ADHD Back-to-School Checklist

ADHD Back-to-School Checklist

I’m into creating efficient environments and good communication between home and school.  Whether it is making my child’s needs known to his teacher or implementing organization at home, I can better position my child for success.  The concept is to step in, organize, plan ahead like a ninja, then jump out and let my kid sustain himself with the systems I’ve created.  Below are items that have been especially helpful for my ADHD student:

1. Daily routine checklists

Create and implement checklists to streamline daily routines.  Before we used checklists I had to practically pull out a whip to get my kid to perform most routines: getting ready for school, doing homework, or getting ready for bed.  Once I had a checklist system in place that situation changed drastically.  Instead of having to remind him of every task, the list reminded him.  That’s a lot less exacerbating than having to remind him of each task myself, and less stressful for my kiddo since he can tell that the constant reminders wear me down to my last nerve.  Lucky for you, I created downloads of free checklists so you can use them in your household, too. 🙂

Scrapbooker’s version

PowerPoint version


2. Create an organized out-the-door zone

If your kid is like mine, their outdoor clothes, hats, shoes and backpack  junk is everywhere.  When these things are out of order, it’s pure chaos getting out the door.  I’ve seen some creative ways that parents have gotten ahead of this problem by creating front-door stations for their kids.  Ideas are pinned to my Get Organized Pinterest board.

Unfortunately the architecture in my own house doesn’t allow for the beautiful setups I see on Pinterest :-(, so I had to improvise with the small closet space that smacks you in the face as you enter our house.

Organize for ADHD school student
A neat and tidy area for the shoes and backpack, which used to be heaped on the floor of our coat closet
DIY closet dividers
DIY closet dividers – when my son knows where to put his jacket, it’s easier to find later in our tiny coat closet space – 


3. Create a homework zone

Identify a homework area and prepare it with the necessary tools (markers, pens, paper, etc.).  At our house, this is the dining room table.  There is a drawer nearby filled with all the pencils and erasers our son’s little heart desires.  More ideas on the homework zone can be found on my Get Organized board.


4. Clean/Organize bedroom

If you get this area in order before school starts, your kiddo will have one less environment to fight against before and after school.  Having a clean, organized room can only position your child for success.  We had our son give his room an initial power clean before school.  It was a large task, so we created a checklist of the specific areas he needed to clean.

Breaking down the steps of cleaning gives our kid a clearer picture of the overall task.  Just telling him “Go clean your room” is waaaay to open to interpretation, which makes him more prone to being distracted.  As he completes each item, I let them take a break in between.  I highly suggest this for parents who wish to avoid WWIII.

We make sure the room stays clean by including a weekly clean-up as part of his chores.  Ideas for bedroom organization can also be found on my Get Organized Pinterest board.


5. Discuss fidgets with teacher

Let’s move from home-front organization to the class room.  Before school starts, you could discuss fidgets with your child’s teacher.  I’ve asked my son’s teachers to distribute fidgets during class time when they observe my child is having a hard time listening.  One teacher could tell when he needed a fidget toy through cues like twirling his hair.

Fidgets are small, quiet objects that a child can manipulate without distracting other students.  If you let them keep their their fingers busy with fidgets, they are less likely to squirm in their chair and more likely to listen to the lesson.

You can purchase fidgets online or use household items.  Think sensory – the more tactile, touchy stimulation the better.

ADHD Back to School Checklist - Fidgets can be anything quiet and small, including cheap household objects - ADHD
Fidgets can be anything quiet and small, including cheap household objects – 


6. Discuss dietary concerns with teacher

My child’s food sensitivity blood test turned up 30+ foods to avoid, so I’ve been in communication with my son’s teachers to let them know he can only eat the foods he brings from home.  If another child brings in a birthday treat, the teacher needs to prevent my son from partaking.  I have him bring the treat home and he trades it in for a small prize from our secret stash – like a LEGO character or Hot Wheels car.  The teacher gives me a heads up when a snack is coming my way so I can monitor whether or not he gets sneaky and eats it!  So far we’ve had 100% success with this system.


Best of luck to your kiddo this school year!! 🙂

Follow me on Pinterest – ADHD Natural Mamma



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