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Understanding ADHD Symptoms

how to get homework done with adhd

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is easily misunderstood, particularly by those who witness it in others but don’t take the time to find out for themselves. The symptoms of ADHD vary from person to person, however, inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are common to all sufferers. At the moment, 4.4 percent of the US adult popular has ADHD, although less than a fifth of those people seek help. Over 40 percent of cases are considered severe so more needs to be done to alert those who don’t seek medical care to the dangers they face.


The first symptom is inattention. Sufferers have a hard time focusing on one thing. Boredom sets in after a few minutes of beginning a task which is often left unfinished. The required attention to complete routine daily tasks isn’t there which makes ADHD suffers’ lives very difficult. Losing track of things and forgetting tasks that need completing makes life very difficult but it has a major effect on the working lives of suffers.


Someone who’s hyperactive never rests. They can’t sit still. They talk incessantly and may dash around. Children with ADHD find learning difficult because they can’t focus on a task and can’t stay still long enough to listen and learn. They struggle to pay attention in class, and may even roam around the room or, at least, move around in their chairs a lot. The restless feeling doesn’t go when the child grows into an adult. Suffers report feeling intensely energetic meaning they are restless and never relax.


Impulsivity is great from time to time. We use the word “spontaneous” when someone’s made a rational but quick decision to do something. It mixes things up. Can you imagine if you were always impulsive? The impulsivity can lead ADHD suffers to blurt out words randomly. They may struggle to wait for their turn when playing a game with friends. Children with ADHD might grab a toy from other children or perhaps even hit out when they don’t get their way.

Treating ADHD

Thankfully, there are medications and behavioral therapies which can manage ADHD. In adults, most doctors prescribe meds. Mindfulness and changes in behavior can also make a major difference in the quality of life an adult sufferer can expect. With children, there are a number of alternative treatments including changes to the child’s diet, supplements, and memory training. Exercise can also be used to help both adults and children. Exercise helps keep your brain in shape so it’s an effective way of managing this condition.

ADHD Leads to

This disorder often leads suffers to other conditions such as learning disabilities, anxiety, and depression. It’s difficult to access ADHD in a child so your doctors may have diagnosed a child with other conditions without realizing the underlying ADHD issue. The fact that so many people don’t even believe ADHD is a real medical condition helps to alienate those with it. All of America’s major medical groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and National Institutes of Health class ADHD as a valid condition.


how to get homework done with adhd

how to get homework done with adhd

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12 Schoolwork Shortcuts for Kids Who Hate Homework

Finishing homework faster doesn’t mean rushing or hovering over your child until he melts down. it means following these 12 adhd-friendly strategies for creating calm, avoiding burnout, and staying organized..

Susan Kruger, M.Ed.

1. What Homework Strategy Is Best?

Talk with a parent about raising her child with ADHD and, sooner or later, the conversation will turn to the homework wars. “You can’t believe how long it takes for my son to finish homework,” she will say. “Will it ever get better?” Yes, it will. There are ADHD homework strategies and secrets for studying more effectively. Don’t tell your child which strategy to use. Instead, let her choose. Choice is a key factor for inspiring motivation.

A girl uses ADHD homework strategies to finish her assignments

2. How Should We Begin Homework?

When you first sit down to do homework, take two minutes to put loose papers into the proper folders. Use the next eight minutes to reread notes and/or handouts from school. These 10 minutes will save you hours of searching and studying. You will quickly get into the habit of putting assignments where they belong. Reviewing your notes transfers information to long-term memory, saving hours of study time when test time comes around.

A boy uses ADHD homework strategies to finish his assignments

3. How Long Should We Work on Homework?

Set a timer and limit each study or work session to 30 minutes. Challenge yourself to finish a certain amount of work within that time. The adrenaline rush of the challenge will improve your focus.

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

A girl takes an exercise break, one of her ADHD homework strategies.

4. What's a Reasonable Homework Break?

Both your body and brain need frequent refreshers. Set another timer for five minutes, then do jumping jacks, run in place, or stretch. Start another 30-minute block of homework. This sounds too simple to work, but these breaks keep you sharp to get your work done faster. After two weeks, you will find that these five-minute blocks will significantly reduce procrastination.

