how to help child with adhd do homework

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The Homework System That Really Works

Adhd and homework mix like oil and water. all of the little details — from writing down assignments to remembering due dates — require intense focus and memory. with these routines, teachers and parents can replace after-school tantrums with higher grades..

A teenage boy with ADHD doing homework in the living room

Doing homework when you have ADHD is painful. Students have to copy assignments, bring home the right books, and keep track of due dates — all difficult tasks for children with poor focus, attention, or memory.

But can you give your child some homework help? Yes, by creating consistent routines at home and school. While it may take a few months for the new routines to become habits, the payoff will come in better work skills, a sense of accomplishment, and lots of after-school smiles.

ADHD Homework Solutions at School

Allow time to write down homework assignments.

Teachers should post the day’s assignments on the board, and read them aloud to reinforce the information. If attention or language deficits make it hard for some kids to copy down the homework , give everyone a typed assignment sheet to take home.

Establish “study buddies”

Partner children so they can check each other’s assignment books and make sure everything is correct and in the right place. At the end of the day, buddies can help each other pack up the planners and books they’ll need at home.

Create a “completed work” folder

This folder will serve as a reminder for what needs to go back to school. For kids who have trouble remembering their homework, include a sheet for parents to sign once the work is finished and packed in the child’s school bag.

[ Self-Test: Could My Child Have a Learning Disability? ]

Lighten the homework load

Children with ADHD work slowly and can get easily frustrated. Try cutting down their work load by assigning just the odd-numbered math problems, for example. This way, the student can demonstrate what he’s learned without being pushed too hard.

ADHD Homework Solutions at Home

Make sure homework comes home.

If your child has trouble copying down homework assignments, tell his teacher. She may have ideas on how to help him remember, or may be willing to e-mail you the assignments at home.

how to help child with adhd do homework

Have homework time

Some children need to take a break after school while others work best while still in ‘school mode.’ If after-school activities make a regular schedule difficult, help your child’s time management by posting a weekly calendar that lists homework start and end times each day.

Create a homework spot

Find a place where your child can work comfortably. Some background music can help kids focus, but otherwise, keep distractions to a minimum.

Don’t let her procrastinate

Make sure your child understands the assignment and gets started. Stay nearby so you can coach him and offer support.

[ Free Download: Top 5 Homework Frustrations — and Fixes for Each ]

Schedule breaks

Concentration takes a lot of energy for kids with ADHD. A five-minute break every 20 minutes helps them recharge.

How Can Parents Keep Homework Time Positive?

Respect your child’s “saturation point”.

If he’s too tired, stressed or frustrated to finish his homework, let him stop. Write a note to the teacher explaining the situation, and if it happens every night talk to her about reducing the homework load.

Check to see that your child is organized for school and that finished homework is packed in his book bag — and that the bag is placed by the front door.

Praise your child’s efforts

Some kids benefit from a token system: When your child finishes his homework on time, add a star to a chart. The stars can then be redeemed for special privileges or items from a wish list.

[ Read: 15 Tips for Reducing Homework Stress & Finishing Assignments Faster ]

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Homework Study Tips, Apps and Technology to Help Children with ADHD


Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) find many aspects of education challenging, especially studying at home. ADHD children typically struggle with patience, organisation and focus. Kids with ADHD tend to rush through their homework, making mistakes. They often find it difficult to organise their thoughts and tasks,  which then prevents them from planning ahead. 

In this article, we will be looking at some apps and websites to support ADHD children studying at home, as well as offering some suggestions that may help children to focus better on their homework. 

Assistive Technology

A child with ADHD might also struggle with study skills such as reading, concentration and writing. Here are a few apps and electronic resources to assist an ADHD child studying at home:

how to help child with adhd do homework

Audiobooks has a wide range of bestselling audiobooks and podcast episodes. This is great for students who love learning, but not reading. 

There are a great many types of assistive technology that support children with ADHD and here we have listed just a handful of ideas. The good news is that there is more and more innovative software being developed all the time. It’s just a case of trying out different things until you find something that works well for your child.

Home Study Tips

Here are a few ideas to support ADHD kids with their homework:

how to help child with adhd do homework

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We have been diagnosing and treating people with ADHD since 2009.

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5 strategies to make homework easier for adhd kids (and parents).

adhd homework strategies

Home work. Those two words seem mismatched.

Home is where you can chill, be yourself, and get a little break from “work.”

Coming home from their 30-hour a week "job," many children crave down time. They want a break from "work" – from being "on" or putting effort into paying attention for six hours!

So who can blame kids for not wanting to do their homework ?

As parents, we understand that homework reinforces lessons learned from the school day. Revisiting material and practicing skills is fruitful. However, if you have a child (or more), you probably have stories that prove otherwise. Especially with screens as part of the equation.

Attention-challenged children struggle because of problems unrelated to the specific homework assignment:

  • Dis tracted by the internet
  • Dis enchanted with the topic
  • Dis engaged during the lesson at school
  • Dis mayed by how long it takes to answer a single question
  • Dis combobulated from trying to categorize what is most important

Homework also assumes that all children have stay-at-home moms who are “on call” to help – which is not exactly true in this day and age!

Since our smart but scattered children aren't naturally supplied with minds that can keep track of due dates and directions, here are some homework strategies to ease the challenges ADHD kids face. But remember – the most important thing you can do to help your child, by far, is to notice what she or he does well, and encourage it.

Article continues below...

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Download a free tipsheet "10 Parenting Tips for School Success" to stop constant challenges at school and at home!

Here are 5 homework strategies for ADHD kids to get you started:

  • Right after school or later ?
  • Broken into time segments?
  • With or without music?
  • At a desk or the kitchen counter?
  • Allow them to change it up from day to day

Foster Independence

Around 5th grade, a major goal can be independence with homework. From start to finish, the parent should assist – not nag to completion. You can gradually help your child less and less, and still expect high quality work.

