Pathways Educational Consulting | Contact: 301-926-1081

For children with learning disabilities and/or attention issues doing homework can be very difficult. A child with these issues usually has to work harder and more diligently than other students. For kids with learning disabilities, you need to begin, organizing and completing homework can be quite challenging which can cause great stress for students as well as their parents. Often you can avoid “battles” over doing homework by using the following tips.

First and foremost is for your child to develop good study habits. Establishing routines is critical. Routines can go a long way to reducing stress. Begin by determining where your child can best study in your home – a place where your child can concentrate. Ideally, this place should be used every day. A consistent place to do homework should have all the work materials your child needs such as pens, pencils, highlighters, and paper. Goof lighting and reduced distractions are a must. However, for some students, light music is not a distraction and can be extremely helpful in calming your child. Some kids flourish by using background music.

A calendar with homework assignments listed should also be located where your child studies. A large wall calendar is a great way to organize homework assignments and serves as a “visual” aid which can be very helpful for kids with disabilities such executive functioning challenges. A calendar is very helpful to use when breaking down tasks associated with projects into manageable “chunks.” It can also help with preparing for tests by organizing the subject matter and breaking them down into chunks. Overall, a wall or desk calendar should help your child keep track of homework assignments and test schedules. Checklists are also helpful.

If time management is an issue, which it usually is for kids with executive functioning challenges, a timer should be kept close by. A cell phone can be used for this. Most students can feel overwhelmed by all the homework they have to complete. Chunking the assignments and allotting a certain amount of time for each chunk can reduce these feelings of being overwhelmed. Color-coded folders can be used to organize class materials. Each subject can have a color and your child will then to learn to associate a color with a class. For example, all math homework can be placed in a red folder. When it comes time for math, the student will remember red is for math and can easily pull out the folder to turn in the math assignment.

Know your child’s limits. Breaks during study times can ease your child’s feelings of being overwhelmed and can ease restlessness,

All homework and after-school activities must be balanced. Make sure there is enough time to do homework. Remember, your child may need longer time than students without learning disabilities.

Children with learning disabilities, executive functioning challenges, and attention issues need a homework routine, a consistent place to do their work, and organizational and time management tools. It is important to remember that kids with learning disabilities often learn differently than other students. If you use the aforementioned tips, you just may be able to reduce or eliminate homework battles.

Janet Lee,the founder of Pathwas Educational Consulting, has extensive experience serving as an advocate and navigator for parents of children with special needs in the Montgomery Country, Malyland public school system. Janet Lee prepares parents for Montgomery County Public Schools(MCPS) meetings and assists at these meetings in order to secure accommodations and when necessary, appropriate school placements. She has particular expertise in Individualized Education Programs(IEPs) and 504 Plans