Disclaimer – The information in this article is meant for entertainment purposes only and is in no way meant as a replacement for professional medical or psychological support. Please seek the appropriate advice from a healthcare professional should you feel it necessary.
Following last week’s article, ‘7 Surprising ADHD Traits’, I’ve had several messages from parents in the unfortunate position of being on a three-year waiting list to get a formal diagnosis for their child. Until they get that formal diagnosis, there seems to be little help or support.
Now, I’m not an expert. However, following a considerable amount of research into this topic, there are some simple strategies you can use to empower your child to develop crucial planning skills that will enable them to succeed academically.
In this blog post, I will explore practical ways you can assist your ADHD child in planning their schoolwork, fostering independence, and setting them up for academic success.
7 Strategies for Managing Schoolwork
Parenting a child with ADHD can present unique challenges, especially when it comes to managing their schoolwork. ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) can make it difficult for children to focus, stay organised, and manage their time effectively.
Following are seven strategies that can help:
Establish Consistent Routines
Routines are incredibly beneficial for children with ADHD as they provide structure and predictability. Help your child establish a consistent daily routine that includes designated study times.
By incorporating regular homework sessions into their schedule, you create a predictable environment that helps them prepare mentally for focused work.
One of the well-documented traits of those with ADHD is time blindness. From a schoolwork perspective, this typically looks like:
- ‘Cramming’ for exams at the last minute and pulling all-nighters.
- Doing homework ‘on the bus’, i.e. doing homework right up to the deadline.
- Not completing homework on time, even though they are entirely competent to do the work.
- Procrastinating until the very last possible minute and then panicking.
Use Visual Aids and Timers
Visual aids, such as calendars, charts, and checklists, can be powerful tools for children with ADHD. Create a visual schedule that outlines their assignments, projects, and deadlines.
Break down tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and encourage your child to check them off as they complete each one. Additionally, timers or alarms can help them stay on track and manage time effectively, preventing assignments from becoming overwhelming.
Object permanence is an issue for many people with ADHD. That means that if something is out of sight, it will likely be out of mind. I think that saying was coined specifically for ADHD people!
Teach Task Prioritisation
Help your child understand the importance of prioritising tasks. Guide them in identifying and categorising assignments based on urgency, due dates, and complexity.
Another common trait of many people with ADHD is that it can be incredibly difficult to do tasks that they have no enthusiasm for. Therefore, they will tend to do the things that excite them over those that don’t.
By learning to prioritise, they can tackle tasks in a more organised and efficient manner, reducing stress and ensuring important deadlines are met.
Break Down Projects
Large projects can feel daunting for children with ADHD, leading to procrastination or incomplete work. Teach your child how to break down complex assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Work together to create a project timeline, dividing the work into smaller steps with specific deadlines. This approach helps them tackle the project in a structured manner, reducing overwhelm and increasing their chances of completing it successfully.
Leverage technology tools to assist your ADHD child in planning their schoolwork. Digital calendars, task management apps, and reminder systems can help them stay organised and keep track of assignments.
Encourage the use of productivity apps that offer features like task lists, reminders, and progress tracking to aid in their planning process.
Teach your child to advocate for themselves by communicating with teachers and seeking clarification when needed. Encourage them to ask questions in class, participate actively, and seek additional help when they’re struggling.
Developing these self-advocacy skills can help your child navigate challenges more effectively and foster a positive learning environment.
Celebrate Progress and Provide Positive Reinforcement
Recognise and celebrate your child’s efforts and achievements. Offer positive reinforcement and rewards to motivate them to stay organised and complete their school work.
Praise their planning skills, resilience, and perseverance, and acknowledge their progress along the way. Positive reinforcement helps build self-confidence and reinforces positive habits.
Supporting your ADHD child in planning their schoolwork requires patience, understanding, and consistent effort. By implementing these strategies, you can empower your child to become more organised, independent, and successful academically.
Remember to adapt and tailor these techniques to suit your child’s individual needs and learning style. With your guidance and support, your child can develop the essential planning skills necessary for a productive and fulfilling academic journey.
For more information on ADHD, I highly recommend the following resources:
- ADHD 2.0 by Edward M Hallowell & John J Ratey
- Scattered Minds by Gabor Matey
- You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy by Kate Kelly & Peggy Ramundo
- The ADHD Adults Podcast
- ADDitude Magazine – Online
- Focus Magazine – Online
Whilst I don’t work with children, I do support adults with their ADHD journey, from identifying the traits to getting a formal diagnosis. I have helped them make adjustments to their personal and professional lives that have allowed them to thrive.
If you want to hear more, please email me at email@example.com for a complimentary 15-minute discovery call.
Finally, if you haven’t subscribed to receive my weekly newsletter, which contains my latest articles, news and special offers, click here. As a thank you, you’ll receive FREE access to my 30-page mini-course on ‘How to Hack Your Happy Hormones’.
As always, thank you for your continued support.