A girl uses ADHD homework strategies to complete her assignments

5. How Can We Keep Homework Organized?

A lot of students with ADHD who keep a planner forget to use it throughout the day. Always keep it in your main folder or binder, along with a pen in the binding. Use a binder clip to mark your current page. It should take only a few steps to access your planner and to write down assignments and reminders — and you won’t waste time later, calling friends to ask about homework.

A boy and his father use ADHD homework strategies to finish assignments together.

6. What's an Energizing After-School Snack?

When kids do homework, they should sip (not gulp) a drink with sugar in it, says Dr. Russell Barkley, Ph.D., author of Taking Charge of ADHD (#CommissionsEarned) . Lemonade or sports drinks are good choices. These beverages deliver glucose to your brain, which is its only source of fuel. The more fuel you have, the more you will be able to work effectively and efficiently.

A teen uses ADHD homework strategies to finish his assignments.

7. Should We Skip Tough Homework Problems?

If you come to a homework question (or two or three) that you find confusing, highlight or circle it and move on. The more you dwell on something you don’t understand, the more anxious you will get. The more anxious you get, the less energy you have for the rest of your homework. Stick with what you can figure out. Take the hard problems to your teacher at the start of class and ask for help.

[ Click to Read: The ADHD Homework System We Swear By ]

A girl uses ADHD homework strategies to finish her assignments.

8. What's the Best Way to Review School Notes?

Your brain will process the information in three ways: through your eyes as you read it, your mouth as you say it, and your ears as you hear your own voice. This improves your focus and memory.

A girl and her father use ADHD homework strategies together to finish assignments.

9. What's the Best Way to Review for Tests?

Writing down questions helps you learn better than reciting or memorizing information. The process forces you to think about the information at a higher level. Higher-level thinking helps you learn more things, thus shortening your study time.

A boy and his mother use ADHD homework strategies to finish assignments.

10. How Much Do We Need to Read?

Read through related sections of your textbook, but don’t read every word. Read headings, diagrams, and captions to photos and illustrations to get started. Set your timer and spend one 30-minute block reviewing a textbook chapter. Your enhanced comprehension will help you sail through your homework.

A boy uses ADHD homework strategies to finish reading assignments.

11. How Much Review Is Best?

Review textbook chapters before teachers lecture about them in class. This process gives your brain enough knowledge to help you pay better attention in class. You can reduce study and homework time if you have a deeper understanding of the material.

Two girls leave school with their backpacks, ready to use ADHD homework strategies to finish assignments.

12. How Do You Wake Up an ADHD Brain?

Most children with ADHD are groggy in the morning, so it’s easy to forget things if you are trying to get organized. Instead, gather all of your folders, books, notebooks, and supplies, and put them in your bag before you go to sleep. When you don’t deal with chaos in the morning, you have more resources to stay focused through the day. The calmer your day, the more energy you’ll have to blast through homework in the evening.

[ Read This Next: Scripts to End Every Homework Fight ]

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Verywell / Laura Porter

Qualities for Student Success

  • ADHD and College
  • Academic Tips
  • Social Tips

Every autumn, thousands of students move away from the structure and safety of home to the freedoms of college life. While it's an exciting time filled with many possibilities for learning and growth, it can also be challenging academically and socially—especially for college students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Learn some of the challenges that college students with ADHD face, as well as strategies that can be used to overcome these obstacles. This includes learning how to study with ADHD and taking certain actions to foster friendships with other students.

Sarah D. Wright , ADHD coach and author of "Fidget to Focus: Outwit Your Boredom—Sensory Strategies for Living with ADD," explains that successful students usually have four qualities that help them achieve their goals:

  • Sticking with things even when the going gets tough (perseverance)
  • Ability to delay gratification and focus on the big picture
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Striking the right balance between fun and work

These particular skills, however, don’t come easily to people with ADHD. One of the hallmarks of this mental health condition is impaired executive functioning . This means that students with ADHD may struggle with staying organized, sticking to a plan, and managing time effectively.

