This is a guest post by NAPO Houston member and NAPO National President, Ellen Delap, of Professional-Organizer.com
It’s the first week of school and you and your student are not ready to buckle down for homework. With less structure and more free time, homework is an unhappy addition to going to school all day. The first week of school is an important time for yearlong homework success. It’s time to set up a successful homework time and station for your ADHD student. Here’s how to make homework time work for you both.
What most ADHD students need
ADHD students struggle with organizing and planning, getting started and getting finished, taking more time than imagined to complete, and turning in homework. As you plan for homework time, be sure these needs are met during homework time.
What works and what doesn’t
Last year’s homework successes and struggles are a great starting point to jump start this year. Coach your kids about what works for them, rather than tell them how.
Here’s topics to discuss
- Are there organizing tools will they use for homework
- What are the possible organizing tools will they use for papers
- Where is a positive location and set up and location for their focus
- What are the times that work best to complete their work
While coaching, you can help by asking positive, engaging questions to set up structure for your student. Keep it simple with how to set up for success.
Organizing tools for homework can include a planner, post-it notes, or a dry erase board. For paper, your student can use an accordion file, pocket folders or binder with slash pockets. Best locations for homework are the dining room and a study. It’s easiest to get to work after a short break and a snack.
Distractions, interruptions and more
Here’s a variety of solutions for distractions, interruptions or trouble getting started. Have a homework helper each afternoon to partner with your child. Arrange study times with other kids, swapping spaces and moms to help with homework. Use a timer to get your student started. If you are away and your student is at home working, identify your student’s independent work before you get home.
Real distraction, such as Instagram, texts and online browsing can be difficult to monitor. Internet blockers can help you student stay on track.
The real outcome is support. As you and your student head back to school and back to homework, you will both need support to feel successful about homework each day. Reach out to local support with ADHD specialists, therapists, coaches and educators to make each afternoon a positive experience. Be sure to have an expansive team to support you both!
About Ellen Delap of Professional-Organizer.com
Certified Professional Organizer Ellen Delap launched Professional-Organizer.com in 2000 in Houston, Texas. Ellen works one on one with clients, streamlining their environment, creating effective strategies for an organized lifestyle and helping clients realize their organization and productivity goals. She holds specialist certificates in ADD, Chronic Disorganization, Life Transitions and Work Place Productivity and completed the Coach Approach curriculum. Ellen works primarily with ADHD individuals in Houston and virtually throughout the United States. She is President of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO).