When Homework is a Daily Battle
It’s almost inevitable, right? Your child comes home from school, has a snack… and everything is fine until eventually, you tell them it’s time to do their homework. And that’s when the negotiating, avoidance, and arguing begin. Children with ADHD often struggle to do homework, and it’s not because they’re being defiant (even if it seems that way at times!).
Because of significant differences in their executive functioning, children with ADHD have difficulty getting started on tasks, completing boring tasks, tuning out distractions, and managing time. It’s not your imagination! For kids with ADHD, homework can be a recipe for disaster.
Setting Up a Homework Space for Kids with ADHD
One important way that you can support your child’s homework success: Set up a consistent space for your child to do their homework. It almost sounds too simple, right? But this simple tweak can make a big difference in helping your child understand the routine and stay focused. If you are looking for more information about why a homework space can be so helpful, check out this podcast episode or this blog post.
Today, we want to share our top recommended products to help make homework easier for your child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These are some of our favorites that we use in our own homes, so you can feel confident in setting up a homework space!
(Important note: there are many things that parents can do to help make homework more manageable. In some situations, accommodations such as reduced homework, or allowing a parent to write while a child dictates, can be incredibly helpful. You can learn more about possible accommodations in our FREE School Accommodations Guide for Kids with ADHD).
Our Favorite Tools to Help You Set Up Homework Space for Kids with ADHD
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Desk: This desk is a great choice for a simple, clean workspace. It comes in a few different colors and the shelves are adjustable so you can set them to the left or right depending on your preference. One of our favorite features is the open shelving, since items can be lost or forgetten in drawers!
Wobble Stool: We love this wobble stool because it allows for some movement while your child is sitting. For many kids with ADHD, this can help them focus for longer periods of time. It comes in several colors so you can personalize it to your space.
Wiggle Seat Cushion: This wiggle cushion allows kids to get additional sensory input without leaving their seat. This can help improve calm and focus. This two-sided cushion has different textures on each side. Your child can choose the level of tactile input they want. This cushion is lightweight and easily travels with your child to school!
Art Caddy: This simple caddy is one of our favorites because it has several compartments for different items (e.g., crayons, pencils, pens, scissors) and they are easy to lift out of the caddy for simple access. Katie’s kids use this caddy almost every day. It is a great way to keep everything organized in a small space.
Lamp: A lamp is functional for a few reasons. First, the obvious… it gives you light, which is generally a good thing! In our homes, a lamp also serves another purpose. The light can be an external cue to help our kids remember what they are doing. By turning on the lamp at the beginning of homework, and then turning it off when they are finished, the lamp gives a visual of when it is “work time” and when work time is finished.
Corkboard: This corkboard is a great way to display important items. You can include a calendar with key dates written on it, or a daily to-do list. It also gives the option of personalizing the space a bit with pictures, artwork, favorite quotes/mantras, etc. If at all possible, try to help your kids keep the corkboard relatively simple and clutter-free so that the important things really shine through.
Frames: One of our favorite ways to personalize any space is to have our kids contribute art work. These affordable frames are an easy way to customize the space and help your child feel really invested. Another bonus is that you can easily change out the artwork so they don’t get bored!
Art cart: In addition to being functional, this art cart is adorable. With several storage options, and wheels for portability, it’s a simple way to store items like books, tissues, headphones, a small basket of fidgets, extra paper… anything your child will need during homework. This ties into the tip of “help everything be as accessible as possible” so your child doesn’t have to take ten trips around the house, looking for items they need. This has been a huge help in Mallory’s house.
Time Timer: (use code: TCC for a discount) The Time Timer is a staple in each of our homes! We use this timer for homework and several other tasks. With her girls, Lori sets the Time Timer for 10-15 minutes. This helps them see how much time is remaining before they take short breaks. This strategy of “work chunking” is often very successful for kids with ADHD.
Headphones: Let’s be honest, our houses can get loud! Noise reduction headphones are a simple way to help your child tune out distractions while getting their work done. They come in a variety of colors and designs that your child can choose from.
Do you have other products that have been helpful in setting up a homework space for kids with ADHD? Let us know in the comments!
Have a beautiful week,
Lori, Katie, and Mallory