The first day of school is just a few weeks’ away and like many parents, you’re probably looking for ways to help your ADHD child excel academically (or at the very least, meet the passing grade). One of the biggest challenges parents face is keeping their kids attentive and focused long enough to get their homework done. The average child often puts up a real struggle when it comes to schoolwork, but the symptoms of ADHD magnify the homework wars tenfold. Not only do they have problems with self-control, but their forgetful tendencies may keep them from taking note of the assignment and bringing home the things they need. Fortunately, researchers just developed a system that can reduce homework problems by half. At least, that’s what a new study just discovered.
Researchers from Monmouth University in New Jersey were able to address the homework issues ADHD kids face with a new system. This was tested on 39 children between the ages 6 – 10, with the help of their teachers. All children were boys, had ADHD combined type, and had problems getting homework done. They were then randomly assigned to a treatment group that implemented the homework system, and a comparison group with no interventions.
Those in the treatment group kept a homework notebook where they had to write all their assignments. They had to show this to their teacher before going home each day. As soon as they got home, they were allowed an hour of rest before settling down to accomplish the homework in a quiet place. The boys were not allowed to play video games or watch TV until they were done with the day’s work. As a consequence for forgetting to bring home the homework notebook or forgetting to bring the day’s assignments, the boys could not use the computer or watch TV for a day. In two to three weeks, the researchers evaluated the groups and noticed a dramatic improvement in the treatment group. The boys who followed the system experienced at least a 50% reduction in homework problems, compared to the control group.
The homework system sounds easy enough to implement, especially if you can get your child’s teacher to cooperate with you. Even if the teacher does not help, you can still use the homework system by implementing a study time and keeping your child away from distractions until everything is done. Perhaps the toughest challenge is making sure that parents follow through with the consequences. But if you already have a good behavior management program in place, then you should not have a problem enforcing rules and motivating your child to get homework done on a daily basis.