Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Homework Help for Kids with ADHD

My 3rd grader has ADD and in the past homework time has been rough. So we have implemented a new system that uses a workbox, reward system and timer. We are experiencing far less homework grief since it's inception 3 weeks ago.

I like to use plastic lidded boxes that are 9x12 inches and deep enough to hold several folders or workbooks -- I found mine at Target. Inside the box we keep our homework log, our school assigns homework in 6 week segments, and materials needed to complete homework.

Currently we have cursive handwriting without tears workbook, multiplication table worksheets and our reading books.

Right now we are reading Miss Daisy is Crazy from the Weird School series by Dan Gutman, SOS! Titanic from the Canadian Flyer Series by Frieda Whishinsky and Face Off! You Can Play Hockey by Nick Fauchald.

The workbox also contains pencils, erasers, fidgets and a timer. We give a small reward at the end of homework usually gum or a piece of candy. If all of the weeks homework is completed between Monday and Saturday at bedtime an ipad app or a trip for a frozen yogurt is also awarded on Sunday.

This strategy of having everything in place ready to go coupled with a reward system has helped to keep our child with ADD on task. We also use the timer for each task such as 20 minutes for reading, 10 minutes for math facts etc. The timer has really helped reduce anxiety for my son about how long his homework will take -- no matter what the assignment we never go beyond 40 minutes a day and that includes 20 minutes of reading. I also require him to start his homework no later than 4:30 pm. I recommend, Smart But Scattered by Peg Dawson, for more strategies on helping children with ADD/ADHD focus on their homework and other self help skills.

Here is the tangle fidget we bought on amazon. Silly Putty is also a good fidget choice.
This is the Time Timer we use, also from amazon. It shows how much time is left and can beep when the time is up if you so choose.


  1. Excellent article. Lots of information . Thanks for the useful information very helpful. Great article keep up the good work.
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  2. I love your homework box! I like the idea of having long term homework assignments rather than daily. Do you think your son finds it easier than if he was assigned homework each day? Our 9 year old daughter has ADHD and we are STRUGGLING with writing assignments!! I am wondering if she knew she had more time to complete each assignment if it wouldn't be such a struggle.

  3. Yes having a homework pack that comes home on Monday and due the following Monday so that we have a weekend as well gives us extra time. I think it is teaching him planning -- i.e. how much do we need to do over 7 days to complete the work. BUT, we do have an IEP and his homework is modified so that means we have about 1/2 the amount as his peers, which has been more helpful. BIG hugs to you I know how hard this can be ;)