Help with Homework
Children who have ADD sometimes forget to write down their assignments or bring home the textbooks needed to complete them — making it impossible to get their homework done. What can parents do to solve this common problem?
“We have a system in place with the teacher,” says Maggie H., of Chicago, mother of Jake, 11. “She gives Jake a list of his homework, and he hands it to me the minute he gets home. When he’s done with his assignments, I initial the list and send it back.”
Patty L., of Boston, mother of Brittany, 13, found an even simpler solution: “My daughter kept leaving her books at school, so we bought a second set to leave at home.” (If your child has an IEP, include this as an accommodation, and you won’t have to foot the bill for the duplicate set.)
Even if books and assignments do make it home, some kids are lost without constant supervision and coaching. Breaking assignments into manageable steps helps. So does staying nearby as your child plugs away. You can step in if your child gets frustrated or distracted.
“I used to send my daughter upstairs to do her homework,” says Linda S., of Grayslake, Illinois, mother of 10-year-old Emily. “But by the time she got there, she had forgotten all about it. Now she works at the kitchen table, where I can see what is going on.”
Parents of older children may find themselves butting heads with their kids every day after school, and wonder when to call it quits. “Homework was a battle,” says Marcus M., of Scottsdale, Arizona, father of Jonathan, 11. “One day I decided I couldn’t take it anymore, so I hired a teenager to come over after school each day to help Jon do his homework. It’s the best money I’ve ever spent. There are no more battles.”
If your child simply seems too tired to complete his homework in the evening, try shifting it to the morning. This strategy is especially helpful for kids who are involved in sports or other extracurricular activities.
“It was just too tough to do homework at night after a busy day,” says Debra S., of Las Vegas, mother of Sammi, 10. “Now we wake up earlier in the morning and do it when she is fresh. We started this when she was learning to read, and it still works.”
Number Five: Time to Cool Off