-miss” thing for me. Art, Music, and Science were the subjects I am most interested in. I gave them my intense focus and full attention. 🙌 Math problems, watching long movies regarding history, and other similar subjects were the things that I found boring. They would either put me to sleep or distract me, and I always yearned for break time. 🥺
My struggles became much more intense when I graduated and decided to go to college. There were moments when I was easily frustrated in everything that I did and got emotional during the entire school year because studying was hard. I gave up on the challenges and lost self-esteem , making me drop out and shift career paths .
Do I Need To Exert More Effort?
As someone who often displays excessive physical activity and gets distracted quickly, my homework hours are typically longer than most people’s . It still happens now, though I’m no longer a student.
The actual time I spent doing after-school activities became shorter, and yet, I still found myself doing unnecessary things or things not related to the one I should be doing. 😭 Then, when the submission of these assignments comes, I often get scolded by my teacher.
I rarely got positive feedback from my teachers regarding my performance on their given tasks. They would always say there's more that I could do if I only tried to put my best foot forward. But all I was thinking was, "I wish I had the interest and focus on giving my all to your subject…” This thought was often followed by “. ..but, I don’t understand what’s happening to me. ” Homework is hard enough, let alone trying to focus on a particular task for long periods.
Instances such as these sadden me because instead of understanding the struggles that students with ADHD face and having the proper support they deserve, we usually only get the wrong kind of attention and treatment. 🥺 We are often misunderstood and called "lazy" or "impatient." Instead of adequately pointing out room for improvement and providing positive feedback, we often get judged .
Start your ADHD diagnosis journey! Evaluate your symptoms, organize your thoughts, and prepare for your official assessment.
The Art of Procrastination
What is procrastination ? Why is it such a relatable word when you have ADHD?
Procrastination is when a person decides to delay or avoid doing a task that needs to be done even though they can do it now .
The delay gives you some time off with yourself, but often results in more distress . Sometimes, people may think that procrastination can only be connected with laziness. However, as an ADHD brain works differently, it can also “trigger” procrastination.
A child's time management can be a struggle , especially when they need to do things they're not interested in. 😔 This is where procrastination can happen and affect the outcome of the task they are endorsed with. Sometimes, rushing things to finish a specific homework or activity to submit on or before the deadline can yield a different, negative result.
Some people may also think that we are neglecting our responsibilities because we let ourselves enjoy other things at the expense of our homework or school activities. But in reality, we often think about these tasks, but just cannot start because our brains aren't ready to face them. 😨
Facing Homework Assignments
Most children with ADHD prioritize tasks and activities that are interesting to them. It can resonate with many neurotypical people at how fast they work on something that sparks joy in them compared to those they think are boring.
In some cases, we gather enough will and courage to initiate doing an assignment. 💪 But when we are finally faced with it, our brain gets easily clouded, distracted, and out of focus .
I often feel this struggle, especially when I don't know where to start and everything is given at once within the same deadline. My mind feels heavy with the pressure, and the stress I feel piles up, making me more exhausted. No matter how hard I try to do these tasks, I always end up not doing anything or accomplishing less than what I imagined to complete. 😭
But when interesting topics are given, even if it's days ahead of the scheduled deadline, I can finish them in a flash. These subjects with positive light can be my source of inspiration and increase my productivity tenfold. 😘 It only takes some time for me to get used to the task, and once I find my flow, nothing can stop me from executing it flawlessly.
Having the right mindset and timing a regular schedule while having the proper technique can help many individuals with ADHD get through homework and school-related tasks.
How Can We Make Homework Time Exciting?
We have established that a child's attention can be short-lived, especially when struggling with ADHD. Please note, though, that this can also happen to ADHD adults. So, how can we make homework time and school work more exciting so that they can focus on it?
The first reminder I want to share with you is to be kind to yourself, always . ❤️ Remember that we struggle with our ADHD brains every day and are doing the best that we can. The most crucial part is that we should work with our brains and not against them .
These are some of the other techniques that might help:
- Create a designated homework space that can accommodate all homework routines. It doesn't matter if it's a study table or kitchen table, as long as you can focus on doing your tasks. This space will help you focus on your homework and avoid distractions .
- Set the ambiance or mood that you are comfortable in working. Do you function well with no background noise, or are you okay working with white noise? Sometimes, these little details are essential to note because they can help increase your focus.
- Keep everything you need within reach . If school books 📚 are essential in answering your homework, make sure they are beside you. If you need to highlight specific phrases from your notes, make certain colored pens are at arms' reach or organized in front of you. Likewise, keeping distractions away can enforce focus and give better productivity.
- Establish a routine or schedule for homework time. This can help the mind get used to the activity and eventually minimize procrastination. Making a regular schedule posted on a visible weekly calendar 📅 can remind you of the tasks that need to be finished.
- Break down big tasks into smaller and manageable chunks. This way, it won't look so daunting, and you can focus on one thing at a time. Dedicating a specific amount of time to each chunk can also help you stay on track, especially for uninteresting subjects that make your regular schedule challenging to accomplish.
- Taking breaks is essential and considered to be part of homework strategies. It can also minimize the effect of burnout. You can walk around, drink water, or do some stretching exercises during these times. Anything that can help you release the tension and give your eyes a break from staring at the screen 💻 or books for long periods.
