See if your child will talk with you to strategize about how to improve the homework process so that he or she has more free time. Emphasize that the goal is to make the whole homework thing less burdensome and time-consuming. That way you are joining your child to meet his or her goals instead of trying to get him to satisfy yours. Treat it as a mutual problem solving exercise, not the imposition of adult authority.
It may not happen the first time you try this collaborative approach, but that’s ok. Wait until you have another opportunity and try again.
Here are some simple ideas that just might help a little bit:
- It is easier to keep going than to get going. So it makes sense to do your homework as soon as you get home, while you are still going in “school mode”. Then take the break you deserve. Most kids find this saves them at least an hour a day. (That hour is for whatever they want!)
- Get right down to business. Try your best to avoid doing unproductive things first, to save your own time. Try to catch yourself going off task and come back to getting it done.
- Do the hardest, least favorite work first, when you have more mental energy and resources.
- If you have trouble getting started, do any small specific part of the assignment. Then do the second small part. Try to think of it as one small part at a time. Each part is do-able.
- Consider working with a friend and then you can each help each other stay on track. The sooner you get done you have more time to just hang out.
Give this a try and let us know what you find.