How ADHD Affects College Students

College students often face more responsibilities, less structured time, increased distractions, and new social situations—all while lacking access to many of the support systems they had in high school. Impaired executive functioning can make handling these changes a bit harder for students with ADHD, resulting in:

  • Poor academic performance and achievement : Students with ADHD frequently report feeling dissatisfied with their grades. They may struggle in their classes due to difficulties starting and completing tasks, disorganization, problems remembering assignments, difficulty memorizing facts, and trouble working on lengthy papers or complex math problems .
  • Troubles with time management : Students with ADHD often have irregular lifestyles that result from poor time management. This can create problems with being on time, preparing and planning for the future, and prioritizing tasks.
  • Difficulty regulating and managing emotions : Students with ADHD also often struggle with social issues, negative thoughts, and poor self-esteem. Some ADHD symptoms can make friendships and other relationships more challenging while worrying about these issues contributes to poor self-image.

The good news is that these areas of executive function can be improved. For most college students with ADHD, the problem isn’t in knowing what to do, it's getting it done. Developing strategies that focus on this goal can lead to positive academic and social effects.

Tips for Succeeding in College With ADHD

There are several strategies you can use to help stay on track if you are a college student with ADHD. Here are seven that Wright suggests.

1. Take Steps to Start the Day on Time

There are three main factors that contribute to being late in the morning: Getting up late, getting sidetracked, and being disorganized.

If Getting Up Late Is an Issue

Set two alarms to go off in sequence. Put the first alarm across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Put the second where you know it will bother your roommates, increasing the consequences if you don’t get out of bed and turn it off. Set both alarms to go off early so you can take your time getting ready.

If Getting Sidetracked Is an Issue

If certain actions tend to derail you, like checking your email or reading the news, make it a rule that those activities must wait until later in the day so you can stay on task . Also, figure out how much time you need to dress, eat, and get organized, then set alarms or other reminders to cue these tasks.

Three options are:

  • Use a music mix as a timer . If you have 30 minutes to get ready, the schedule might look like this: wash and dress to songs 1 to 3, eat breakfast to songs 4 to 6, get your stuff together during song 7, and walk out the door by song 8. This option works best if you use the same mix every morning.
  • Use your phone or buy a programmable reminder watch so your alarms are always nearby.
  • Put a big wall clock in your room where you can easily see it . If your room is part of a suite with a common room and bathroom, put wall clocks in those spaces as well.

If Being Disorganized Is the Issue

Create a "launch pad" by your door. Collect all of the things you’ll need the next day the night before (like your backpack and keys), and put them on the pad so you can grab them and go. Include a note to help you remember important events for the day, such as an appointment or quiz.

2. Work With Your Urge to Procrastinate

Though it may sound counterproductive, if you feel the urge to procrastinate , go with it. When you have ADHD, sometimes things only get done right before they're due. At that point, nothing has higher priority, increasing the urgency and consequences if you don’t do them now. These qualities are what can finally make a task doable, so work with them.

If you plan to procrastinate, it's important to stack the deck so you can pull it off. For example, if you have to write a paper, make sure you’ve done the reading or research in advance and have some idea of what you want to write. Next, figure out how many hours you’ll need, block those hours out in your schedule, and then, with the deadline in sight, sit down and do it.

Understanding your tendency to procrastinate with ADHD can help you plan ahead so you won't be left scrambling to finish projects at the last minute.

3. Study Smarter, Not Harder

Boredom and working memory issues can make studying a bit more challenging for students with ADHD. Rather than trying harder to force the information into your head, get creative with the learning process.

If you're wondering how to study with ADHD, research shows that multi-modal learning or learning via a variety of different methods can be helpful. Ideas include:

  • Highlight text with different-colored pens.
  • Make doodles when taking notes.
  • Record notes as voice memos and listen to them as you walk across campus.
  • Use mnemonics to create funny ways to remember facts.
  • Stand up while you study.
  • Read assignments aloud using an expressive (not boring) voice.
  • If you can, get the audio version of a book you need to read and listen to it while you take notes and/or exercise.
  • Work with a study buddy.

These won't all work for every person, but try mixing up your strategies and see what happens. Taking study breaks every couple of hours and getting enough sleep are also part of studying smarter, not harder.

