Students with attention challenges often experience the frustration of working very hard to complete their homework, and then losing it or forgetting to turn it in. Good intentions and reminders from others are not generally enough to solve this problem.
Each student needs to have a plan for putting homework away and getting it turned in, and it must be practiced and monitored until it becomes a habit.
The strategy below for putting homework away and getting it turned in can be applied to any number of areas where a new habit needs to be created.
- Both you and your child should determine exactly what should be done with homework when it is completed.
- When your child finishes an assignment, ask, “What do you need to do with your completed homework?”
- Your student should talk through the process orally saying, “I’ve finished my math homework so I put it in the math section of the folder.” Once this is a stable procedure, have him mentally talk himself through the process.
- Discuss how homework is collected in each class. Have your student visualize, and then, out loud, talk through the process of turning in his homework in each class. Have him mentally hear the teacher asking for the homework at the beginning of class, visualize himself putting the homework in the designated homework box, etc.
Example: (Verbalize to parent while visualizing)“I’m walking into math class. I go to my desk, which is in the third row and I sit down and put my backpack down next to me on my left side.
“I’m opening my backpack and taking out my folder. I go to the math section and take out my math homework. I put the math homework on the right front corner of my desk.
“When the teacher starts to talk, I look right at her and hear her saying to pass our papers to the person on our left. I see myself picking up my math homework and handing it to Sam who sits next to me.
Starting with one or two classes, have him visualize and verbalize turning in his homework in detail just before going to bed at night and before going to school in the morning.
This should be done every day until the he is successfully and consistently turning in his homework in the given classes. Then he can begin to visualize and mentally (instead of orally) rehearse the process and can add on more classes when ready.
Despite how simple it seems to turn in your homework, the above process will make it automatic.