  • Note: this may be delayed for many kids with Executive Function challenges
  • From start to finish, the parent should assist – not nag to completion.
  • Gradually help less and less, and still expect high quality work.
  • Goal: Only help when your child asks for it.
  • Remember that it's their work – not yours.
  • Digital post-it notes for work for some students – they see them on their desktop when they arrive at the screen.
  • Reward for independently using processes and organization strategies, sticking to a time schedule, and being focused on online resources (rather than Youtube, etc.).

Visual Charts

  • Calendars or bulleted lists help enormously. Student planners and online calendars tend to be "out of sight and out of mind."
  • Large white boards are great, ideally one for each child.
  • Designate a special place on the wall for it. Use it to make charts that track homework topics or nightly reading.
  • Use abbreviations and humor to simplify and keep your child's attention.
  • Boxes on the chart can also list homework assignments.
  • Have your child write estimates for how long they should take to finish.
  • It's beneficial to an ADD mind to track time elapsing. After the work is done, write down how long it actually took to track time management.

Physical Space

  • Comfortable, flat surface
  • Well-lit from above
  • Not too far from the printer, if a middle or high schooler
  • Quiet (except possible headphones)
  • Free from distraction
  • Stocked with needed materials
  • Fidgets that help focus (not distract)

Paperwork – Breathe, and Scan Everything!

  • Keeping track of the endless reading logs, rubrics, drafts, and study sheets seems impossible!
  • Maintaining their original condition is even more difficult. This is where technology is your friend.
  • Teachers who post documents on their websites are saviors. Scan any blank reading logs or assignments to keep on record at home.
  • It also helps to color code folders and notebooks for some children.

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7 Strategies To Help ADHD Children With Homework

Did you know that 6.1 million children have ADHD, according to a national survey conducted in 2016? Are you a parent who is having difficulty assisting your ADHD child with studies and homework? Don’t be anxious! We know, no youngster enjoys sitting for homework, but it is more difficult for an ADHD child. However, we have 7 strategies to help ADHD children with homework and studies.

 ADHD children with homework

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is one of the most common childhood neurological disorders. A child becomes hyperactive and unable to focus on any tasks. Having ADHD changes the biology of the brain, which leads to changes in behavior in kids. Such children don’t think much before doing any actions and are hyper-active. Moreover, children are easily distracted and have difficulties following the rules and directions.

Symptoms Of ADHD

1. The child gets restless most of the time. 

2. Unable to concentrate on studies. 

3. A child is distracted and can’t focus on tasks. 

4. These kids talk too much and can’t remain calm.

5. They make careless mistakes.

6. Kids are always jumping and moving. 

7. Take trouble taking action without thinking much about results. 

8. Such kids have difficulty in getting along with other kids. 

9. Always daydreaming. 

10. Forget about things easily. 

1. Design A Kid-Friendly Homework Station

Seperate homework station for adhd kids

Find a comfortable spot in your house to set up a kid-friendly homework station . Choose a quiet corner in your home for your child to study. This corner should be secluded from any sort of distractions. This place should be devoid of noises of siblings, televisions, or any other sounds. 

Such kids have limited attention spans, and they get easily distracted. So, if you won’t make them sit in a quiet spot for studies, they will zone out in a few minutes and start daydreaming or get hyperactive. 

You can add some calming and concentration-boosting music. Moreover, after the consultation with the doctor, you can also use essential oils in diffusers which induce calmness, relaxation, and reduce anxiety. Thus, use essential oils like Sandalwood, Orange, Lavender, and Chamomile. So, create a calming environment to help ADHD children with homework and studies. 

2. Split-Up Homework  

Completing homework in smaller portions

Such kids can easily get overwhelmed with a large pile of homework lists. The aim is to make the child work on small chunks of tasks to eradicate the overwhelming emotions in kids.

 Consider this scenario; you are hungry, and seeing too much food on your plate, lessens your desire to eat. And if you start eating, you won’t be able to finish it in one go. On the contrary, you can eat the same amount of food in smaller quantities or one at a time.

 Similarly, ADHD children become overwhelmed when faced with a large amount of work; however, introducing the task in smaller portions makes it easier for them to work. 

Related Article: How to Boost Lagging Students During Online Classes?

3.  Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Learning supplements, study aids for kids

It is one of the most effective strategies to help ADHD children with homework and study. Through this, you can ask the school teachers to lessen the homework load, provide study aids, extra time, supplement questions banks, 1:1 online tutoring, valuable resources to study, and bonus learning materials to modify the education of the students according to the need or requirements. 

For example, if a teacher assigns four chapters to learn, they can decrease it to two to help an ADHD student focus better. Moreover, you can create schedules for the child to finish the homework according to it without making them feel stressed or frustrated.

4. Physical Exercise For ADHD Child

physical exercise for adhd child

We’ve all heard how important it is to exercise. It is not only beneficial to ADHD children but also for every individual. Exercising is an integral part of life to lead a healthy and positive lifestyle. 

Moreover, It’s a proven fact that if parents expose ADHD kids to daily exercises, it can help them concentrate and focus better on studies and homework. Moreover, If you can combine physical workouts, yoga classes , and breathing techniques with medications, they will be able to control their symptoms better. 

Thus, exercises can help ADHD children enhance their mood and focus. Also, Exercises increase the activity in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory. Moreover, playing sports helps kids to be more mindful and active.

5. Provide Verbal Feedback & Rewards

feedbacks for adhd kids

When your child finishes the homework on time, offer verbal feedback to motivate them. Helping ADHD child focus is a long journey, and it requires a lot of pampering, feedback, and rewards for encouragement. 

