study station desk

Study Stations Motivate ADHD Teens To Do Homework

Posted on September, 06, 2022 by

by Susan V. Schaefer, M.Ed., M.A.T.

It’s a brand-spankin’ new school year and a great time to talk about how you can best help your teen get their homework done.  Let’s face it, no student over 3rd grade is excited about doing homework, and with good reason.  It’s overwhelming or boring, so they procrastinate.  Often, when they finally sit down to do it, they will likely have to choose between getting enough sleep or turning in their assignment. But, there is something that could help. Study stations motivate ADHD teens to do homework.  Actually, study stations help all students become more motivated and productive.

Study stations became popular during Covid when students were attending school from home.  Just search this term on Pinterest and you will be greeted by a myriad of impressive study stations that look like there were designed by Nate Berkus.  Resist the urge to shut it down and take a nap though.  You can create a space with your teen that will be a place that feels comfortable and motivational to them. Notice that I said with them and not for them. Having your teen in on the process will get their buy-in.  Just make sure to actually let them make some decisions.  And don’t be critical!

It’s important to find a dedicated space for optimum productivity. Students usually chose the easiest place to flop down like their bed or a couch.  Not good.  It is way too tempting to take a little nap.  Four hours later, when they wake up, they are groggy and unable to concentrate. 

The kitchen table isn’t great either.  Much too easy to avoid homework by snacking and there may be other distractions like someone cooking or emptying the dishwasher. Another place that usually doesn’t work well is anywhere where someone is watching TV, playing video games, and generally making a ruckus.  

So where are a few good places? 

Find a quiet spot not facing a window.  Once a teen spots a moving shiny vehicle it’s all over. 

Pick out a desk together.  Big enough for them to organize but not so big as to disorganize.  Extra points for a standing desk converter since enabling an ADHD student to stand to do work is a great idea. A drawer for supplies is helpful as well.

Buy new supplies: People with ADHD will be more motivated by things that are fun, colorful, and a little off-beat. Pick out notebooks and binders and dedicate one color to each subject/class they are taking. 

Find a comfy (but not too comfy) chair.  Spinning chairs are generally not great for people with ADHD.  The chair should be comfy and welcoming.  Suggest putting a favorite pillow or throw blanket on the chair so it’s warm and welcoming. 

This spot is not a place for anyone else in the family, this is designated for just this student.  A place of their own is a powerful thing. 

Noise-canceling headphones to block out distractions work well to increase focus and productivity. And, make sure there is a big reusable water bottle to keep those brain cells hydrated and in top working form.

For a student, having a dedicated place that they help create to reflect their personality is like having your own reading nook, home craft center, or office.  A space for your teen that has a specific purpose decreases stress and increases motivation and productivity. And if you need any ideas on creating one, just check out Pinterest.