ADHD presents challenges to your child on numerous fronts; school is typically one of the most seriously affected areas, and one of the most distressing for a parent. Like any other, you know the importance of doing well in school, and the impact that can have on your child’s immediate and long-term experience. Seeing your child struggle can make you feel helpless, but it does not have to be that way. It will take some effort, that must be applied consistently and diligently, but you can make real progress if you stick with it. Here are some tips for helping your child do better in school and cope with his condition.
Helping your child succeed academically is a joint effort between you and the school. There is often a disconnect that can exacerbate the problem. You must talk to teachers and administrators about what your child needs; just as importantly, you should carefully listen to any feedback and suggestions they offer. Behavioral issues can be common in the classroom; work with the teacher to construct some sort of ‘’behavior plan’’ that will help your child work on specific issues, such as interrupting. He needs structure, clearly defined goals to work towards and some sort of rewards system. There are many types of behavior daily report cards online that you can use as a template. Set concrete and realistic goals that you and the teacher can work towards. Set up regular meetings, and encourage the teacher to speak openly about her observations.
Getting any kid to do homework can be a daily uphill battle; throw ADHD into the ring, and you can have a massive challenge on your hands. But, certain strategies have been known to help; as a parent, the onus is on you to make sure you regularly apply the techniques and stick to your guns. This is one area where you can truly and fully support your child’s learning experience. Organization can be an issue and spell disaster for completing homework successfully.
Make a ‘’finished homework’’ folder, where all completed assignments are tucked away safely. Checklists are a great help for anyone with memory and organization problems—that simple act of having your child write down what he needs to get accomplished, and then crossing it off, can be a powerful, simple tool. Forgetting to bring home materials is a big problem—if possible, get your hands on an extra set of textbooks so that your child will always be able to do the assignments.
A study from Monmouth University found a strategy that seemed to work very well for children with ADHD; it cut homework issues by 50 percent. In it, children were required to have a homework notebook, where they wrote down all the assignments and had the teacher sign off on them. The children began homework within an hour of getting home from school in a quiet place. If they forgot the homework pad, or any materials needed for the assignment, they lost TV, computer,etc… privileges for a whole day.
Making Learning Fun
Whether you are helping your child with his homework, or providing extra tutoring on a particular subject, there are ways to make learning more fun. This is important for any child, but particularly a child with ADHD, who can have trouble focusing on the task at hand. Make up silly songs to help him memorize something. Play games or draw pictures. Getting your child to read more is key to academic success, and you can find ways to make it fun or encourage greater interest. Take turns reading and quiz each other on the passages you just finished. Each of you can offer your predictions about what you think will happen next in the story. Offer your child rewards for finishing a book, such as a day at the amusement park or buying him something he wants. Discover what type of learner your child is, and tailor teaching to that. Some children are more visual while others are more auditory or tactile. By presenting materials in a manner most in line with their preferred style, they will enjoy the process more and retain more information.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things education; she recommends visiting the School Tutoring Academy for more information on their quality and comprehensive tutoring services.