Sleep impacts learning in two main ways. First, sleep deprivation has a negative impact on  short-term memory , which is what you use to learn the materials when you study. Second, sleep is needed to move short-term memories into long-term memory, which is what you rely on when it's time to take the test.

Sleep is important for both short- and long-term memory, making it critical for both learning new material and recalling what you've learned.

4. Schedule Your Study Time

Many students with ADHD are highly intelligent. They can pull off a passing grade, or even a good one, in high school by cramming their studies in the night before a test.

This strategy doesn't work as well in college since cramming reduces your ability to retain what you've learned long-term . This can make it harder to remember what you need to know once you enter your field of choice.

One good rule of thumb for college students is to study two to two-and-a-half hours per week for every course credit hour. Put this time into your schedule to make sure you have it.

5. Plan and Prioritize Your Time

It may sound strange, but it's important to plan time to plan. If you don’t develop this habit, you may find yourself always being reactive with your day rather than proactive—the latter of which can help you take more control over your schedule .

Set aside time on Monday mornings to develop a high-level plan for the week, using Friday mornings to plan for the weekend. In addition, do a daily review of your plan over breakfast—possibly adding pertinent details—to make sure you know what’s coming your way that day.

When making your plans, differentiate between what you need to do and everything that can or should be done. Prioritize what needs to be done first, taking care of these items before moving on to lower-priority tasks on your list.

6. Implement Strategies to Stick to Your Plan

With ADHD, sticking to a plan is often difficult. If you like rewards, use them to assist with this. For instance, you might tell yourself, "I’ll read for two hours, then go to the coffee house." Having something to look forward to can make it easier to muster through your studies.

If you’re competitive, use this personality trait instead. Pick another student in your class whom you want to do better than and go for it. If you know that you respond to social pressure, make plans to study with classmates so you won’t let them down. Or hire a tutor so you have structured study time.

Research suggests that focusing on skills related to time management , target planning, goal setting, organization, and problem-solving can all be helpful for students with ADHD.

Hiring a coach can also be beneficial. There is growing evidence, both research-based and anecdotal, that supports ADHD coaching as a vital strategy in helping students learn to plan, prioritize, and persist in following their plans.

This type of coaching is sometimes described as a form of life coaching influenced by cognitive behavioral-type therapy , which helps people develop behaviors, skills, and strategies to better deal with ADHD symptoms. It can lead to greater self-determination and direction, reduced feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, and increased self-confidence and self-sufficiency.

7. Manage Your Medication

One study found that only around 53% of college students with ADHD adhere to their medication plan. Poor medication adherence can have serious consequences, contributing to poor academic performance and decreased graduation rates. 

Steps you can take to stay on top of your ADHD medications include:

  • Find a local healthcare provider : Regularly monitoring your medications helps ensure that you are at the best dosage for you. If you're going to school a long way from home, find a local healthcare provider to meet with regularly. You can also schedule regular visits with your university's health services.
  • Find a local pharmacy : Determine where you'll order and pick up your medication. Set reminders on your phone so you know when to refill your prescription. You may also be able to sign up for text reminders.
  • Store medications safely : Abuse of ADHD medications is on the rise on college campuses, even though this can result in high blood pressure, increased feelings of anger and distrust, trouble sleeping, and even strokes. Keep your ADHD medications in a safe location and never share them with others. 
  • Set reminders to take your medication : If you are struggling to take your medication as prescribed, consider using a reminder app or setting reminders on your phone.

Research points to medication as the most effective and available ADHD treatment option. However, it's important to talk to your care provider to decide the best treatment approach for your individual situation and needs.

Social Strategies for Students With ADHD

Interpersonal challenges are also common for college students with ADHD. While being out on your own for the first time can be exciting, this mental health condition can lead to difficulties in building and maintaining friendships .

