School

ADHD and Homework: Set Up Your Space

September 6, 2022

Having a space is the first step to success for children with ADHD and homework. 

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Do you dread homework as much as your child? We feel you! The last thing most kids (and parents!) want to do at the end of a long work day is, well, more work! And let’s be honest… ADHD and homework aren’t always the best combination.

We have got you covered! Today, we are sharing our first strategy to help make homework easier (for you AND your child!).

Let’s get started: ADHD and homework

You can start by setting up a space where your child is most likely to be successful. We recommend you start this process before your child brings home any work. It will be much easier to do on a day where actually *doing* homework isn’t necessary. Having a space is the first step to success for children with ADHD and homework.

1. Involve your child

One of the biggest predictors of success with ANY system you set up is this: you need to get your child’s buy-in! Seriously, kids with ADHD often notice when grown-ups are doing things “for” them instead of “with” them, and this can cause your child to eventually be resistant to your help.

Getting your child’s buy-in can be done in different ways depending on your child. If they are interested in art, have them create a few drawings that can be hung in the space. If your child has sensory needs, ask them what type of fidgets would be helpful to have in the space. You get the idea!

Of course, you will probably need to set parameters around the space (my daughter would paint the entire room with purple and glitter if she was given the chance!) but whenever possible, allow them to make choices.

2. Find a space that is quiet

When thinking about your homework space, keep in mind that it does NOT need to be fancy. The most important thing is that the space is quiet and distraction-free (as much as possible). This means that in your child’s homework space, you don’t want electronics, a lot of toys, or siblings playing.

Because of differences in their executive function, kids with ADHD often have difficulty getting back on task after an interruption, so the goal here is to limit those interruptions as much as possible.

ADHD and Homework

3. Get all of your supplies ready

This one sounds straightforward, but actually takes some planning. Again, involve your child whenever possible in gathering and choosing the supplies they will use. We recommend having the basic school supplies (scissors, glue, pencils, erasers, lined paper, white paper, colored pencils, and tape) nearby.

Bonus tip: Home organization is so helpful for ADHD brains. If you can, putting these school supplies into an art caddy can be a real lifesaver! Here is one that we often use and recommend: Art Caddy (affiliate link).

4. Set a timer

A visual timer can be a HUGE lifesaver for helping your child visualize how much time is left… especially on the “boring” tasks!

We are big fans of the Time Timer (affiliate link). We will explain more about how to use this for homework in our next blog post on ADHD and homework!

More support for ADHD and homework

What questions do you have about ADHD and homework? Let us know in the comments!

If you are looking for tools to support your child with ADHD at school, keep an eye out for our Shining at School course which will release in October 2022. Join our newsletter so you can get first access AND an early-bird discount when we officially launch.

Have a beautiful week,

Katie, Lori, and Mallory

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We are Lori, Katie, & Mallory.

We are two child psychologists and a speech language pathologist. But most importantly, we are mamas, just like you.

We created The Childhood Collective to bring you simple, science-backed strategies to help you and your child with ADHD thrive!

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