Parents often ask me, “What’s the problem because he spends too much time on homework?”
There are many reasons why homework may take longer than it should; procrastination, lack of focus, fatigue, and poor study skills are a few common factors that contribute to the problem.
Another huge epidemic contributing to extended homework time is the prevalence of electronic distractions.
As a parent, you can probably recall how easy it was to be distracted by a phone or the TV as you did your homework. Children today have the same trouble, yet magnified many times greater! They have computers, iPods, and mobile phones with the ability to instantly text-message their friends…and instantly receive text-messages from their friends.
As a generally self-disciplined adult, I cannot even resist the temptation to check my emails or text-messages every time I hear the “tone” announce their arrival. How can we expect children and young adults to focus?
I Don’t Understand Why He Spends Too Much Time on Homework
Very often, our children will try to convince us that they can multi-task and do their homework while texting friends which is why we so often hear that ‘he spends too much time on homework’. To a certain extent, kids can multi-task. However, they take much longer to complete homework, are not actively learning/ absorbing content, and are merely going through the motions to “get it done.” Ultimately, this costs them more study time down the road.
As sophisticated as our brains are, they are only capable of processing one set of input at a time.
If a child is doing homework and listening to her iPod, her attention is playing a sporadic game of ping-pong…tuning in to the song, then her homework then the song… This shift of attention happens so fast, she may not even notice, but it is preventing her brain from engaging in “high-gear” learning (see issue #7), is stunting her efficiency, and her ability to learn while doing homework.
What Can Be Done to Answer Questions on Why He Spends Too Much Time on Homework?
In the last 4-5 years, I have noticed a significant change in students’ responses during the live classes that I teach. When we review and recap time-management, I always ask them to describe three hints, tips, or strategies they have learned that have helped them save time on homework.
An overwhelming majority of students now list “Power Down” as their top time-saver. This is a marked shift from just a few years ago.
“Powering Down” is the concept of turning off the phone, iPod, TV, and computer to tackle homework quickly. Certainly, at first, students are a little reluctant to turn everything off and buckle down to do their work because they think they can multi-task and handle everything at one time.
However, time and time again, students are genuinely surprised at their increased efficiency and quickly discover that they can cut their homework time significantly, simply by Powering Down the electronics and allowing their brain to get into High-Gear Learning.
The “Homework Help! for Parents” CDs and e-book as well as our SOAR Study Skills student book address this topic in much greater detail and include additional strategies to help children and young adults work and learn faster, making it easier and less tiresome for them to tackle homework. As a result, they will become more focused, be less likely to procrastinate, have happier evenings, and be more successful in school!
These products finally give a solid answer and prevent the questions about why he spends too much time on homework.
Susan Kruger is the author of SOAR Study Skills; A Simple and Efficient System for Earning Better Grades in Less Time. Get Susan’s FREE Guide, Six Steps to Conquer the Chaos: How to Organize and Motivate Students for Success, at her website, http://studyskills.com/. Kruger is an expert in learning and her books answer the questions about why he spends too much time on homework.