Tell them words like, “I am proud of you,” “You’re intelligent,” “You’re doing good,” and more. Words carry positive energy and value. If you provide feedback to kids, they will feel good about themselves. It is a great way to motivate ADHD kids and make them feel important. Moreover, Make a point of praising their efforts rather than criticizing them. They may become defensive, believing that you do not appreciate what they have done. 

Furthermore, give them regular rewards such as 1 hour extra game time, their favorite ice cream, 1-hour extra playtime, and so on. It will also encourage them to complete their homework. 

6. Introduce The POMODORO Study Technique

Pomodoro technique

Helping ADHD child with homework is not a child’s play because they can’t focus for more than 30 minutes. The POMODORO study strategy is the finest way to help ADHD children with homework. It’s a technique that allows youngsters to take proper breaks while also allowing them to focus better.

What is the Pomodoro technique? 

1 – Choose a pending homework.

2 – Set a timer for 25 minutes. 

3 – Work till the timer beeps.

4 – Take a break for 5 minutes!

5 – Repeat this cycle four times.

6 – After completing 4 cycles, take a longer break for 15-30 minutes.

7. Let Them Choose What They Want To Study

Freedom to study what kids want to study

Allow your children to choose what they want to study or which subject’s homework they want to complete first. Forcing them to study will anger, disappoint, and irritate them. As a result, the goal for such children should be learning rather than grades. Let them have their own choices and ideas. Make sure children understand the concepts taught. Also, It is a great way to teach them. They will feel motivated and empowered knowing that they have chosen something for which they are interested. Moreover, This will also help them focus and learn without being distracted. 

Related Article: Excellent Tips For Balancing Studies with Extracurricular Activities

Final Thoughts 

 ADHD is a disorder and it cannot be treated without medications. Thus, if you combine these strategies along with medications, then this will work wonders for your child to overcome study challenges and distractions. They cannot handle their behavior and can get out of control sometimes. 

Hence, parents need to provide a safe and positive environment. Create a home that is conducive to learning and provides a learning environment. Do not give your child a lot of homework. Moreover, Give them the freedom to choose what they want to study.

 Moreover, Do not make them study for too long. It will tire them out, and they’ll have difficulty concentrating. Keep the learning fun and interesting so that they can focus.

These 7 strategies will help ADHD children with homework and study. Furthermore, PiggyRide has turned out to be the most preferred choice in solving parenting kids-related issues. Follow the official website of PiggyRide for more tips and advice.

WRITTEN BY: Nidhi Arora

Hi Friends! I am Nidhi Arora. I am working as a content writer with PiggyRide. I graduated from Delhi University with a bachelor's degree in literature and am currently pursuing an MA in Literature. I am an enthusiastic reader and a dedicated writer.

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How to Do Homework With ADHD | 5 Tips

Home » Parent Press » Neurodiverse Parenting » ADHD » How to Do Homework With ADHD | 5 Tips

Children with ADHD can become overstimulated and overwhelmed when bombarded with work they either do not want to do or have difficulties completing. That is why it is so crucial to learn how to focus on homework with ADHD. Of course that’s easier said than done. Especially considering research shows 46% of children with ADHD also have learning disabilities. Homework is often an extension of work in the classroom to further give the child practice on a new subject or on one that can be particularly difficult to master. Thus, homework may have a very overwhelming and overbearing effect on a child with ADHD.

Table of Contents

The task of helping a child with ADHD complete homework can be just as overwhelming for the parent, and spiral out of control quickly. To say the least, it requires a plethora of patience.

Luckily, there are plenty of great ways to reduce homework battles and make the task far more enjoyable for both you and your child. So without further ado, here are our 5 favorite homework tips to help parents of children with ADHD.

how to help child with adhd do homework

Customize visual schedules that teach kids independence. No more nagging, no more stress.

1. Keep Your Child With ADHD on a Homework Routine

Kids with ADHD crave structure and routine, it helps to calm anxiety and keeps them from becoming overwhelmed with the unknown. Just like  getting your child with ADHD to clean their room , you should strive to create a set schedule.

Goally parent app displayed on a black iPhone screen. The parent app is on an editable "Homework Time" visual schedule. There are options displayed the schedule the routine at any day and time of the week. The total time of the routine is displayed as well. There is a visual aid in the top right of homework illustrations. The items listed are "Get all folders from your backpack", "Math Homework", "break", "english homework", and "ask mom to check your work". Under each activity there is a duration note of how long the activity should take, respectively. These times range from 0 minutes to 15 minutes.There is a "+" button in the bottom right for add more activities to the homework routine on the adhd app for kids.

This way planning a time each day to do homework is something expected. As the routine is firmly established, even if your child hates the material and homework itself, they know it is required of them.

It’s essential to keep in mind that when it comes to homework, timing can make a big difference. Depending on the child, some may do better tackling their assignments right after school while the material is still fresh in their mind. However, some children may need a break from academics and do better coming back to their homework later in the evening, after dinner perhaps.

It’s important to keep in mind that every child is different and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to setting up a homework routine. Find what works best for your child and stick with it. So, whether your child prefers to tackle their homework right away or take a break before diving back in, just remember to be flexible and do what works best for them.

Goally app on a "do your homework" activity screen

2. Design a Sensory-Friendly Homework Area

Children with ADHD may also have SPD —  Sensory Processing Disorder . If that’s the case, it will likely be most prevalent during times of stress, such as when a child sits down to do homework. The bright lights, the feel of a certain pen or pencil in their hand, the itch of a sock — all can be a trigger and cause a student with ADHD to become overwhelmed.

If possible, do whatever is possible to make your child’s homework area “sensory-friendly.” This means removing items that are known to cause agitation.

Suggestions might include:

  • Dim or brighten the lights
  • Turn on or off (or change) the type of music playing in the background
  • Remove distractions such as books, electronics, or toys
  • Close the room’s door to prevent outside distractions

3. Use a Sensory Box

Within the designated homework area, it is beneficial to keep what is known as a “sensory box.” A sensory box includes items that might calm a frustrated child down, help them regain their composure and focus, or give them a break.

