Tips on Setting up a Productive Homework Spot for Your ADHD Child
For kids with ADHD, getting through an average school day can be a monumental achievement. After a day of trying hard to focus during a seemingly endless math lesson and successfully ignoring all of the really cool stuff on the classroom’s walls while finishing a science worksheet, kids with ADHD are usually really glad when the school day ends.
Of course, once kids with ADHD are back home, they are not out of the “must sit and focus” woods quite yet — homework is calling their names. As a parent of a kiddo with this challenge, it’s important to come up with a workable homework station that will not cause both of you to proverbially lose your marbles. In order to make sure your child with ADHD can successfully complete his homework, consider the following ideas:
Create a specific homework spot
Look around your house and come up with a place that your child can call her own — at least in regard to schoolwork. According to Additude Mag, it’s important for the place to be comfortable and include all of the needed furniture such as a large enough desk and chair, and it should also be free of as many distractions as possible. In other words, it probably won’t be the end of the kitchen table but maybe a corner of a rarely used guest room.
Let your child help you decorate it
In order for the homework spot to be successful, your child must feel like it’s a welcoming and relaxing place to be. Ask your kiddo with ADHD to help you to decorate it, while being careful not to add too many things that will be overly interesting or stimulating.
A great option is to take your child shopping for homework supplies that will be her very own. New packages of mechanical pencils, markers, rulers and other items can help your child feel special and also have the supplies needed to get the work done.
You might also want to keep the homework area stocked with activities and worksheets that play to your child’s strengths and weaknesses; for example, if your son or daughter struggles with reading comprehension, you can print out reading worksheets from BusyTeacher and work on them together when you both have some down time.
Add things to help them focus
As Everyday Health notes, many kids with ADHD work really well when they have something to occupy their hands while their brain works out a stubborn math problem. Talk with your child about what will help her focus, and add these items to the homework corner.
It might be a CD player that will play soft music in the background, a stress ball that she can squeeze while reading, packages of gum to chew or a wooden foot massager that she can roll her foot on while working on an English paper.
Remove items that will throw them off track
Although your other kids might want to have access to the homework corner too, their presence will probably distract your ADHD son or daughter, so make it a rule that during homework time, no one else except you or your spouse can have access.
As much as your son loves the family kitty, pets can be really distracting so keep it fur baby-free as well. Wall and desk decorations should also be kept to a minimum.
Joyce Wilson loved being a teacher, and though she has recently retired, she hasn’t lost that passion. She continues to educate (and help educators) by mentoring teachers in her area. She is also the co-creator of TeacherSpark.org, a resource for teachers to gather fun, engaging lesson ideas and activities.