When you are parenting girls with ADHD, many of them may need accommodations to maximize their success in school. Our girls have accommodations in the classroom, and we also give them accommodations in our at-home study spaces. Use this guide to help you set up an ADHD study space for girls.
Why Girls Need an ADHD Desk Setup
A girl with ADHD will usually hate sitting at a traditional kid’s desk.
Because she can’t move her legs or sit in weird positions. That chair will crash to the floor in seconds.
Your ADHD daughter may also find wall posters distracting.
You think she is working on a math worksheet when, suddenly, she is telling you about the agricultural imports and exports of Idaho (which she read on the poster).
Globes in her study space are also a no-go. She’ll spend her study time telling you about all the places she hopes to visit one day.
Study space by a window? Also won’t work. She’ll spend her study time imagining adventures outdoors.
So, what can a parent do to help set up a study space for their daughter with ADHD that will actually provide the support she needs?
Luckily, free movement in the classroom is encouraged in many classrooms, and you can mimic that environment with your daughter’s study space.
How to Set Up an ADHD Study Space for Girls
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Here’s what works for my girls with ADHD:
Remove General Distractions
It is incredibly hard to get my girls with ADHD to focus.
They find the slightest thing distracting, like the click that the coffee pot makes when it turns off. They often bolt out of bed and run across the entire house to our bedroom when we are sleeping to ask about a small squeak or rustle.
My daughters are distracted by movement, sounds, smells, each other, and their own thoughts.
To get our ADHD study space n to work, we have to remove as many distractions as possible during homework time. At various times, we have implemented all or some of the following:
- Turning off the dishwasher, music, dryer, and anything else that makes noise.
- Removing art from the walls in our ADHD study space.
- Putting up study carrels around each girl’s work to keep them from distracting each other.
- Keeping a ton of extra pencils and school supplies around so the girls don’t waste time looking for the item they just had and managed to lose already.
- Only bringing out one book at a time.
- Trying not to look like what I am doing is in any way interesting so they can focus on homework.
Provide Easy Access to ADHD School Supplies
I’ve found that my girls like taking charge of their own learning. We do this by allowing them free access to school supplies, particularly our STEM supplies so they can make their own STEM activities.
We keep all of our homework and craft supplies in cubbies that the girls can easily access and get what they need to complete assignments.
Make Your ADHD Study Area Comfy
It’s pretty much torture for any of the members in our family to sit on uncomfortable chairs.
My kids fall out of our dining room chairs at a ridiculous rate. We much prefer doing homework on comfy surfaces. I only make Monkey do table work for writing and occasionally math if she starts to get sloppy.
Monkey and Bo have beanbag chairs that they love sitting on for school work. Monkey will sit and look at her science books for an hour or more in her beanbag, and miraculously, she hardly moves.
Create a Specific Distraction-Free Zone for Each Girl
When you have to help multiple ages with homework, your ADHD daughter will need extra alone time for some tasks. I’ve set my daughters up with a little study area in their rooms where they can focus better.
Don’t Include Toys
I’ve seen some combination homework station/playrooms, and they look awesome, but for the ADHD girl, this style of classroom would be torture.
Keep toys out of sight of your ADHD daughter’s study area.
Provide a Space for Hands-On Learning
Make sure you provide a large workspace, such as a table or open area of the floor, for hands-on learning. Here are some tips for setting up a hands-on STEM center at home.
Examples of Awesome ADHD Study Spaces for Girls
If you need more inspiration, these ADHD study spaces would work well for girls with ADHD:
This quiet reading nook would be perfect for a girl with ADHD.
A closet study area is what I’m hoping to build for my kids’ quiet study time one day like this one.
This minimalist classroom would be perfect for a kid with ADHD.
I could see this homework station set-up working well for several kids who have to work in the same room.
Facing the wall eliminates some sibling bickering during homework time.
Essentials for ADHD Desk Organization
I’ve found these items to be extremely helpful in our ADHD study spaces for my girls:
- Bean bag chairs
- Cubby storage
- Extra pencils and pens
- Fidget toys (these work best when the child is listening to lessons, not when trying to complete an assignment)
- Study carrel
- Progress/reward charts
What steps do you take to ensure you have created an ADHD-friendly home for your daughter?