Items that may be of use in this box could be:

  • Gum or hard candy  – children with ADHD are often orally-fixated so having something to chew or suck on may help to slow down their brain and allow them to regain focus or control.
  • Fidgets for their hands  – children with ADHD often work well with gadgets or fidgets in their hands. The thought behind these objects is that children essentially put their minds to the task of playing with the gadget so their brain works at a slower pace, allowing them to also focus on another task, such as homework or listening to a classroom lecture. Items such as fidget spinners, stress balls or other similar objects may be helpful to have on hand.
  • Weighted Lap Pad or Blanket  – numerous studies suggest  weighted lap pads and blankets help people with ADHD . They successfully allow a child with ADHD and SPD to feel surrounded and comforted by the weight of these items. Weighted blankets are known to aid in soothing overwhelmed or anxious minds, and allow children to regain control of their bodies and focus on the situation.

One can easily show how having sensory box nearby can benefit homework time. Best of all, you don’t need to spend a lot to create one. Here’s a helpful guide on how to  create a homemade sensory kit  for your budding student.

4. Address the Stressors of Homework

Developing a routine after school is much like tackling homework with a child who has ADHD. It can be a difficult to get them to focus, and they may become anxious when faced with a difficult task. But, if you take the time to discuss potential stressors beforehand, it can help to alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with the task at hand.

When working on homework, children with ADHD may activate their “fight or flight” instinct, causing them to give up or try to leave the table altogether. As a parent, you may need to redirect their focus multiple times and encourage them to keep working, even when the material is tough and you’re both feeling frustrated.

The following subjects, in particular, have been shown to be stressors for children with ADHD:

  • English/spelling

Emotions are especially complex for a special needs child. Talking out the emotions surrounding work on these subjects helps prepare their minds for the difficult challenges to come, and can prevent their “fight or flight’ instincts from occurring in the first place.

Homework adhd this image shows a young boy doing a homework

For further help with one of the most challenging of these subjects — for both students and parents — check out the best ways to  make math more manageable for your child with ADHD .

5. Reward Positive Homework Behavior

Rewards are gold for homework. Children with ADHD are often very reward-motivated and thus, rewarding in small steps throughout the session may keep them on track and focused.

Rewards can come in the form of:

  • TV  or screen time.
  • A small allowance , such as a dime or a quarter per subject of homework completed.
  • An activity to be done later that day or the following day. Be careful with this type of reward. Sometimes children may give up on the assignment because the reward isn’t instantaneous. However, if this keeps your child on track and motivated to finish, go for it!
  • Small treats.  Handing out a Hershey’s Kiss, Lifesaver Gummy, or any other treat loved by your child per subject completed can be a great motivator! Be sure to keep these sugary-rewards small and sparse, though, as they can “wind up” the mind of a child with ADHD and take their focus away from completing their homework.

Doing homework with a child who has ADHD does not have to be overwhelming and stressful.

As with nearly anything, understanding the child and their unique needs is imperative to creating a successful endeavor. Once a parent, caregiver or educator understands what their child needs to be successful, doing tasks such as homework becomes far easier.

And a lot less of a battle.

FAQs About Homework ADHD

This post was originally published on 12/28/2020. It was updated on 03/24/2023.

Ashley Lavoie is a mom of 3 and manages both child and adult ADHD and Neonatal Diabetes. She is advocating for awareness and loves writing and connecting with other families like hers.

Editor’s note: This information is not meant to diagnose or treat. It should not take the place of personal consultation, as needed, with a qualified healthcare provider and/or BCBA.

This post was originally published on 03/23/2023. It was updated on 06/19/2023.

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7 Ways To Motivate A Kid With ADHD To Do Homework And Chores

Start by meeting your kid where they are — and really listen to what they’re telling you.

how to help child with adhd do homework

All parents fight with their kids to do their chores or homework, but with kids who have ADHD, it’s a whole other battle. Children with ADHD are neurologically wired to have difficulty starting and finishing tasks . They often struggle with executive functioning , a family of mental skills that includes the ability to plan, conceptualize, and execute goals. All of this means that completing everyday tasks such as homework and chores — or even getting up for school — can become major points of difficulty for some kids, and major points of conflict between them and their parents.

That doesn’t mean that the only option is to push your way through. For children (and adults) with ADHD, staying on task can sometimes be as easy as reframing the process using management and motivation styles that better fit their needs and are more suited to the way they think. While the same strategies won’t work for everyone, these seven tips are a great place to start figuring out the right setup to keep your kid with ADHD on task.

1. A Little Understanding Goes a Long Way

Start by meeting your kid where they are — and really listen to what they’re saying. When a child appears disinterested or unable to start a task or an assignment, try to identify anything that might be getting in their way. ADHD and anxiety often go hand in hand , and tasks can feel overwhelming if they’re long and complex, or they may bring up some underlying discomfort (like assignments from that one terrifying teacher). Once you know what obstacles your child is facing, you’ll be better poised to find ways to overcome them. And yes, being bored definitely counts as one of these obstacles.

2. Break Down Larger Goals

Maintaining focus and motivation over a long period of time is difficult for kids with ADHD — it’s like trying to remember your place in a book with pages that won’t stop flipping around. Plenty of projects can be broken down into discrete parts, and writing them down on a piece of paper or a whiteboard can help free up brain space and encourage your child to focus on one step at a time, says Carey Heller, Psy.D. , a Maryland-based psychologist who specializes in childhood and adolescent ADHD. Try finding a way to help your child unwind in between each step.

3. Encourage Routine

“Creating structure is really important,” Heller says. Small routines, like a pre-homework snack after school followed by a set reminder to do homework , can help create a familiar flow of activities that eliminates the need to spend mental energy on planning when to tackle heftier tasks.

