At our Parent Information Meeting this week, a parent shared that her son spends 5 hours a night on what should be less than an hour of homework.

Another parent said about their son, who also seems to do nothing but homework once he gets home from school, “We just want him to have his life back!”

When my son was 8, I distinctly remember him saying to me in exasperation, “You don’t know!  That’s not how my teacher says to do it!” 

Even when there are no learning challenges, parents doing homework with their kids can be difficult.  There’s just too much emotion involved and kids know just what buttons to push.  Finding that balance between enough support and giving too much help is tough.

Add in dyslexia, ADHD, or other learning struggles and everything just got 100 times harder.

Students with learning challenges have to expend so much more mental effort than their peers all day long in school to do the job.  It can be mentally and physically exhausting.

When we think about school, we think about reading, writing, math, and subject areas.  But there are whole sets of underlying learning/processing skills that support efficient, easy learning.

  • Sitting still in a chair
  • Paying attention and staying focused
  • Getting all the information when listening
  • Understanding and remembering what is read or heard
  • Coming up with logical responses
  • Organizing information on the page

These things need to be working automatically in order for the brain to be available to learn new information, but they don’t just happen because you’re old enough to go to school.  The ability to do these things automatically is the result of strong, specific underlying skills.

When the underlying skills are weak or inefficient, students may struggle with school and homework in spite of good intelligence.  Kids with learning challenges expend so much effort and energy trying to manage at school, that by the time they get home, they are often mentally exhausted.  They’re done!

And the homework battle begins.

The only way to really stop this cycle is correct the problem…to identify and develop the underlying skills that are causing the problem.  This IS possible!  For more information about underlying learning skills and correcting learning and attention challenges:


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These are simple things that parents can do to support their children and teens with all different aspects of homework.

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