Keeping homework organized for school is such a major challenge for kids with ADHD. They lose it, mix it up, remember things that don’t exist, ruin it, and are sure they put it “right there”…We’ve discovered a few top ideas that help even the worst ADHD offenders.
Color Code – At the beginning of the year, each subject gets a color, and the notebook and folder for that subject stay the same throughout. Actually in our house, every year, math is green (for money), science is black (for dead things!), social studies is blue (for the world), and English is red (for frustration?). Were we really organized, we would also:
- Write homework in the planner with the appropriately colored marker
- Cover books with the subject color
- After homework is finished, make a bold colored line to mark notebook paper at the top of the page. This helps with organizing all those papers shoved in the bottom of the bookbag, and might help your child find the right paper to turn in.
NOTE: I bought some paper on Clearance that had a colored line already printed at the top. (I can’t find it anymore – online or off – it wasn’t exactly best-selling.) My non-ADHD child, who has the gift of organization, loves it. He says it has trained him to label his pages uniformly. I’ve tried this to the other boys to no avail, but it might work with your kid! (I did, however, find this paper that could help with handwriting.)
Staple – Keep a stapler out at all times, and staple all papers together. I’ve even stapled papers to the planner, so my son would only have to rip them off when it was time to turn them in the next day.
Back Pack Drawer – We put a huge filing cabinet beside our back door. In it goes everything for the next day – the homework in the homework folder, but also clothes, stockings, back packs, lunch, notes, sports equipment, gym clothes, hats and jackets.
Label things. Put your child’s name in BIG letters on homework. This also goes for front and back of notebooks and folders, on the side pages of textbooks (do it in pencil even if you have to pay a fine!), and everything else your child takes out of the house. A silver Sharpie is brilliant for labeling dark items like calculators, water bottles, flash drives and cell phones. Buy one of those Sharpies with a clip on it, and permanently attach it to your keychain or purse so it will always be handy. Don’t let your kids out of the car without labeling!
PS Note that there are great Christmas stocking ideas stuffed into this post: Sharpies, staplers, flash drives go along with the old standby’s toothbrushes and razors. These are all great little gifts for all those on your list.