Knowing when a change in activity is coming is also a huge boon for the ADHD brain, which can easily become fixated and difficult to redirect . “For example, if a child is reading for fun, or playing a game of some kind, suddenly being surprised by parents saying ‘It's time to do homework ’ may make them yell or react a little more strongly because of the difficulty shifting attention, rather than it being that they truly don't want to do it,” Heller says. If it’s a routine that game time stops at 5 p.m. everyday, switching away from that activity will likely be less of a fight.

4. Set Reminders

When it comes to ADHD , organization is key. Luckily, there’s no shortage of tools to help parents and children achieve it. For older kids with smartphones, using the reminder and calendar apps to break up tasks into to-dos and deadlines is just a matter of building the habit. For parents of younger children, or those who may not want their kids relying on screens to manage their planning, smart home devices can act as hands-free virtual assistants for even the tiniest of tots. Heller says he uses his own Amazon Echo to set reminders so often that his son was listing off his own tasks to the device at the age of 4. For a tech-free option, paper planners can be a huge help to older kids — some are even made specifically for those with ADHD . The best reminder system for your kid, Heller says, is whichever one they’ll use.

5. Add Rewards

It’s what we all want for a job well done — something to look forward to. There’s good evidence that the dopamine reward pathway — the portion of the brain that makes you feel good when you accomplish something — is disrupted in people with ADHD, leading to a deficit in the ability to motivate from within . Thankfully, there’s also evidence that for children under 12 , having an extrinsic reward, or something tangible to look forward to, can improve performance on a task.

For bigger projects, Heller suggests sprinkling rewards along the way. Which rewards work best is going to vary a ton from child to child, but options such as a favorite meal or quality time with a parent tend to be a hit in his office.

6. Embrace Fidgeting

Sure, your kid has to sit still at school. But at home, there’s no need to be so rigid. Heller swears by the strategy of “ harnessing fidgeting to improve focus .” Turn your kid’s desk into the most fun home office in the house with items like an under-desk elliptical, a balance board, or even a simple standing desk setup — find what clicks for them. Even something as simple as pacing the room while reading can help some kids with ADHD stay engaged.

7. Remember: You’re There to Guide

Helping your child manage their ADHD is all about “parenting for independence ,” Heller says. He encourages parents to develop strategies that their children and teens can take into adulthood and use themselves, rather than ones that require constant parental involvement. For younger kids, modeling certain routines and behaviors can be a huge push in the right direction.

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How to Get a Child with ADD to do Homework

Homework can be tricky for children with ADHD, especially after they’ve spent all day at school.

When children come home from school, they want to play, spend time with their friends and family, or watch TV. Homework is simply not something most children are excited about, but most kids are willing to do it because they have accepted that it is a requirement and there will be negative consequences if it is not completed.  

Unfortunately, it is often difficult for children with ADHD to sustain their focus long enough to do their homework, making them resigned to the negative consequences of not completing their work.

This is because the ADHD child’s brain is “stuck” in a certain pattern of dysregulation that doesn’t allow them to sustain concentration on non-stimulating tasks or perform certain executive functioning tasks, such as planning, organizing, and prioritizing their assignments. In a way, ADHD children are physically incapable of self-regulating and performing certain tasks because their brain won’t allow them to engage with the task.

However, with the right homework plan, it is possible to help motivate ADHD children to complete their assignments on time, study for tests, and become responsible, successful students. While completing schoolwork will likely always be more difficult due to their struggles with focus, there are strategies that can help mitigate this weakness and maximize their available resources to increase their productivity.

In this article, we will cover some effective ADD homework strategies for children that can improve their study habits. This article will also discuss the Drake Institute’s non-drug treatment protocols used to help children reduce or resolve ADHD symptoms by achieving a healthier state of brain functioning, resulting in long-term symptom relief.

Diet for ADD

Learning how to study with ADD can be difficult, especially if your mind and body are not receiving the necessary resources for the brain to function optimally. That’s why providing children with a healthy and nutritious diet should be a top priority for every household, as diet is the foundation of productive thinking and behavior.

Without a healthy diet, children suffering from ADHD will find it even more difficult to concentrate on their schoolwork, and this is especially true if their diet consists of sugary soft drinks, candy, and processed fast foods. Indeed, if your child is not eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, they are more prone to misbehaving and performing poorly on their assigned tasks.

For parents with ADHD children, avoiding processed foods loaded with artificial colorings and high sugar content should be a top priority, as both of these ingredients can have detrimental effects on behavior and health.

As a general guideline, ADHD diets should consist of essential trace minerals such as Zinc, Iron, and Magnesium. Foods that are heavy in these minerals include:

  • Beef & Lamb
  • Nuts such as cashews, pecans, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and hazelnuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Beans & Lentils
  • Low-Fat Dairy
  • Dried fruits such as figs, prunes, apricots, dates, and raisins

Parents should also take great care to ensure that their children are eating enough healthy fats, as every cell in the human body (including our brain) is made up of fats, and some reports have shown that in some children, Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is 40% as effective for ADHD as Ritalin, minus the side-effects. Healthy sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Coldwater fish (e.g., mackerel, tuna, salmon, and sardines)
  • Cod liver oil
  • Flaxseed and chia seeds
  • Soybeans & Tofu

Even if your child doesn’t have ADD, providing them with a healthy diet is one of the best ways to ensure that they will grow up to be healthy and productive.

And when it comes to mitigating the effects of ADD and ADHD, we feel that the optimal method is to combine ADHD diets with clinical ADHD treatments, like brain map-guided neurofeedback, as nutritious diets can reinforce and maximize the improvements in brain functioning brought on by our non-drug treatment protocols. 

Create a Homework Schedule

When it comes to ADD and homework, creating a homework schedule is one of the best ways to improve a child’s productivity.

