Updated 19 June 2014

Homework and the child with ADHD

Homework doesn't need to be a battle. Here are a few tips on how to help your child with ADHD.


1. You don’t have to be a teacher to help your child with homework.

2. Set up a homework and study area for your child. It must be:

  • Quiet; however, some children need “background noise” to be able to concentrate e.g. music
  • Comfortable
  • Well lit
  • Properly supplied i.e. with desk, paper, pencils, pens etc. Some children need to move around when studying
  • Without distractions nearby such as a telephone or television.

3. Schedule daily homework times, which should not be negotiable.

  • Choose the right amount of time
  • Avoid conflict
  • Be on hand if possible.

4. DO NOT do the homework for your child.

  • “Set the stage” and remind him/her when it is time to work
  • Don’t try to teach
  • Answer questions when you can
  • Encourage him/her to think about what is being studied
  • Point out resources such as: dictionary, atlas, tutor, teacher etc.
  • Encourage him/her to solve problems on his/her own before asking for help.

5. Motivate your child.

  • Encourage
  • Praise
  • Reward.

6. Help with Study Skills. Help your child to:

  • Organise assignments e.g. using an assignment time-table on a calendar
  • Schedule time in a daily or weekly planner
  • Follow directions by reading aloud or breaking them into steps
  • Make summaries – using headings, key points, numbering points, mind-maps etc.
  • Plan projects
  • Study for tests – reread notes, revise summaries, share summaries with classmates, practise test questions etc.

7. Show that learning matters: your example carries a strong message.

  • Help your child connect ideas from the classroom with daily life
  • Read up on subjects i.e. extra reading
  • Talk about current events
  • Talk about the books your child is reading.

8. Team up with teachers. Meet regularly.

  • Know what is expected e.g. with projects, how much time should be spent on homework assignments
  • Discuss any homework problems.



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Ask the Expert

ADHD Expert

Dr. Shabeer Ahmed Jeeva is a specialist psychiatrist who has been practicing child and adult psychiatry for 30 years. He has vast experience in treating ADHD, and is also an ADHD patient himself. Dr. Jeeva trained and practiced in Canada as a child and adult psychiatrist and had lived there for 25 years. He had attended medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland (1970-1976). His professional experience and accreditation includes: Psychiatric residency at the University of Ottawa (Canada), Child Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Ottawa (Canada), Diploma in Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa (Canada), and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Canada. Visit his website at:

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