Dear Family Volley,
How do I get my son to do his homework in less than 45 minutes (instead of battling him to do it for hours after school)?
Dear Elizabeth in Arizona,
Thank you for your question.
It seems like homework is a continual process in any home. Some children want to get it over with, some children go slow because it is hard, some children have minds that are so busy thinking about other things, that they can't keep their thoughts on the task at hand, and some are bored because the work is too easy.
Assess the reason behind the slowness....
If it is because your son is struggling to understand, then he will need extra attention from his teacher/s and from you to learn the skills he is struggling with.
My guess is that he understands the material, grows bored, so his mind wanders to other things. The best way to help him get his work done more quickly is to sit with him while he is doing his homework.
First, establish a routine. Have him tackle homework at about the same time everyday. Try to understand what type of setting he needs to study in. For example, I have learned that our son needs time to wind down after school. He needs to come home, eat a lot of food, tell me about his day, and then he is ready to sit down for homework. If I try to push him to get the work done and he is has not had a few minutes to relax, oh it is a nightmare. Our daughter is the opposite. She wants to walk in the door, get the job done, and then talk and eat later. If I want our daughter to relax and wait to do her homework, she feels anxiety and frustration. We try to stick to the same routine everyday, and I try to be prepared to spend that time with them.
Once you have established the routine, sit down and join them. You will see the homework time cut in half. Atleast in half. It doesn't mean you have to do his work, or be talking to him, but be there, next to him while he works. I know this can be hard to do, especially if you have other children, but it really will make things go faster, and there will be less nagging. This same principle applies to getting children to work at anything. Sending a child off to their room to work by themselves usually means hours of battling the child to clean and constant nagging. If parents work with the children (which doesn't mean doing the job for them), The chores or work gets done much more quickly.
So,... to speed up the homework process, sit down with your child. Not only will your relationship be strengthened but you will get a refresher course in long division and the life cycle of a butterfly.
What is your homework routine? How do you tackle the homework battle?