By creating a homework schedule, children will know exactly what they will be doing once they get home (so long as the schedule is enforced), so there’s no guesswork involved from either the parent or the child as to when the work will be completed. However, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be arguments about the schedule and whether it’s fair: children with ADD intrinsically struggle with non-preferred asks, and a homework schedule won’t make these issues magically disappear.

That being said, a homework schedule can help students be more disciplined and productive because, without it, most children would rather turn on the TV, play a video game, or browse social media instead of completing their homework. In children with ADD, these issues are exacerbated, as their ability to plan and organize their day (executive functioning) is already hindered due to their attention deficit disorder.  

When creating a homework schedule, remember to include breaks, as most children will need a few minutes to relax so that they can better focus on their work. Many researchers have pointed out that the average attention span of children and adults is only around 20 minutes. Beyond this point, it becomes increasingly difficult to pay attention to the task at hand. So, by giving children a brief, 5-10 minute break, they will be better able to focus on their assignments without becoming too tired or fatigued.

Knowing when to schedule these homework breaks will require a bit of trial and error, as every child is different. However, including a break as part of the schedule somewhere around the 20 or 30-minute mark is generally a good place to start. During these scheduled breaks, it would be a good idea to have healthy snacks readily available to ensure that your child has enough energy to power through their assignments. Parents should encourage children to stand up and walk around during these breaks, but to avoid activities that are too stimulating or too far away from the task at hand.

Finally, there are two other important aspects to creating a homework schedule that parents should keep in mind: place and time.

In general, it’s a good idea to have a designated “homework space” for your child to work in that is free of distractions. As part of the schedule, the child should work in this space each day since this will help the child get into a “work mode” that allows them to concentrate on their tasks.

Time is the last aspect of creating a homework schedule, and this too will require a little bit of trial and error. In some cases, your child may need a break from schoolwork and might not be ready to jump into their homework as soon as they come home. Instead, they may need to go outside and play or go on a long walk before they can re-engage with their schoolwork. On the other hand, many children are more than willing to dive straight into their homework as soon as they get home so that they can watch TV later in the day or play video games with their friends.

In the end, it’s up to the parents to determine when “homework time” will begin, and once the time is set, everyone must abide.  

Monitor Distractions

From smartphones to televisions, there are a whole host of things fighting for your child’s attention.

As mentioned, part of the solution to this problem is to create a “homework space” that is free of distractions; however, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your child will be more productive.

Sometimes, your child might feel “alone” or “claustrophobic” in a workspace that is too sterile or boring, which can actually decrease their ability to concentrate. 

As many of us can attest, sometimes we need a “slight” distraction while working or performing schoolwork, like listening to the radio or having the TV on in the background, as these things can provide stimulation that helps some children to concentrate.

However, even background noise can be distracting for some students, especially if they have ADD. This is why parents need to monitor the effects of these distractions to see whether they improve or decrease productivity. Furthermore, while background noise may be beneficial for some people, individuals with ADHD will likely have a lower threshold for what is “too distracting.” For example, having the TV on is likely to be entirely too distracting for individuals with ADHD, and they will likely have better success if background noise consists of things such as music, ambient sounds, or even white noise.

If your child seems to work better while listening to music, then this “distraction” should be fully integrated into the homework schedule.

Be Present During Homework

Being there for your child when they’re working on their homework can be critically important to their success, especially when a difficult problem comes up.

By being present, children are less likely to become frustrated or to give up when they encounter a problem that they can’t solve because they know that they can turn to you for support.

Try setting a good example and sitting with your child reading a book, a magazine, or doing some other quiet, sedentary activity that is similar to studying and doing homework, proving to your child that it’s possible to sit still and focus for an extended period of time. Don’t forget to leave your smartphone behind!

If you can’t be there during “typical” (early afternoon) homework hours, you might want to consider trying to align your child’s homework schedule with your work schedule so that you can be there to help when they do need it. Being able to provide support to your child during a task that is challenging to them can be crucial to their success. Even if you are not actively providing guidance, simply knowing that someone is there to support them can be invaluable in maintaining their focus, motivation, and self-confidence.

Find a Study Buddy

When a child with ADD gets stuck on a homework problem, they’re likely to get frustrated, which in turn can cause them to misbehave.

In many cases, a parent can help their child work through a difficult homework problem, but sometimes having a “study buddy” will be even more effective, especially if the children are friendly and have academic strengths that complement each other.

However, it’s also important that parents ensure that their child is studying when with their study buddy, as sometimes this arrangement can cause children to goof around and not take their homework seriously. There also has to be some monitoring to make sure they are not simply being provided with answers by their partner. While this partnership may not be appropriate for everyone, for those who can work through these “temptations,” the benefits of such an arrangement can be significant.

This isn’t to say that parents should hover over their child when they’re with their study buddy, but monitoring the rate at which homework is being completed and its correctness will be important when determining the effectiveness of the study buddy.

That being said, if the homework is taking a little bit longer to be completed, but it’s being done correctly, and your child is happy about doing it, then that’s a tradeoff that might be worth making.

Provide Positive Feedback

Something that often gets overlooked is positive feedback for turning in assignments on time, receiving high marks, and abiding by the homework schedule.

Positive feedback is also often the best answer to the question of “how to get kids to do their homework,” as both children and adults like attention and rewards, and will alter their behavior to earn more of them.

However, obtaining attention can be accomplished in a variety of ways—not all of which are healthy and productive.

This is especially true when it comes to completing schoolwork: if your child makes an effort to adhere to their homework schedule and to achieve good grades, but isn’t rewarded, they will have less incentive to continue behaving in this manner. While it is tempting for parents to view this behavior as simply “doing what they are supposed to be doing,” there needs to be an acknowledgement that for individuals with ADHD, as this is an accomplishment that likely took significant effort. That additional effort is an accomplishment for these children and should be acknowledged and rewarded.

