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Tips For Helping Your Adhd Child With Homework

Dec 24, 2007
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have difficulty sitting still and concentrating. They feel the urge to move around continually. Everyday items such as a ticking clock, the movement of the rustling leaves, the wind outside, and the dripping of a leaky faucet are enough to distract attention from homework.

Parents can help an ADHD child complete homework without resorting to yelling and threatening punishment. Understanding the thought and behavior pattern differences in their child equips parents to help a young one complete homework in a reasonable timeframe and retain a greater level of knowledge.

Not all ADHD children are alike. Some have minimal hyperactivity symptoms; others may focus well, but have difficulty controlling their moods and physical actions. A different approach treats each type of behavior.

Homework Tips for Kids with Attention Deficit Problems

* Remove Obvious Distractions: Turn off the television and radio, remove siblings from the room and close the blinds before beginning homework.

* Use an Egg Timer: An egg timer provides continuous visual cues to help the child pace progress and stay on task.

* Verbal Cues: If you catch your child daydreaming or fidgeting with school supplies, gently remind them to return to the task of completing their homework.

* Break Down Large Assignments: Large assignments can be overwhelming to a child with attention deficit disorder. Parents should break these large assignments into smaller, manageable chunks. This also helps create an ongoing sense of accomplishment as the child completes each portion.

* Use White Noise: White noise, such as the humming of a fan, helps an ADHD child concentrate.

* Write It Down: ADHD children often forget homework assignments seconds after being told the tasks. Purchase an agenda book or school planner to track homework assignments. Teach your child to use it daily.

* Keep a Schedule: Routine schedules make a big difference in children with ADHD. Setting a time for homework every day allows the child to prepare for the activity. Be sure to select a period when your child's concentration levels are the greatest.

Homework Tips for Kids with Hyperactivity Disorder

* Frequent Breaks: Allow the child to take a break at set intervals during homework time. This relieves the desire to move around, fostering greater concentration.

* Burn off Excess Energy: Allow the child a few minutes of free time, preferable outdoors and prior to the homework session. Transition to homework time by slowly decreasing physical activity until the child is able to sit still to work on assignments.

* Use Index Cards: Write out spelling words, memorization items, or key facts on index cards that the child can flip through while standing or walking around the room.

* Try Standing Up: Use a podium for completing homework instead of a desk and chair. This may allow the child to expend small amounts of physical energy while allowing him to complete homework in a timely manner.

When helping an ADHD child complete homework, be sure to give frequent words of praise for each small accomplishment. Patience, encouragement, and understanding are necessary in dealing with these extraordinary children.
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