August 23, 2017 at 11:32 pm #58761
Anyone have suggestions on how to effectively complete homework when you have multiple kids that need constant one on one help? My 10 yr old son has the inattentive form of ADHD and his 6 yr old brother has the hyperactive form. I get pulled in multiple directions at homework time as the 10 yr old needs me to sit with him to keep him on task. During this time, I have to also try to keep the 6 yr old quiet so he doesn’t distract his brother (not an easy task as he also wants/demands attention). I have used the IPAD to keep the 6 yr old entertained but I really want to limit screen time. I have also tried to get him to play by himself in his room but after a long school day – he wants to be close to me. I have started leaving the 6 yr old at the afterschool program later and try to sneak the 10 yr old out earlier so I can complete homework only with him. But the 6 yr old then gets home later, is more tired and thereby more impulsive/reactive, and less willing to even start his homework. Any help is much appreciated as I worry that the homework expectations are only going to increase throughout this year and require more time to complete for each of them.
August 24, 2017 at 6:06 am #58766
Start the 10 year old in the car on the way home. You can verbally prompt him and have him read out each question and his answer as you drive. As soon as you arrive home, focus on the 6-y-o early on his own as the 10yo does something else–plays outside with friends. Then send the 6yo away and finish with the 10yo. Do what you can during laundry, dinner prep, etc. It’s actually BAD for him to get dependent on you sitting with him all the time. Verbal interaction can keep a kid focused and help him develop independence. Your job is to say, “And what’s the next question?…So what’s the answer?” And the like. That should be it for 85% of the homework. He is just kept moving by you at this age. He thinks for himself.
The 6yo WILL leave you alone with no screen time outside of the car if you make the alternative something like scrubbing toilets. In the car, you’ll have to use the iPad–temptation is just too physically close.
August 28, 2017 at 8:54 am #59013
Homework is a tough time for kids with ADHD (and their parents).
Can your little one watch something educational while you help the older child with his homework first? There are so many great educational videos and programs available. Bill Nye and National Geographic are on Netflix.
Here are more ideas and strategies for successful homework time with kids with ADHD:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
August 29, 2017 at 11:00 pm #59194
Hi, adhd1234.. I have suggestion’s for you, Do ya give them healthy snacks when they get home? If not maybe ya should have them wash their hands & pee while your putting some carrots, celery, or nuts something just to take the edge off the long day they just had.(NO CANDY or SUGAR) & get away from DYES of any color. And i bet ya you’ll see symptoms of what is so prevalent nowadays (ADHD) slowly diminish. Get them into a routine & while their snacking, figure out what would ease your 10 year old that you say has inattentive adhd. Could that really be that he’s just board? Maybe the work he’s been given is to easy for him or it’s not what he really needs, not engaging his brain or he something else that would engage him more. Talk to his teacher & see what she thinks or could recommend. Ok, next. Take a look at what they both have to do, then figure out what would take the longest to do, what child would need more time, take an inventory of what ya got in front of you then when ya do that, get the small stuff out of the way (signing things, checking their book bags for agendas etc. PUT what ever BACK where it would belong). Ok, say the six year old has a paper or two, sit & work with him while the Ten year old is snacking get that stuff done, also as your doing this whip something simple up for dinner. YOU CAN DO IT!! WALLAH, KILLING two birds with one stone. BAMMMM. That’s two down. Six year old & now everyone’s fed. I have found that if ya try to get the kids doing homework, being hungry, DOESN’T WORK & WILL NEVER WORK. Ok, now put the six year old in the bath as your helping the Ten year old. Another TWO birds with ONE STONE!! BING BAMMM BOOM!! then hopefully your done with 10 year old, pull the puckered skinned Six year old out & switch kids in the shower. Now you have more time with six year old. Another thing bathe them with LAVENDER soap & CREAM.
WOW, NOW BED TIME BOOMMMM!! I’ll be PRAYING that ALL works out for ya.. YOU CAN WORK THIS OUT HUN!! From: One Mom to other with much love & concern..
September 7, 2017 at 7:28 pm #60043
Consider *not doing homework* (gasp!)
Some parents are taking this route. Here is some food for thought, with arguments & examples for and against: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/homework-a-sin-against-childhood-1.3751636
I highly reccommend listening to the whole thing – I found it super interesting.
September 7, 2017 at 8:00 pm #60046
Getting the school to cooperate with no homework is only effective if the child is actually learning well in the classroom. Many ADHD kids don’t, especially when young. Homework for them is the only place they actually learn. Depends on the kid.