Therefore, it would be wise to reward your child for good behavior, especially behavior that results in positive grades at school.

Many parents have found success using a star chart that keeps track of their child’s weekly progress, where these stars can be “cashed in” for a reward of some kind, like extra time for playing video games or perhaps a snack of their choosing. How these stars are rewarded is up to the child’s parents, but it’s probably best to be a little lenient to incentivize homework and positive behavior.

For example, completing a homework assignment might be worth 1 star, but completing the homework correctly might be worth 2 or 3 stars. Extra stars can also be rewarded for other, non-homework related tasks, like taking adequate notes in class, remembering to bring the correct books home from school, and keeping their study materials (notebooks, binders, etc.) tidy. 

Talk to the Teacher

Finally, if your child is still struggling to complete their homework despite adhering to a homework schedule and everything else mentioned above, it might be time to talk to their teacher.

Some teachers will be more than willing to adjust the amount of homework your child is receiving on a day-to-day basis, so long as the problem is presented clearly, calmly, and without placing any blame on the teacher.

In addition to not placing blame, it’s probably best to discuss your child’s struggles in a face-to-face conversation, as too many things can get lost in translation over the phone, through emails or text messages.

When discussing your child’s struggles with homework, it’s important to mention how your child is trying as hard as they can to complete their assignments, but despite these efforts, the homework is taking an inordinate amount of time. Make sure to discuss all of the structure and accommodations being provided at home and be open to the teacher’s suggestions of things that may provide additional benefit for the child.

When this occurs, some teachers will allow parents to sign off on homework once the child has worked on it for a certain amount of time. Other teachers might substitute the current homework for something else that might be more suitable for your child’s needs. Accommodations can also be formally provided by requesting an IEP or 504 plan that addresses these concerns.

In short, conversations with your child’s teacher should be solution-oriented, face-to-face, friendly, and focused on improving your child’s academic performance, while still requiring them to perform at the best of their abilities.

ADD Treatment Options

When it comes to treating ADD, there are a few options available to parents, including stimulant ADD medications , and non-drug treatment options like the ones found at the Drake Institute.

Treatment of ADD or ADHD with medication is a widely used treatment option, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best in terms of safety and long-term improvement. Many stimulant ADD medications carry a significant number of negative side effects, including:

  • Nervousness
  • Change in personality
  • Loss of appetite
  • Suppressing growth rate
  • Weight loss
  • Upset stomach
  • Psychotic reactions
  • increase in blood pressure and palpitations
  • Risk of substance abuse

In addition, many people develop a tolerance for these medications over time, which results in the individual needing a higher dosage to obtain the same level of symptom reduction. Unfortunately, when the dosage of these medications increases, so does the likelihood that they will experience one or more of the negative side effects associated with the medication. It should also be noted, that treating attentional deficits with medications is not necessarily correcting the cause of the problem, meaning that if an individual were to discontinue these medications, their symptoms are likely to return.

Popular ADD medications include Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse, and Dexedrine, and while these drugs can work for some people, parents must understand all of the associated risks.

Non-Drug ADD Treatment at the Drake Institute

Learning how to study when you have ADD doesn’t require taking medications.

At the Drake Institute, we fully believe that children can experience symptom reduction without the use of ADHD medications, which is important since many of these medications carry a significant number of negative side effects.

Through the use of advanced treatment technologies such as qEEG Brain Mapping, Neurofeedback, and Neuromodulation, children can actually improve their brain functioning and sustained focus, resulting in better performance at school and work.

Brain Mapping

At the core of everything we do at the Drake Institute is Brain Mapping , as it provides us a window into how the patient’s brain is functioning and where the dysregulation is occurring.

In the case of ADD, brain mapping can help identify which parts of the brain are under or over-activated and contributing to the child’s struggles with school. During treatment, we’ll target these regions to improve brain functioning, which can help minimize the effects of the child’s attention disorder.

Once brain mapping is complete, the findings are compared to the FDA-registered normative database to identify which regions are deviating from “normal” activity patterns.

When dysregulation is discovered, a treatment protocol using Neurofeedback and Neuromodulation is designed specifically for the patient’s unique situation. This customized process allows us to provide better results compared to treatment protocols that use a “one size fits all” approach. It should also be noted that by addressing their underlying cause of the child’s difficulties, the subsequent improvements obtained through neurotherapy are typically long-lasting and do not require continued maintenance, like medications do.

Biofeedback & Neurofeedback

Biofeedback and Neurofeedback treatment is a non-invasive, non-drug treatment protocol that helps the patient retrain the brain to more optimal functioning, thus increasing their ability to complete homework or other assigned tasks.

During Neurofeedback treatment, the brain is not artificially stimulated and drugs are not administered; in fact, nothing invasive is performed at all.

Instead, Neurofeedback involves placing sensors on the patient’s head that records and displays the patient’s current brain functioning patterns, providing real-time feedback into how their brain is operating. When patients can witness firsthand how their brain is functioning, they are better able to self-regulate and improve brain functioning for concentration, which in turns, helps reduce the manifestation of negative symptoms.

One example of Neurofeedback treatment is one where the patient’s brainwave patterns are converted into a computer game where a car is driving down the highway. When the patient’s brain shifts into a healthier functioning frequency, the car moves and stays in the proper lane and an auditory tone is triggered. This tone is then repeated every half second that the patient sustains this healthier mode of thinking, which helps improve and stabilize this brave wave pattern.

With continued treatment, Neurofeedback treatments like the one described above will help the patient learn how to improve sustained focus on even nonpreferred tasks. Furthermore, with practice and repetition, the underlying dysregulation that caused the child’s difficulties can actually be improved, resulting in a “stronger” brain and long-lasting benefit.


Finally, the Drake Institute utilizes Neuromodulation therapy to support, enhance, and accelerate therapeutic improvements gained through Neurofeedback. This approach has been so successful that we’ve fully integrated it into our existing treatment protocols in 2019.