CHADD—which stands for Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, an organization funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—offers these tips:

  • Remember that you aren't the only one who feels the way you do . Other students may be feeling just as excited (and overwhelmed) as you. During orientation, help them feel more comfortable by being friendly and listening when they share their concerns.
  • Look for opportunities to meet and interact with others . You might make new friends in class, in your dorm, at the school cafeteria, or at other places on campus. View each of these locations as an opportunity to expand your social network .
  • Find activities or clubs to join. Colleges and universities are great places to explore hobbies and meet people who share your interests. Check out bulletin boards on campus or look at your school's website to learn more about the options that are available. 
  • Stay in contact with your current friends . Don't let your high school friendships fade into the background just because you're at college. While you're busy with new things and might not see each other every day, stay in touch by phone, text, social media, or email. Your current friends can be great sources of social support .

A Word From Verywell

Being proactive and getting strategies in place early on can increase your success as a college student with ADHD, both academically and socially. This can help make your transition to college life a happy, successful, and productive time.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. College students with ADHD .

Pineda-Alhucema W, Aristizabal E, Escudero-Cabarcas J, Acosta-López JE, Vélez JI. Executive function and theory of mind in children with ADHD: a systematic review . Neuropsychol Rev . 2018;28:341-358. doi:10.1007/s11065-018-9381-9

Kwon SJ, Kim Y, Kwak Y. Difficulties faced by university students with self-reported symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A qualitative study . Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health . 2018;12(12). doi:10.1186/s13034-018-0218-3

Ward N, Paul E, Watson P, et al. Enhanced learning through multimodal training: Evidence from a comprehensive cognitive, physical fitness, and neuroscience intervention .  Sci Rep . 2017;7(1):5808. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06237-5

Rommelse N, van der Kruijs M, Damhuis J, et al. An evidence-based perspective on the validity of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the context of high intelligence . Neurosci Biobehav Rev . 2016;71:21-47. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.08.032

Walck-Shannon EM, Rowell SF, Frey RF. To what extent do study habits relate to performance? CBE Life Sci Educ . 2021;20(1):ar6. doi:10.1187/cbe.20-05-0091

Wennberg B, Janeslätt G, Kjellberg A, Gustafsson P. Effectiveness of time-related interventions in children with ADHD aged 9-15 years: a randomized controlled study . Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry . 2018;27:329-342. doi:10.1007/s00787-017-1052-5

Prevatt F. Coaching for college students with ADHD .  Curr Psychiatry Rep . 2016;18(12):110. doi:10.1007/s11920-016-0751-9

ADHD medication adherence in college students-a call to action for clinicians and researchers: Commentary on 'transition to college and adherence to prescribed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medication': erratum . J Dev Behav Pediatr . 2018;39(3):269. doi:10.1097/DBP.0000000000000568

Hall CL, Valentine AZ, Groom MJ, et al. The clinical utility of the continuous performance test and objective measures of activity for diagnosing and monitoring ADHD in children: a systematic review . Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry . 2016;25:677-699. doi:10.1007/s00787-015-0798-x

Stanford Medicine. Abuse of prescription ADHD medicines rising on college campuses .

Caye A, Swanson JM, Coghill D, Rohde LA. Treatment strategies for ADHD: an evidence-based guide to select optimal treatment . Mol Psychiatry . 2019;24:390-408. doi:10.1038/s41380-018-0116-3

McKee TE. Peer relationships in undergraduates with ADHD symptomatology: selection and quality of friendships . J Atten Disord . 2017;21(12):1020-1029. doi:10.1177/1087054714554934

CHADD. Succeeding in college with ADD .

Rotz R, Wright SD. Fidget to focus: Outwit your boredom: Sensory strategies for living with ADD .

By Keath Low  Keath Low, MA, is a therapist and clinical scientist with the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina. She specializes in treatment of ADD/ADHD.

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Completing Homework Can Be Struggle For An ADHD Student

ADHD is often characterized by traits like getting easily distracted, impulsivity, sensory overload, and inability to pay attention. These can make accomplishing homeworks difficult. How can we make school work more exciting and less stressful? The answers and more in this article. 

how to get homework done with adhd

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Visualize your ADHD traits

Learn where you land in the ADHD spectrum, by answering 28 questions inspired by the Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS).

how to get homework done with adhd

Visualize and assess 25 ADHD traits and understand how they affect your life.

