Hello Brains! For many ADHD brains and the hearts who love them, homework can be a nightly battle. *Child wailing and crying* Don’t worry. I’m here to help and I brought reinforcements Homework is one of the biggest challenges for those of us with ADHD. It’s not that we aren’t smart or can’t do it. It’s because honestly, we’re interest-based learners. Unless it’s an assignment or subject we’re really excited about, homework usually isn’t stimulating enough to our brains for us to be able to focus on it. Even if we try. Even if we try harder. Because homework isn’t stimulating enough, our brains tend to wander all over the room and usually find something more exciting to focus on. So how do we get our ADHD brains to focus for long enough to finish that homework? How do we win this nightly battle? Simple math — if homework isn’t stimulating enough on its own, maybe we need to add something to the homework equation to help us get it done. This week I partnered with Nobel Coaching, who provides adhd-friendly online coaching and tutoring, to bring you ten homework tips that can help you find a homework equation that works for your brain. These tips were suggested by one of their amazing coaches Ana. And because the research I do for this channel is basically like the adult version of homework I decided to try them out. Ready? Let the battle begin. 1. Create a study space. Don’t do your homework where other people might distract you. Find your place, your corner where you can organize your space and turn it into homework headquarters. Too boring. It doesn’t have to be, make it your own. Ask yourself, if I could make this a fun place to study, what would I need to change about it? What would make it more fun to look at? What helps me focus? What kind of supplies do I need? Think of places you like to work and try to make your space feel more like that. Like cuddling up on the sofa? Put a pillow behind you and keep a cozy blanket nearby. Like studying in the park? Put a plant near your desk and open the window so you can feel the breeze… or not. Pick out comfortable clothes, especially for studying. Study slippers? Study glasses? Study hat? Set up special homework music, lighting, or whatever helps you get in the mood. Put motivational quotes on the wall. This place should remind you of what you’re supposed to be doing when you’re actually there. 2. Challenge yourself. Set a goal you want to achieve. It doesn’t have to be a long-term goal It can be a daily goal such as solving 15 math problems in less than two hours. But watch out! Do not set unrealistic expectations. Try to estimate how long it would normally take based on the assignment and how fast you usually work and just slightly increase the pressure. For some ADHD brains, competing with themselves is exciting enough, but if that doesn’t work… 3. Create some accountability. it’s easier to stay on track when somebody will notice if you don’t, so do your daily challenges with a classmate. Find a supportive friend who can cheer you on when you succeed. Sticker charts work really great too. 4. Break it… into smaller pieces. Just like you wouldn’t grab a whole pizza and start eating it from one side, it’s probably not a good idea to tackle a whole project all at once. Before you start, divide it into smaller doable pieces. This will help you get a better idea of how long it’ll take for you to finish it, and allow you to set mini deadlines for each piece. Hey, more stickers! 5. Add some movement. Adhd brains work best when they’re allowed to move. Try using a fidget while you do math. Pace around the room while you read. Or take a short dance break between assignments. This will release neurotransmitters in your brain that can actually help you focus. Dance party! 6. Find a study buddy. Studying with someone else adds accountability and it’s more fun. Apps like these can make great study buddies on their own, or you can use them with friends. If your study buddy needs to study something else, that works too. Just having someone in the room can help you stay focused. Just make sure they’re actually there to study. 7. Reward yourself for your effort. Sometimes it feels like nothing in the world would make homework easier or more fun. It can help to think of ways to reward yourself after you’re done. Make it something that you really like, so you’ll actually want to earn it. What’s important is not to have your reward accessible at all times. Your parents can help with this —
maybe you can ask them to hang on to your iPad until you’ve earned your stickers for the day, or remind you when it’s time to start working so you’ll be able to earn them. This is a great way for them to help you stay focused without feeling like they’re pressuring you. 8. Create a homework tracking system. Battle plan. Plan of attack. Sometimes it can feel like we have so much more work than we actually do Writing all of the assignments down can help you see how much there really is so you can figure out how to get it all done. Once it’s down on paper, you won’t have to hold it all in your head. So it’s a lot less overwhelming trying to keep track of it all. Bonus: you get to cross things out. Pick a planner you really like so you’re more likely to use it. Some people like notebooks, some people like apps. Use whatever works for you. 9. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. If it’s hard for you to stick to one subject, don’t. Try switching back and forth between two or three, just make sure the subjects are significantly different. For example, you can combine Math and English, but combining American history and European history might get a bit confusing. If you only need to work on one subject, maybe mix it up with 10-minute breaks where you do something else, like color or play an instrument. Do what you like. Breaks are important too. Speaking of which,… 10. Respect your downtime. When you have a lot of homework, projects, exams you should be studying for, you can fall into the trap of feeling bad when you’re resting because you know there’s always something you should be doing. But taking breaks is part of the process. It helps your brain remember what you’ve learned, so it’s important to respect your rest time as much as you respect your study time. There you go. Battle won. Of course, the homework equation that works can be different from student to student, and even day to day. So a lot of this is a process of trial and error. Let go of your expectations just give some of these tips a shot, and see if they help. If the battle continues, it might be a good idea to get evaluated for learning disabilities Dyslexia, for example, is super common in ADHD brains. Or look into accommodations your school can provide. That’s it for this week. Nobel Coaching was awesome for making this video possible. If you’d like to learn more about their online coaching or tutoring services, or to set up a free consultation, check out nobelcoaching.com If you like this episode, subscribe. And if you love this episode and want to help me make more, consider donating to my patreon page, like these brains did! Thank you to all my patreon brains for helping keep me accountable. Let me know what your homework challenges and tips are in the comments below or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and I will see you next week. Bye brains! Question Time! Emily Seagle asks What’s the best way to keep track of “half done” projects. The ones that are supposed to take a long time, without completely forgetting where you are? Well, since she did such a good job helping us with the tips, I’ll let Ana from Nobel Coaching answer this one. Hi everyone, this is Ana. Write a letter to yourself that tells you what your next steps are. For example if you were doing the science project, you might write down “Review the key terms and read chapter three next.” And if writing takes too much time, record a video. That way you’ll have you telling you where to start from. Bye everyone.