September 7, 2017 at 10:00 pm #60054
I only have one child but homework time was very difficult. He takes a med for focus and if he can work on at least some before it wears off, it would go so much better. In middle school they gave him a study hall instead of an additional elective and that was an immense help. The after school program did homework so some would get done there. I had it put in his IEP that he can turn things in late so that helped too – we did some over weekends. So what I am saying is you are only one person and need help. Can someone help and work with the 6 year old on homework or play time or anything while you work with the older child. I am sorry to tell you – but forewarned is forearmed – this will get worse before it gets better. If your child has electives, replacing one with study hall will help IMMENSELY. Good luck!
September 7, 2017 at 11:48 pm #60078
I have a 4th grader and a 6th grader and face a similar situation. They are not allowed to have any screen time until their homework is complete. I give them the option of having 30min of down time before homework that doesn’t involve a screen or going straight to homework. My oldest needs to decompress and almost always chooses to hang in his room reading or whatever before he starts homework. I find this helps him be ready and receptive and then he just knocks out his work with no issues. The younger one is super driven to get his work done first so he can get to screen time. He also is the one with the most extracurricular activities do he typically needs to do homework first so he can get to baseball or whatever sport of the week he has. His issue is distraction so I use an hourglass timer and tell him if he wants my help he has to do it while the sand is still flowing. Anything after the timer he’s on his own. He doesn’t actually need the help academically but he craves the interaction so it works well for us. Every kid is different but that’s what’s working at our house.
September 8, 2017 at 5:23 am #60093
Hi. This is a problem for all kids who have already had their fill of sitting doing schoolwork all day. It’s even harder for kids with ADHD. Then when they get home, everything else is more interesting than homework.
The Happy Homework Hut might help to reduce distraction. It is a portable privacy screen that sits on a desk or table and allows the student to complete homework and be less distracted. It can also help to separate kids who are sitting at the same table from distracting each other. It’s like their own portable office. Check it out on Facebook under Happy Homework Hut. They mail all over the world.
September 8, 2017 at 8:24 am #60097
I had a friend of mine who struggled with the same things that you are experiencing. She was able to hire a high school senior who was able to provide support to her and her children during the afternoon time to help balance things out. The cost was reasonable, the high school student put it on her resume for colleges, and my friend started to feel sane again! Worth a shot.
September 8, 2017 at 10:07 am #60113
Have you thought about looking into “homework help” places for them? I know alot of schools offer after school help on homework and so do many of public libraries. Those are often free. Aside from that, there are also centers and private tutors that can help with homework, and they may not be as expensive as you think. The year after my son was born, I tutored a 6th grader after school every day and got all his homework done with him for $70 a week. You might even find a high school kid willing to do homework with one of the kids for a very reasonable amount. Not having to split your attention would take alot of the stress off of you.
September 8, 2017 at 7:17 pm #60187
One other thing – I had to break up the homework because my child could not just sit and do it all at once. The high school kid is a good idea especially for the older child. I really think you should do it. A couple hours a day should be plenty. I did Friday’s homework on Saturday because end of the week was too hard to force attention, so you would only need 4 days which saves money.
September 9, 2017 at 5:53 pm #60205
My two are now in 5th and 7th, and I certainly remember those days. What has helped us now is enrolling them at a school with a project-based curriculum. They have little to no homework and they are engaged all day. They are experiential, kinesthetic learners, and now that they are engaged all day, they come home happier and with more free time. I realize that this is not a possibility for everyone, but I recommend looking for options like this.
Another thing that helped us in the past was creating a 504 to get accommodations in place. The teachers weren’t always willing to bend their rules, but if you can find some staff members to support you — school psych, gifted teachers, SPED staff — then they can come to meetings to back you up. Have a learning styles assessment done. Present all the data you can.
One more thing: when my 5th-grader’s grades started to fall because he couldn’t keep up with his papers, I finally decided to explain to him that 1) the grades were reflecting his study habits and not his actual learning, 2) grades were not so important at this level, and 3) sometimes people expect more of us than we’re ready for. His teachers claimed they were getting kids ready for middle school. Did anyone else read the Psychology Today article saying that middle schoolers aren’t developmentally ready for the level of organization expected of them? My son was 10, and they wanted him to act 14. I’m a teacher, but I recognize that we aren’t teaching kids in the way they learn best and that we often place demands on them far beyond their levels of readiness. Hopefully some of this will help you!
September 11, 2017 at 10:40 pm #60385
Is there any way to create a daily system where they can become more independent and feel more in charge of their learning? I have ADD also so it is so hard to stay focused and consistent when there are so many distractions myself. Charts? white boards? incentive charts or tickets to earn something or special time with mom or dad? It may take a little while at first, but I think if I could come up with a system that they agree on and are part of creating, they may not want to depend on mom as much as before- feel confident by taking some ownership of their learning.
September 12, 2017 at 11:10 am #60503
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