Q: “What is the best way to get my son to sit down and knock out his homework assignments so we can all move on with the night? Where should he do it? When is a good time? It’s a struggle.” — NellHi Nell:There is no one-size-fits-all homework solution. Students’ individual preferences and work styles vary. Instead of randomly deciding when and where your son should do homework, work with him to maximize his efforts.
You may be surprised to learn that he knows what environment works best for him. He just may need your help defining and creating the optimum situation.Homework is the last thing kids want to do — especially after a long day at school. This is especially true for those with ADHD or learning differences.
Here’s what I tell parents and teachers when describing neurodivergent students who must expend more energy than neurotypical students to get through the long school day. “Hold your stomach in. Now do that for eight hours.
That’s your student.” They are usually depleted and exhausted when they come home and finally “let it all out.”Therefore, tapping into your son’s best practices is critical for homework success.Consider the story of a student client, Jake, who was constantly at odds with his parents over how long it took him to finish his homework. Jake’s parents demanded that he start work immediately after arriving home. Yet Jake would find a million reasons not to get started.When I quizzed Jake’s parents about his demeanor and energy level after school, they revealed that he was wiped out and extremely cranky.
He could barely muster the energy for a conversation. This was very telling. Jake needed a homework solution that included time to replenish his tank, eat a snack, and in his words, “Just be.”
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