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Surviving Homework with Your Child

Homework can be a struggle for many students, but it can be especially difficult for students with learning differences and/or ADHD. The homework process, which is comprised of tasks such as learning new skills, documenting instructions, completing assignments, and meeting deadlines, can be overwhelming for even the most responsible student, let alone one with learning challenges.

Students with learning and attention issues often lack the executive skills necessary to help navigate the challenges associated with today’s ever-increasing homework demands. These brain-based skills, such as organization, time management, and planning/prioritizing, are used to effectively perform tasks involved in homework completion. When these skills are compromised, even the simplest assignment can seem virtually impossible. In addition, challenges faced by students with learning and attention issues are compounded when their focus is continually diverted by misplaced information necessary for academic success.

So, what can parents do to help? One solution is foster organization. By incorporating strategies designed specifically to help students with learning challenges, students can manage their executive function deficits and focus on homework success. Strategies such as color-coded homework folders, planners or online calendars for assignments, a designated work space, and homework review, are all creative ways to organize a student’s life.

But just as each student is unique, so are the strategies he or she will utilize for academic success. Find what works best for your student by discussing weaknesses with your student’s teacher, as well as asking for your student’s input. It may take time to find the strategy that works best for your student, but with patience and consistency, he will surely be on the road to success.

References Guare, R., Dawson, P., & Guare, C. (2013). Smart but Scattered Teens. New York, NY: The Guilford Press


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