Grandparent Feature

Homework Help for Grandchildren with ADHD

By Allyson Kraus, B.S.
Graduate Assistant, Department of Human Development and Family Studies,
Colorado State University

Child doing homework

Raising a grandchild diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can seem like a daunting task, and one of the most difficult situations to handle is getting homework done. Children with ADHD have trouble with time management, focusing for long periods of time, impulse control, and memory. As a result, here are some helpful homework hints when assisting grandchildren with ADHD.

  • The best way to make sure grandchildren will be successful in completing homework is to make certain they bring it home! Arm them with reminder notes and get help from their teacher so that when they come home you'll have everything you need to help them.
  • Long-term assignments can be especially difficult for children with ADHD because they need to outline the steps necessary to complete the project. Make a list of steps with grandchildren and allow them to decide when they will complete them.
  • Staying consistent is important. For example, if you think they function better when you let them take a break when they first get home, then let them run around outside for a while and make sure this is always part of the routine. Consistency is important for children with ADHD so that they can predict what is coming and it limits their unscheduled free time that promotes distraction.
  • Have a limit for the time you help grandchildren with their homework so that they understand they only have to focus for a certain period of the afternoon/evening.
  • Have a special place in your home where homework is done. Grandchildren with ADHD sometimes need to be able to listen to music to help them concentrate, so find a place where they are free to do what's necessary to get work done.
  • Another important component of homework help is not allowing the child to procrastinate. Make sure they understand when the assignment is due and that they understand what is being asked of them so there is no frustration in confusion.
  • Children with ADHD have a difficult time focusing for long periods of time, so allow them to take short breaks while doing homework. Using a timer can be helpful so a grandchild can visualize how much longer s/he has to focus.
  • Always remember to try to keep the experience as positive as possible. If the child is too stressed out or frustrated to concentrate, talk to his/her teacher about reducing the homework load or allowing time to complete work during the school day.
  • Praise grandchildren for their efforts. For example, token systems work wonders for children with ADHD because they provide concrete rewards for a job well done

Sources and Further Reading:

Reif, S. The ADHD homework system that works. Retrieved from:

Homework help! A system that works for ADHD children. Retrieved from: