Ask the Experts

Q: “How Can I Make Homework Less Overwhelming?”

There is no such thing as one, fool-proof homework plan that works for every student. Take into account your child’s unique preferences for timing, pacing, setting, and motivators when creating his homework profile. Here is how.

Q: “How can I help my son get homework done? Some days, he can’t even get started.” –Landrade

Hi Landrade:

If I am being completely honest, I hate homework. But not for the reasons that you may think… or for the reasons that your son does. I’m all for homework that reinforces lessons taught in class, plus projects that engage students’ creativity and different learning styles, or assignments that challenge students as critical thinkers and problem solvers.

I hate homework because most students were never taught HOW to do it. Specifically, they never learned how to tap into their own unique, best practices to get homework done in an effective manner.

[Free Download: Proven Homework Help for Kids with ADHD]

Every student has individual homework preferences and personalities that, taken together, make up what I call a “Personal Homework Profile.” By tapping into this profile, you can create a customized approach that focuses on YOUR best practices for getting work done. It also takes the guess work — i.e. “What worked for me before?” — out of the equation. 

A Personal Homework Profile takes the whole student into account. It aims to identify each student’s strengths and needs, then throw in a little fun, energy and creativity to help them get started. I create one for every student with whom I work.

Here are a few questions to get you and your son started:

  1. What time is best for you to start homework?
  2. Do you prefer a noisy or calm environment to get your homework done?
  3. What type of snacks do you need to have beside you?
  4. Do you need music to keep on task or do you prefer quiet?
  5. Can you work fast and furious or do you need constant breaks to accomplish your work?

If you would like to use our Personal Homework Profile, just click here to download. Go through the questions and document your son’s homework experiences. Note what strategies, tools, resources, spaces, etc., he needs to be more productive and on task. Then, put a plan in place for each type of work he does. For example, he might like reading in a comfortable chair but need to spread out on the floor when working on a big project.

Good Luck!

[Read This Next: 10 Secrets to Studying Smarter with ADHD]

ADHD Family Coach Leslie Josel, of Order Out of Chaos, will answer questions from ADDitude readers about everything from paper clutter to disaster-zone bedrooms and from mastering to-do lists to arriving on time every time.

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