ADHD, Homework, and School Struggles

During my student years, I often struggled with different school matters. There were plenty of times when my teacher scolded me because I was busy daydreaming instead of focusing more on the subject she was teaching. My classmates likewise often saw me as someone who would always get in trouble because of my impulsive behavior . However, with these traits and experience, I still managed to get fair grades and make my parents proud. 💪 Looking back, I realize how confusing and frustrating my experiences were: I struggled a lot in school, but I don't know why .

when I was younger, homework was a big struggle...

One thing I'll never forget is when people tagged me as "lazy" or someone who needed to “do better” or perform well in school. And I guess that was one of the reasons why I became more puzzled by the experiences I had. 😵 It sometimes caught me off-guard when people made these remarks because it’s not like I didn’t want to do things their way - I just couldn’t.

I always started my homework at the last minute...

I wish I had known sooner that what I experienced were ADHD symptoms that can affect how I study, interact with people, and perform in school. It wasn't until I was 29 that I was diagnosed with ADHD and started knowing more about my struggles.

Alice, As An Undiagnosed ADHD Student

Whenever homework or assignments were given to us, all I did was read them and leave them hanging until the day before they were due . Often, I prioritized playing a video game for hours, going outside for a walk, or doodling illustrations of anything that I liked. 😅 I found myself not interested in doing my homework unless someone forced me to or if the deadline was just around the corner .

Studying was a “hit-or-miss” thing for me. Art, Music, and Science were the subjects I am most interested in. I gave them my intense focus and full attention. 🙌 Math problems, watching long movies regarding history, and other similar subjects were the things that I found boring. They would either put me to sleep or distract me, and I always yearned for break time. 🥺

I procrastinated doing fun things instead...but it was always at the back of my mind...

My struggles became much more intense when I graduated and decided to go to college. There were moments when I was easily frustrated in everything that I did and got emotional during the entire school year because studying was hard. I gave up on the challenges and lost self-esteem , making me drop out and shift career paths .

Do I Need To Exert More Effort?

As someone who often displays excessive physical activity and gets distracted quickly, my homework hours are typically longer than most people’s . It still happens now, though I’m no longer a student.

The actual time I spent doing after-school activities became shorter, and yet, I still found myself doing unnecessary things or things not related to the one I should be doing. 😭 Then, when the submission of these assignments comes, I often get scolded by my teacher.

Once I finally started, it often seemed terribly overwhelming...

I rarely got positive feedback from my teachers regarding my performance on their given tasks. They would always say there's more that I could do if I only tried to put my best foot forward. But all I was thinking was, "I wish I had the interest and focus on giving my all to your subject…” This thought was often followed by “. ..but, I don’t understand what’s happening to me. ” Homework is hard enough, let alone trying to focus on a particular task for long periods.

Instances such as these sadden me because instead of understanding the struggles that students with ADHD face and having the proper support they deserve, we usually only get the wrong kind of attention and treatment. 🥺 We are often misunderstood and called "lazy" or "impatient." Instead of adequately pointing out room for improvement and providing positive feedback, we often get judged . 

Take our fun online quiz to visualize your ADHD traits and learn more about your brain!

how to get homework done with adhd

The Art of Procrastination

What is procrastination ? Why is it such a relatable word when you have ADHD?

Procrastination is when a person decides to delay or avoid doing a task that needs to be done even though they can do it now . 

The delay gives you some time off with yourself, but often results in more distress . Sometimes, people may think that procrastination can only be connected with laziness.  However, as an ADHD brain works differently, it can also “trigger” procrastination.

Except when the topic was very interesting...

A child's time management can be a struggle , especially when they need to do things they're not interested in. 😔 This is where procrastination can happen and affect the outcome of the task they are endorsed with. Sometimes, rushing things to finish a specific homework or activity to submit on or before the deadline can yield a different, negative result.

Some people may also think that we are neglecting our responsibilities because we let ourselves enjoy other things at the expense of our homework or school activities. But in reality, we often think about these tasks, but just cannot start because our brains aren't ready to face them. 😨

Facing Homework Assignments

Most children with ADHD prioritize tasks and activities that are interesting to them. It can resonate with many neurotypical people at how fast they work on something that sparks joy in them compared to those they think are boring. 

