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Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Recording Assignments

My eighth grade son has a hard time remembering to record assignments. Consequently, homework is lost, disregarded, not handed in, etc. We have tried several things, including letting him pick out his own assignment book, going in after school to make sure things are recorded, and even developing an easy-to-use sheet on which he can simply write a few words (“Today we talked about _____. Tomorrow I need to hand in___. The next test is ___”)  We’ve also tried punishment as well as rewards.
None of these activities have helped the fundamental problem that he just can’t seem to remember and get organized.
I can help him “remember” when he gets home, but if I don’t know what’s due, how can I help?? 
I hate to do it, but can I ask the teachers to inform me of each day’s assignments as part of the IEP? I know they have enough to do without giving one kid this kind of special attention, but if I ask them to do this for a limited time—just so I can double-check the teacher’s version of what’s due with my son’s version—do you think this would be OK??
Or does anyone have a solution that has worked helping an ADD kid get organized at school?!


I admire your proactivity in setting your son up for success.  And you are right – you can’t support your son’s homework/test prep if you don’t know what he needs to do.  It is very appropriate for you to request an IEP review to request that teachers keep their webpages updated, send an email with assignments/test dates, and/or check your son’s planner to make sure that he has recorded the assignments and test dates accurately.  Another possibility is your son’s using a phone app or a handheld audio recorder to record the teacher’s oral review of the assignments or to use as he reads aloud the assignments written on the board, which can then be transferred into the planner of his choice.
Hope this helps!

Posted by Roxanne Fouche on Dec 04, 2012 at 12:48am

I think this is appropriate. My son is just turning 8 and in 2nd grade and he forgets his homework. I have asked his teacher if she would put a sticky note on his agenda that she has looked at it or alternatively for her to write it down. She took it the next step, she made up a form she sends home daily with the kids and she emails all parents once/week with the week’s homework assignments, testing schedule, etc.

Hope this helps

Posted by faye on Dec 04, 2012 at 1:30am


Tell me about it! I know EXACTLY what you’re going through. I was emailing my son’s teachers daily. Unfortunately, my son doesn’t have an IEP—doesn’t even have a 504. Yet.

I would definitely ask them to give you a daily rundown of your son’s assignments. It’ll take ‘em 5 minutes to write it down. And even if it takes a bit longer, they are helping a kid with ADHD succeed at school. That is good karma for them, it’s their job, and if your son has an IEP, they have to do it.

If they stonewall or ignore you, get politely loud. And don’t give up. Soon, they’ll just email you the damn assignment—anything to get you to stop nagging them. smile

Posted by ReadingPAMom on Dec 04, 2012 at 4:56am

Hi Alx Mom,

You are clearly working very hard to get your son the help he needs to succeed in school. I am not sure if you attended ADHD expert Susan Kruger’s webinar last week, but she offered some great strategies for helping ADHD children get organized at school. You can listen to the recording and download the slides accompanying her webinar here:

I hope this helps.


Posted by ADDConnect Community Editor on Dec 04, 2012 at 8:58pm

Also, Jodi Sleeper-Triplett is hosting a webinar today that is specific to parenting ADHD teens. If you’re available from 1PM to 2PM EST you may want to check it out. You can register here for free.


Posted by ADDConnect Community Editor on Dec 04, 2012 at 9:02pm

My daughters were hopeless about remembering school assignments and in eigth grade it really fell apart. Most schools now have a web portal. If your school has one get logged in and often the assignments are listed there. I wish I could tell you it will get better. My girls are in college now and I am still helping them. Good luck

Posted by kal on Dec 05, 2012 at 8:11am

My daughter is also in 8th grade. The transition from notebook to assignment pad & back to notebook has never been easy for my daughter.  As of now, this is what is working for her:
In front of each notebook (specific to each subject) I have a full page (with big squares) monthly calendar. She actually writes assignments on this calendar. The reason this works for her is because the notebook is already out. When the assignment is given she simply turns to the 1st page & writes. Within seconds she is able to transition back to note taking or working. Also, she can see the big picture of future test or project dates.
She also carries all notebooks in her backpack all day & all notebooks always come home. This way she has everything.she needs to complete a forgotten assignment or test.
I hope this helps.

Posted by lilred on Dec 06, 2012 at 9:02am

My 9th grader has the same issue and we’ve tried everything.  He prefers to write the assignment on his arm. Yes, his handwriting is terrible and it’s usually with a Sharpie, but I’ve learned to choose my battles along the way.  It won’t translate very well to the work world, but right now, it works for him. Unless he showers before homework….  smile

Posted by Nemo on Dec 20, 2012 at 2:15am

I understand also. We’ve spent this last semester talking to All teachers, checking teacher websites, trying to find some type of help. We have finally gotten into therapy and changed medication right here at Christmas break and I’m so anxious to see if this helps. I’ve bought different colored folders and labeled them, science, math etc. to put homework to do or return in, which doesnt always work He will not keep a planner. I struggle with taking left books or homework to school but leaving it to teach him a lesson will not make him remember. Been there and it only effects grades not memory.  I’m very organized and to try and get him to be like that is a battle. Good luck. Try different meds and see what works.

Posted by Mom and wife to ADHD on Jan 04, 2013 at 4:12am

Throughout high school, I argued that my daughter needed the assignments posted on the web or emailed to her as adaptive technology. The school refused and it was a complete nightmare. Once she was out of there, she used her telephone to record her calendar - not that she used it [just flunked out of college - ugh]. All of the professors posted their assignments on the web. I met someone whose 6th grader is using his cell phone to take a picture of the assignment on the board.

Posted by bschinagle on Jan 12, 2013 at 6:09am

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