- Write down what's distracting you. This way, you can address the root cause of your distraction and find ways to avoid or minimize them. It can be a good idea to talk about this with someone who can help you so that they will be aware and give support when needed. Updating new routines to make things work can help achieve better focus and concentration.
There will be days when we can't seem to focus no matter how hard we try. And that's okay. These days, it is essential to be patient with ourselves and take a break if needed. 😘 Pushing too hard on ourselves will only lead to more frustration and less productivity. School day and homework can be challenging, but we can get through it with the right mindset and strategies.
"Homework time doesn't have to be a battle. With a little organization and these tips, your child can take control of their ADHD and get their schoolwork done."
-Dana Rayburn, Ed.M., LPC, NCC
ADHD and Homework: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
is it usual for many people with adhd to struggle with their school work and assignments.
Many children (and even adults) with ADHD truly struggle with homeworks. This is largely because of their symptoms, like getting easily distracted, experiencing sensory overload, and being unable to focus.
Why do many people with ADHD procrastinate?
Many students with ADHD procrastinate because they do not find the task interesting enough. However, please note that reasons for procrastination can vary. An ADHD or even a neurotypical person might procrastinate because they are tired, are anxious about another thing, or not motivated well.
How can we boost our productivity when it comes to school work?
The first step is to be kind to yourself. Please don’t associate your procrastination or inability to accomplish your tasks on time with laziness. Your ADHD brain just works differently. Next is to tackle the problem one step at a time. For instance, if you don’t do well with distractions, try to have a dedicated workspace where it’s quiet.
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Free ADHD Printables and Worksheets for Kids
Printables and worksheets to help kids with ADHD feel empowered and confident. Collaborate with kids to help them love reading, practice flexible thinking, and plan routines around the house – like doing their laundry.
Scroll to view free Printables or learn more about my FREE ADHD Study Tips !
How to Talk to Teachers about my Kid’s ADHD : a printable with simple steps on how to create effective dialogue with teachers
Kids Choose Books : a printable to help your reluctant reader find books they are excited to read!
Kids Talk to Teachers : a set of digital cards to give kids ideas of what to say to teachers when they feel stuck or confused.
Organization Tips for ADHD Kids : a set of images with steps and examples on how to guide kids to get organized
My Laundry Plan : a printable to help your kid draw how they will manage their dirty laundry in their room and carry it to and from the washing machine
Flexible Thinking for Grown-ups : a printable to help you identify moments and opportunities to let your kids develop their own routines that might be different from your own
Motivate ADHD Kids with curious questions : a printable for grown-ups so you can practice asking questions to spark self-motivation in ADHD kids
Ask Meaningful Math Questions : a free worksheet to download – learn to ask curious questions to understand why a kid could be struggling with their math homework
Reminders to Help ADHD Kids Be On Time : learn how to build routines with your child that encourage independence and time management
FREE ADHD Study Tips available too!
Need more support? Contact me to discuss one-on-one ADHD Coaching or family coaching, please reading about my homework engineer® coaching methods !
Homework Coach Tutoring for ADHD Students | Executive Function Coach 1 2 Building Executive Function Skills while Completing Homework Nationwide In-Home ADHD Tutors Students with ADHD need help getting order and routine into their home lives. This is how they build good study habits. Read about our approach Stop Being the Homework Police
Business: Cheryl Susman ADHD Coaching Description: Cheryl Susman, MA, MBA, ET/P, CPT, ACC, is a nationally sought-after ADHD coach and educational therapist. She specializes in helping parents and adults living with ADHD reduce overwhelm and harness their ADHD.
In close partnership, an ADHD coach helps the client learn practical skills and initiate change in his or her daily life. A coach may help an adult with ADHD: maintain focus to achieve identified goals translate abstract goals into concrete actions build motivation and learn to find ways to use concrete and abstract rewards effectively
Completing homework is a daunting task for students with ADHD. Extend grace and patience and provide extra support for your child. In many cases, establishing official school-based accommodations can provide the extra assistance your child needs. By Keath Low. Keath Low, MA, is a therapist and clinical scientist with the Carolina Institute for ...
Every student has individual homework preferences and personalities that, taken together, make up what I call a “ Personal Homework Profile.”. By tapping into this profile, you can create a customized approach that focuses on YOUR best practices for getting work done. It also takes the guess work — i.e. “What worked for me before ...
ADDitude’s Dear ADHD Family Coach will answer questions from ADDitude readers about everything from morning schedules to disaster-zone bedrooms and from mastering to-do lists to communicating better with your loved ones. Submit your questions below! By ADDitude Editors Verified Updated on December 20, 2019 Click to Read 1 Comment Save
Physical activity breaks. Accommodation for reduced homework. A reminder note or a timer to let the child know when it’s time to start. Limiting homework time to an hour total, doing it in 10-minute bursts. Parent writes down child’s responses to questions. Having a snack before starting homework. A homework club/program with peers.
ADHD is often characterized by traits like getting easily distracted, impulsivity, sensory overload, and inability to pay attention. These can make accomplishing homeworks difficult. How can we make school work more exciting and less stressful? The answers and more in this article. Published on 19/9/2022 • Updated on 7/2/2023 • 8 minutes
Free ADHD Printables and Worksheets for Kids. Printables and worksheets to help kids with ADHD feel empowered and confident. Collaborate with kids to help them love reading, practice flexible thinking, and plan routines around the house – like doing their laundry. Scroll to view free Printables or learn more about my FREE ADHD Study Tips!