In some cases, we gather enough will and courage to initiate doing an assignment. 💪 But when we are finally faced with it, our brain gets easily clouded, distracted, and out of focus .

I often feel this struggle, especially when I don't know where to start and everything is given at once within the same deadline. My mind feels heavy with the pressure, and the stress I feel piles up, making me more exhausted. No matter how hard I try to do these tasks, I always end up not doing anything or accomplishing less than what I imagined to complete. 😭

but even then, finishing a project was a struggle...

But when interesting topics are given, even if it's days ahead of the scheduled deadline, I can finish them in a flash. These subjects with positive light can be my source of inspiration and increase my productivity tenfold. 😘 It only takes some time for me to get used to the task, and once I find my flow, nothing can stop me from executing it flawlessly.

Having the right mindset and timing a regular schedule while having the proper technique can help many individuals with ADHD get through homework and school-related tasks.

How Can We Make Homework Time Exciting?

We have established that a child's attention can be short-lived, especially when struggling with ADHD. Please note, though, that this can also happen to ADHD adults. So, how can we make homework time and school work more exciting so that they can focus on it?

if you struggle with homework too, here are my tips

The first reminder I want to share with you is to be kind to yourself, always . ❤️ Remember that we struggle with our ADHD brains every day and are doing the best that we can. The most crucial part is that we should work with our brains and not against them .

These are some of the other techniques that might help:

  • Create a designated homework space that can accommodate all homework routines. It doesn't matter if it's a study table or kitchen table, as long as you can focus on doing your tasks. This space will help you focus on your homework and avoid distractions .
  • Set the ambiance or mood that you are comfortable in working. Do you function well with no background noise, or are you okay working with white noise? Sometimes, these little details are essential to note because they can help increase your focus.
  • Keep everything you need within reach . If school books 📚 are essential in answering your homework, make sure they are beside you. If you need to highlight specific phrases from your notes, make certain colored pens are at arms' reach or organized in front of you. Likewise, keeping distractions away can enforce focus and give better productivity.
  • Establish a routine or schedule for homework time. This can help the mind get used to the activity and eventually minimize procrastination. Making a regular schedule posted on a visible weekly calendar 📅 can remind you of the tasks that need to be finished.
  • Break down big tasks into smaller and manageable chunks. This way, it won't look so daunting, and you can focus on one thing at a time. Dedicating a specific amount of time to each chunk can also help you stay on track, especially for uninteresting subjects that make your regular schedule challenging to accomplish. 
  • Taking breaks is essential and considered to be part of homework strategies. It can also minimize the effect of burnout. You can walk around, drink water, or do some stretching exercises during these times. Anything that can help you release the tension and give your eyes a break from staring at the screen 💻 or books for long periods.
  • Write down what's distracting you. This way, you can address the root cause of your distraction and find ways to avoid or minimize them. It can be a good idea to talk about this with someone who can help you so that they will be aware and give support when needed. Updating new routines to make things work can help achieve better focus and concentration.

There will be days when we can't seem to focus no matter how hard we try. And that's okay. These days, it is essential to be patient with ourselves and take a break if needed. 😘 Pushing too hard on ourselves will only lead to more frustration and less productivity. School day and homework can be challenging, but we can get through it with the right mindset and strategies.

"Homework time doesn't have to be a battle. With a little organization and these tips, your child can take control of their ADHD and get their schoolwork done."

-Dana Rayburn, Ed.M., LPC, NCC

ADHD & Homework

ADHD and Homework: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

 is it usual for many people with adhd to struggle with their school work and assignments.

Many children (and even adults) with ADHD truly struggle with homeworks. This is largely because of their symptoms, like getting easily distracted, experiencing sensory overload, and being unable to focus.

Why do many people with ADHD procrastinate?

Many students with ADHD procrastinate because they do not find the task interesting enough. However, please note that reasons for procrastination can vary. An ADHD or even a neurotypical person might procrastinate because they are tired, are anxious about another thing, or not motivated well.

How can we boost our productivity when it comes to school work?

