Three Tips for … Surviving Math Homework – by Alana Morales

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Don’t let the headline get to you. For some kids, math comes easy to them. Then there are the rest of us. Not to be stereotypical, but math can pose some special difficulties for our ADHD kids.

ADHD kids have a tendency to have difficulties with math facts, processing word problems and even following the order of operations. Special skills can help ease these troubles.

Here are three tips to help your kids survive and thrive math this year.

1. Make it fun. I know I keep saying this, but make the math fun. Despite common belief, you can make it fun. Let them do math facts online. Download a math game. In fact, you can even buy a math game for the Nintendo DS called Math Play. Several websites that may help are,, and (which has a GREAT multiplication game that is free and downloadable).

2.Do what works. Math can be troubling because you have to keep track of all those darn numbers. Here’s two ways to keep them in check. One unorthodox method is to take the notebook paper and turn it sideways. Then, when your student writes their numbers, they can keep them all in a row.
If you need a stronger way to keep track of the problems, have your student do their math homework on graph paper. If there isn’t enough room, let them write in two boxes per number. Since going to this method, I can actually read my son’s homework!

Another tip is to highlight the different operations in different colors. You could make addition green, subtraction yellow, multiplication blue and division pink. This will help remind our kiddos what operation they should be doing.

3. Practice, practice, practice. Unfortunately, the school day just keeps getting more and more busy. This means that there is less and less time for practicing basic math skills. Try to practice math facts 5 minutes a day or 10 minutes every other day. To make it easier, make a game of it. You can play bingo, have a scavenger hunt, play on the computer – whatever it takes.

Make sure they have samples of the exact type of problem they are working on. Modeling is very important with ADHD kids, especially since so many are visual learners.

Math can be fun…or at the worst, much less painful. Math is a necessary skill and all kids need to learn how to work problems effectively. Help take some of the stress out of math homework and become the math hero of your house today!

Thanks as always to Alana for her great advice and excellent ADHD hints!

PS Don’t miss the special offer of getting Focus Pocus with a bonus copy of Waking Up from the Homework Nightmare!

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About Kayla

Kayla Fay is a freelance writer and the mother of four boys, three of whom have been formally diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD. When she started “Who Put the Ketchup in the Medicine Cabinet?” in 2002, her sons were ages 8 through 14, when her life was a “progression of dirty laundry, lost homework, misunderstood Algebra, and a whole lot of love and fun”.

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  1. Math will always be problem to those people who don’t like to try harder. When you catch a rythm, math will be peace of cake for you. 🙂 Btw. Great article!