Combatting ADHD, Part II: After School & Homework

As we wrap up October and ADHD awareness month, I have just a few more tips for you. Remember, these tips for before school and after school are not just for parents of students with ADHD, but could benefit all children.  When children get home from school, the last thing they want to do is begin their homework.  Here are some ideas that might make that homework time easier.

After School Tips

1. Give time: Our munchkins are no different than us, the last thing they want to do as soon as they get home is more work.  Give them time to unwind and relax.  I know this can be difficult if there is an after school activity- do your best to allow this.  It will make homework time more productive and go quicker as their concentration will be better once they have gotten some time for themselves.

2. MOVE: No different than what I said in the before school post: it is important for our munchkins to move.  Our kids should be getting 60 minutes of exercise per day.  I assure you this is not happening at school.  Make sure you are providing opportunities at home for them to MOVE, sweat and increase their heart rate.  Allow them to have time to ride bikes, run around the neighborhood, play tag, or a game of basketball.  And while they are at it, why don’t you join them too!

3. Make homework engaging: When it is finally time to sit down and tackle the dreaded homework, make it engaging and add movement to their assignment.

  • Working on math?  What about math facts?  Once your child comes up with the answer, have him/ her stand up and do the number of jumping jacks (or another exercise) to represent the answer.
  • Practicing spelling words can be a mundane task.  Have your child stand up and do a movement for each letter.  This will also help if your child is a kinesthetic learner.
  • Take any of the homework outside or a place in your house with more space, put it on a clipboard and make a deal.  For every three correct answers he/ she gets, there will be a 2 minute competition between the two of you.  This could be running, shooting hoops, or cartwheels in the grass.

The options for making the homework time are endless.  Think outside of the box and be creative: I promise, the fight to get homework done will be much less taxing.

4. Read at Bedtime: From my experience in the classroom, I know that many teachers have students read for a given amount of time as homework each day.  This is a great before bed activity for you and your child to enjoy together no matter the age.  Take turns alternating who reads each page.  If your child is older, have him or her read it silently (while you do the same), then the next page read it aloud.  Stop and discuss what was read with your child.  Not only will your child love that this does not have to be done after school, he or she will also look forward to this quality time together.  You will also be loved by the teacher as this will increase your child’s reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Remember, your child’s homework should only be ten minutes for the year they are in school.  A first grader should have ten minutes, second grader twenty minutes and so on.  Whatever tips you choose to implement, please just remember to be engaged in your child’s education!

Your turn- tell me?
What is your after school routine?
How do you combat homework each and every night?
How do you feel about your child’s homework load?

For previous posts related to ADHD or increasing your child’s attention & focus, click below:
Combatting ADHD, Part I: Before School
ADHD & Fitness

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