The first step is to be kind to yourself. Please don’t associate your procrastination or inability to accomplish your tasks on time with laziness. Your ADHD brain just works differently. Next is to tackle the problem one step at a time. For instance, if you don’t do well with distractions, try to have a dedicated workspace where it’s quiet.

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Struggling to complete your homework : 10 ADHD friendly tips!

School , Youth March 21, 2022

Unlocking ADHD volunteer Vivien Loh writes about 10 easy tips that ADHDers can try out if they find it a struggle to concentrate and complete homework. 

ADHD students might often find themselves struggling to complete tasks and homework. Why so? ADHDers are interest-based learners, meaning, unless they’re excited about the homework they’re doing, it usually isn’t stimulating enough for their brains to keep them focused. As such, while doing homework, their brains often drift off and focus on something else more interesting. If you find yourself in such a situation, here are 10 tips that could help you: 

1. Create a study space

how to get homework done with adhd

Find an area to complete your homework where other people won’t distract you. It’s important to organise this space, and make it your own so that it’s an area that’s fun to look at, further motivating you to start studying. You can add supplies you need, paste motivational quotes, play some soothing music and so much more! For example if you’re a person who’s an avid lover of nature, you can buy some plants to spruce up your study space. 

2. Challenge yourself 

how to get homework done with adhd

Before starting, set a specific goal that you would like to achieve. It doesn’t have to be something long-term, it can be something daily, for example: completing 20 Science questions a day in a stipulated amount of time. Although setting goals and completing them bring a sense of satisfaction, ensure that the goals you set are attainable and realistic!

3. Create accountability 

how to get homework done with adhd

Creating accountability is important because it ensures that you are keeping your progress in check, and meeting deadlines. This can come about in many different ways – for one, you could do daily challenges with a friend, and cheer each other on. Another effective method would be sticker charts, which also creates a sense of accomplishment. 

4. Break it into smaller pieces

how to get homework done with adhd

Before starting to work on your assignments, divide them into smaller tasks. Each assignment looks daunting at first, but after breaking them down into more tangible, mini tasks, you’ll have more motivation to finish them all. This will also give you a better idea of how long you will take to complete each mini task, allowing you to have better time management. 

5. Add some movement 

how to get homework done with adhd

Between assignments, give yourself short breaks, during which you can move about. Such movement releases neurotransmitters in your brain, in turn helping you with your focus. You could try using a fidget, pace around the room while reading, or even having short dance breaks.

6. Find a study buddy 

how to get homework done with adhd

Studying with someone else adds accountability – you can check in on one another and motivate each other to keep going. In the event that you prefer to work on your own, there are many applications that make great study buddies on their own, such as Quizlet, Kahoot and Quia, just to name a few. 

7. Reward yourself for your effort 

how to get homework done with adhd

Make the reward something you genuinely like, so that you’ll actually want to earn it. However, ensure that your reward isn’t accessible at all times, and to help with this, you can ask your parents to keep your reward away from you, and only give it back once your task is complete. 

8. Create a homework tracking system 

how to get homework done with adhd

To make things less overwhelming, write down all your assignments. This helps you see how much work there really is as it’s penned down clearly, and not all in your head. You can write them down in a planner as well, so that at the same time, you can organise specific days to complete your homework. 

9. Don’t be afraid to mix it up 


Instead of doing 1 subject throughout your study session, try switching back and forth between 2-3 subjects to create variety. If you only have assignments from one subject, you can add in short 10-minute breaks into the mix, and do activities during this time such as colouring or playing an instrument. 

9. Respect your downtime 

how to get homework done with adhd

Last but not least, don’t feel guilty when you’re taking a break. During exam seasons, it’s common to fall into the trap of feeling bad when you’re resting, but always remember that taking breaks is part of the process. Without them, your brain won’t have the ability to remember everything you’ve learnt. Respect your rest time, and fully relax during them so that you’re well-rested before your next study session! 

With the homework tips above, we hope that ADHDers will find doing homework less of a feat, and find success in completing homework and assignments on time. 

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(Content has been adapted from How to ADHD on Youtube, graphics by Cara. )  

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*DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Should you suspect that you have ADHD, consider seeking the advice of a trained healthcare professional with any questions you may have about your condition.

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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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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.

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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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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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