Homework Strategies for Students with Learning Disabilities

Instructor: Abigail Cook
Students with learning disabilities are usually at a disadvantage academically, particularly when it comes to homework. Let's look at how teachers and parents can work together to help their students with learning disabilities have a more meaningful homework experience.

Learning Disabilities

In the United States, there are 2.4 million students in public schools with a learning disability. Learning disabilities (LD) affect students differently, and each student has unique strengths, weaknesses, and interests. These differences should be considered as teachers and parents work through problems that arise in school and at home. Some of the common characteristics of learning disabilities include the following:

  • Short attention span
  • Disorganization
  • Trouble following directions
  • Poor short-term memory
  • Trouble with reading and writing

These challenges make it especially hard for students with LD to function at the same level and pace as their peers. The demands of a typical school day include sitting quietly, following directions, reading, and writing. These activities are challenging for students with LD, and they may result in students becoming tired, unmotivated, and defiant. What makes this situation even harder is adding homework to the end of the day.

Learning Disabilities and Homework

Research shows that over half of students with LD have difficulties completing homework. Teachers and parents of students with LD can implement strategies to help make homework meaningful, rewarding, and less burdensome.

Strategies for Parents

Often times when children come home from school, they are tired and ready for some free time. Some children with learning disabilities have an especially hard time getting started on homework and may become difficult and defiant. This time of day can put a lot of stress on parents and their children, resulting in frustration and disappointment. Let's look at some suggestions for parents to implement at home to help make the homework routine more manageable.

Routine

Make homework part of the daily routine. Homework should be done at the same time every day and in the same place. This helps train students and gives them structure at home.

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