ADHD · school

How to Get the Homework Done and Still Like your Kid (Part 2)

As I trudged downstairs this morning half asleep I almost tripped over the pile of books and binders that surrounded my daughter’s backpack.  I give her credit because while messy at least all the school supplies made it to the right staging area for this morning’s rush hour.

Last night was one of those nights.  After school (2 pickup times), I dropped my son and his friend at soccer practice.  Quickly buzzed out to the dance studio where I sat with my daughter in the homework zone for as long as possible until I had to leave and do some speed grocery shopping.  I ordered dinner from DoorDash while I waited in traffic.  Barely made it home in time to meet my son after he was dropped off.  Fed him dinner while I unpacked groceries and then ran him off to tutoring.  We didn’t get home until 7:30 and still had to shower, feed the other half of the family and finish homework.

Whew, that makes me tired just writing that paragraph.   So, let’s take a closer look at that last step HOMEWORK!  I took a look at the struggles we’ve faced with my younger son last week.  Today I want to explore the challenges we face with my oldest (5th grader).

Pickles (not her real name) has been diagnosed with ADHD.  She has always been a solid student but her diagnosis has led to trouble with Executive Function skills.  I’m going to break down this excellent video with what works for us.


  • Refuel with a healthy snack (my kids come home from school ravenous, I arrive at school pickup armed with snacks)
  • Review each task as completed (actually, I review the entire nights’ work at the end then we go through and make corrections together)
  • Every 20 minutes take a break & move (if she is churning through the homework I don’t interrupt but if she’s starting to lose focus or get frustrated it’s break time)
  • They nailed it on the project slide!  (Parenting ADHD takes special attention to long-term planning.  I make Pickles break down projects into smaller tasks and we write these into her school planner)

This Doesn’t Work for Us…

  • Confirm teacher will post assignments to the website (This is certainly something you could work through on an IEP or 504plan.  At the moment, if Pickles forgets an assignment we text our classmates for help.)
  • Start homework within 1 hour (in an ideal world YES!  Most days Pickles goes straight from school to the dance studio. One thing we have done is take the homework with us and use the downtime before class starts to get some done.)
  • Interrupt daydreams (Pickles prefers to do her homework in her room.  I’m ok with it taking a little longer so she has time to get lost in her thoughts.)

As you know I think ADDitude is a leading authority on how to parent ADHD.  This homework system is rock solid but when applied to the real world it starts to crumble a bit.  Hopefully, I gave you some workarounds to keep it all together.

daze-- (1)

What homework hacks do you use in your household?  Please share in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “How to Get the Homework Done and Still Like your Kid (Part 2)

  1. We have difficulty with homework too. I find it helps to have a visual reminder of time. We use a little timer, set it for 20 minutes, and let her go for it. If she hasn’t finished her homework in the 20 minutes, she gets another 10 minutes. I find the time restrain really helps her. In the beginning she would need a couple of 20 minute stints to complete it all, but now, she gets it all done in less than 10 (she is only 8, so not much homework yet!).


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