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A Homework Survival Guide for Kids


 A Homework Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD (or anyone who is tired of sitting!)

So your child comes home with homework; all day long they have been encouraged to sit still and be quiet and now you have to coerce your child to do the same. Quite often bribery, threats or even tears ensue. Well no more…here are some multi-sensory ideas to ease the pain.

An interesting thing to consider is that a major difference between the top performing education system (Finland) and ours, is the amount of time spent taking a break and moving around.  Finland gives students approximately 75 minutes of recess daily, while many of our schools allow just 27 minutes of free time to move a day (this is outrageous but a discussion for another day). SO, building movement into homework kills so many birds with one stone; your child gets to move and using their whole body (multi-sensory learning) helps accelerate learning.

Need to work on spelling words?
Spell words out loud while:

  • Bouncing a tennis ball
  • Playing balloon volleyball
  • Playing catch
  • Swinging
  • Jumping rope (Coupling a rhythmical movement with a memorization task actually improves recall)

Have ‘read aloud’ each night?

Read aloud while walking around the room. At every comma, you stop walking and pause in the reading for one second before resuming walking and reading. At every period, exclamation point, or question mark, you stop and pause in the reading for two seconds before resuming. (You can add other movements or features when you encounter different types of punctuation. Here the kids can become very imaginative!)*

Working on skip counting?

  • Jump while counting on the trampoline
  • Swinging while counting on a swing
  • Choreograph a short dance routine that includes simple moves and count on the beat!
  • Use chalk to make a big number line on the sidewalk or driveway. Do addition and subtraction by walking the line.

Silence is overrated!

How about some ’thinking’ music in the background? Choose carefully.  Rhythmical drumbeats are very calming and organizing, and helps maintain attention.  Some classical strings can tap into higher level thinking skills.  DO NOT put on music with an irregular beat (this promotes inattention and distractibility).

Take it outside

How about interspersing answering some homework questions with 5 minute intervals on the playground/swing-set.  Use a timer so you can stay on track.

Switch up the seat

As long as you are armed with a clipboard who says you need to sit on a chair and work at a table?  Dig out an exercise ball and gently bounce while working through the worksheet. Lie on the floor propped up on elbows, or, my favorite for the serious mover is standing on a balance board and completing the assignment.

Heavy work

The most organizing and attention inducing activities are those that involve resistive or compressing actions on our major joints, simply put, pushing and pulling activities.  These could include climbing a rope, ladder or cargo net, tackling the monkey bars, wheelbarrow walks, tug-of-war, push-of-war, riding a bike.  These activities would be excellent to incorporate into homework time.

For personalized strategies to manage ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorders at home, in school or in the community please call Katie on 240-421-3154 or visit us at www.blossomOT.com   

Katie Ryzhikov M.S.,OTR/L is the owner of Blossom Pediatric Occupational Therapy which specializes in Sensory Integration therapy for children with ADHD, fine and gross motor delays and Autism Spectrum disorders



Content provided by Blossom Pediatric Occupational Therapy


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