By Lee Gehrls, Volunteer Resource Development Coordinator
The new school year is just about a month old and by now schedules on set and new routines are starting to take hold. The one thing parents or caregivers always have to look forward to is homework. I joke because homework and school projects were not a fun or enjoyable time in our household. As I mentioned before my son’s ADHD was diagnosed 31 years ago and resources on how to deal with homework were pretty much nonexistent. That was a question I would have brought up in the support group, to his therapist, his teachers or to a couple of friends who were teachers.
Over the years I have reviewed a number of books on how to tackle homework problems and of course with the Internet you can find a never ending supply of websites on the topic. A homework problem is not a one size fits all solution so what might work for your friend’s child may not work for you. Throwing ADHD into the mix doesn’t help. Depending on which expert you read, 30-50% of kids with ADHD will also have a learning disability. There are a few experts who think that number is more like 60%. You may find out right away that a learning disability exists or it is a problem you have to watch out for. If you are dealing with ADHD and a learning disability your homework problem has gotten doubly difficult.
One resource on our website in the Education Section is a book written in 2010 by author Ann K. Dolin, M.E.d. entitled Homework Made Simple – Tips, Tools and Solutions for Stress-free Homework. The author has over 20 years of experience in teaching and tutoring and she runs a successful tutoring company in the Washington DC area. The book is an easy read, perfect for a weekend. You can read it cover to cover or be sure to read the first three chapters and then pick the type of homework problem you have and go to that chapter.
I was surprised to learn there are six distinct homework problems: The Disorganized, The Rusher, The Procrastinator, The Avoider, The Inattentive and The Easily Frustrated. You can also have a combination of two homework problems. Each chapter contains charts, checklists, goals, tips, real life stories and lots of solutions for you to draw from. There is even a “Trouble Shooting” section you will want to read. If you are a teacher this is a book you may want to be familiar with to help out parents.
So let’s go to page 162 – Chapter 8, What To Do About The Inattentive, and briefly walk through it. In the next 20 pages you will set goals, determine if this is the correct problem and look at three different problems these kids can have. The author gives you step by step instructions on how to proceed and lots of tips and rewards on how to successfully manage the homework routine.
If you would like to check out Ann’s website go to http://anndolin.ectutoring.com – and on the lower right hand side of the Home Page you can sign up for her email newsletter which will give you “tips, tools and strategies to keep your home stress-free!”