What is Neuromodulation?

In short, Neuromodulation provides therapeutic neurostimulation of dysregulated brain functioning by stimulating brainwave patterns that the patient is deficient in. Once established, the brain can then mimic or emulate this pattern to form healthier brain wave activity. This treatment protocol can also increase blood flow in damaged areas and reduce inflammation.

This treatment technology is so safe and effective that it is now used worldwide in renowned medical centers such as Harvard University School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, UCLA School of Medicine, and many others.

Contact the Drake Institute

If your child is struggling with their schoolwork due to ADD or ADHD, please don’t hesitate to call us for a free consultation. Our non-drug treatment protocols have provided many students with long-term symptom relief, helping them to achieve and go farther in school than they ever have before.

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"They started biofeedback right away to produce more alpha brain waves. I went daily for 4 weeks I believe? It was relaxing. My brain learned what to do. It CURED me."

"The treatment involves doing different protocols, you start to notice a difference after a couple weeks. The Drake Institute, and their treatment method is the way of the future! It absolutely was an answer to our prayers."

"I was hesitant to go to The Drake Institute but was at a loss on how to help my son. I can not thank Drake and Maria enough I don't think we would be where we are today without it."

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“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Neurophysical Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Neurophysical Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Neurophysical Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Neurophysical Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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10 Homework & Study Tips for Students with ADHD/ADD

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Every child will likely have trouble with homework at some point. But for children with ADD and ADHD, the problem can go beyond a few assignments. Among other things, children with ADD and ADHD face challenges with focusing, patience, and organizing. These challenges can make it hard for students to perform to the best of their potential in, and out of, the classroom.

Helping Your Child Tackle ADD/ADHD and Homework

Children with ADD and ADHD can be hasty, rushing through their homework and making mistakes. They may lose homework, struggle to organize thoughts and tasks, and fail to plan ahead.

The challenges your child faces can be overcome with practiced habits and proper study skills for ADD/ADHD students. With these 10 ADD/ADHD homework tips, your child can learn how to focus on homework with ADD/ADHD and achieve success in the classroom.

Learn how you can help improve your child’s academic skills with these homework and study tips for kids with ADHD/ADD.

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Study Strategies for ADHD & ADD

1. create a homework-only space.

Children with ADD and ADHD can be easily distracted by their surroundings. Find a comfortable place where your child can work with few distractions. Use this as a quiet study space away from noise and movement where your child can clear his or her mind and focus.

Homework Tip:

Don’t do homework in the bedroom. The bedroom is a place for sleep, rest, and relaxation — not work and stress.

2. Create a consistent schedule

It is important for kids with ADD/ADHD to have a consistent routine. This will help your child start his or her homework and focus. Set a time each day for your child to sit down and complete his or her work.

3. Study in spurts

ADD and ADHD can make it hard to focus, so breaks are a must. Studying in short spurts can help. Give your child regular breaks from homework for a snack or a walk, and let the mind refresh and reset! This will give your child a chance to burn off extra energy and improve concentration when he or she returns.

4. Get the teacher involved

It’s hard to always know what is happening with your child at school. Talking to his or her teacher can help make sure you’re informed. Ask the teacher about sending regular reports on your child and updates on homework assignments. If possible, meet with them every few weeks and for progress reports. Knowing what is going on in the classroom can help you and your child’s teacher make changes to make sure your child is learning effectively.

5. Get Organized

Organize school supplies and make checklists and schedules for homework and assignments. Help your child get his or her bag ready for school the next morning and make sure all homework is complete. You can make organization fun for your child with coloured folders, special pencils, stickers and cool labels that if you want to make yourself, you should read firs this cricut machine reviews to make something better.

6. Show Support

Encourage your child to always try his or her best. Although your child should be completing his or her work independently, it is okay to help when asked. Help your child look at challenges in a positive light to keep him or her motivated. This will show that you are willing to always help him or her do better.

7. Understand how your child learns

Whether it is auditory, kinesthetic or visual, knowing how your child learns is important. Change studying habits to fit his or her learning style with graphs, visuals, music, walking, or talking out loud. Every child learns differently. Studying in a way that works for him or her can help improve understanding and retention.

Read our Complete Study Guide For Every Type Of Learner for more study tips!

8. Know when it’s time to quit

Children with ADD/ADHD can become easily frustrated and overwhelmed. Encourage your child to keep going as long as he or she can, but don’t push your child too much. If he or she has hit his or her limit, stop for the night. If homework hasn’t been completed for the following school day, send the teacher a note to explain.

9. Offer praise and positive feedback

Congratulate your child after he or she finishes his or her homework. You can also do something special, like a small treat or trip to the park. Even if your child was not able to finish his or her work, praise his or her efforts and strive for a new goal the next day.

10. Move around

Sitting for long periods of time can be challenging for students with ADD/ADHD. Letting your child get up to move around can help him or her maintain focus. Try making studying into a physical activity, where your child counts out steps when practicing math problems like addition and subtraction. Having something he or she can fidget with while doing work can also help. Stress balls are a great item your child can take with him or her wherever he or she goes.

Children Can Succeed With The Right ADD/ADHD Study Skills

Children with ADD and ADHD feel at times they cannot control their own actions. They can become easily distracted, which can lead to poor grades, frustration, and disappointment. These ADD/ADHD study tips will help your child conquer these academic challenges, with improved concentration, time management and organizational skills. Most importantly, they will also help boost self esteem and confidence.

Remember, these changes won’t happen overnight. It will take time for your child to adjust to new routines and habits. Once you, and your child, understand how to study and do homework with ADD/ADHD, your child will be on the way to more effective learning.

Does your child struggle with a learning difficulty? Find out more about Oxford Learning’s Learning Disability Tutoring programs.

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ADD Strategies For School Success It’s Not ADD; It’s Childhood

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