Homework Struggles – Stop the Homework Battle
Are homework struggles causing chaos in your house? Do you dread each night knowing what’s ahead of you? When it comes to kids with ADHD, executive functioning, learning disabilities, and those on the spectrum, traditional methods just don’t cut it. Try some of these out of the box strategies to set your child up for success and alleviate homework struggles.
10 Minutes of Homework Per Grade Level
It’s not OK for your kids to spend hours on homework! They have to work 100% harder than their peers to achieve the same goals! Spending hours on homework isn’t productive. We all need downtime to be at our best.
Do not allow unfinished classwork to be sent home in addition to homework. The rule of thumb is 10 minutes of homework time per grade level. If this happens on a continual basis write a note or talk to the teacher explaining the amount of time you allot for homework. Pat yourself on the back for not putting your child’s emotional health at risk.
Movement During Homework Time
• Movement helps both hyperactive and frustrated learners to get through homework with less stress. Our brain-body system releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals during movement. Releasing excess energy increases focus by helping them to get back on track, much like resetting your cable box by turning it on and off. Studies show activity increases blood flow to the brain increasing focus and cognitive processing for better learning.
• Try having your student use a mini-trampoline or rebounder during homework breaks.
If you have an old Wi system set it up and let you child play one game in between homework assignments. If you don’t have one you can find used ones on e-bay or at yard sales.
Think about this, how do you feel when something is difficult for you? Meaning you don’t get any gratification from the experience? Isn’t it hard to get started?
What looks like procrastination is often difficulties with executive functioning. EF skills are controlled by the pre-frontal cortex area of brain. When these skills are weak getting started on tasks is hard. When it comes to procrastination the best way to combat this is with rewards. Simply put your child does something to get something. This doesn’t work if you’re inconsistent. Don’t even attempt this if you can’t follow through. It takes commitment and a willingness to ignore your child’s attempts to have their own way. It won’t be pleasant, but if you endure it the payoff in the end will be worth it.
If you ‘give in’ you have just reinforced and taught your child to act out to get what she wants. However, some kids just don’t care about getting what they want. For these kids it takes a lot of thinking to figure out what motivates them. You will be sure to find something but it will take some creativity. To effectively do this you can contact me for help with setting up a specific plan tailored to your child.
Remember, these are general suggestions to ease homework struggles, not everyone has the same issues so it’s not a one size fits all approach.
That’s all for now folks, be sure to follow my Facebook page to catch my helpful weekly videos.
Linda Karanzalis, MS
Linda Karanzalis, MS, is a former special education classroom teacher with over 25 years of experience in the areas of learning disabilities, ADHD, social-emotional learning, social skills training, and behavior management