Transitioning from a summer of sleeping in, playing all day and staying up late to a strict school regime and using your brain more than your body is tough for anyone. Factor in things like ADHD, multiple extracurricular activities and a new teacher (and, sometimes, a new school!), and you’ve got the recipe for homework struggles.
So what’s a parent to do? Before you get resigned to another year of tutoring, stimulant medications for ADHD or late-night homework marathons, consider these 10 tips:
- Have them do the hardest work first. Do the most difficult work when their brains are primed. Once it’s behind them they’ll feel relieved to breeze through the easier homework.
- Give them the tools to stay organized. Help your child or teen choose a color system for binders and/or find apps.
- Do weekend homework on Friday so that material is still fresh from what they were taught in school. Waiting until Sunday night can cause added frustration when their memory has faded a bit.
- Designate a regular homework time. Some kids need to come home from school and unwind. Others do best if they complete homework right after school. And always gve a healthy snack.
- Get them brain training. Unlike tutoring, personal brain training strengthens the cognitive skills that make up the foundation of ALL learning. These include brain skills like memory, auditory processing, attention, processing speed, logic & reasoning, and visual processing.
- Check their work. Go through their assignments every night and review their homework. Go through test problems that came back marked as incorrect and explain how to get them corrected.
- Reevaluate medications. Allergy medications can put your student in a fog. Stimulant medications for ADHD can have side effects and don’t do anything to help cure the attention weaknesses. Consider allergen immunotherapy and one-on-one cognitive skills training, a natural alternative that addresses root causes of learning struggles.
- Ensure they get plenty of quality sleep. Sleep helps recharge and "reboot" your brain. Too few winks and your memory, attention and processing speed all suffer.
- Learn to recognize signs of frustration. They are lots of reasons that kids procrastinate or take forever to do simple homework. Find out if the work is boring, too hard or too confusing and address those concerns.
- Acknowledge progress. Point out when they’re moving through multiplication problems faster or reading with fewer mistakes.
Provided by Learning RX, www.learningrx.com