How to motivate my 8 yr old son to complete his classwork and homework on time?
He doesn't seem to have much interest though he is intelligent and when asked knows the answers. He seems board. Forgets his books,workbooks, readings, etc forgets teachers instructions and homework. Doesn't take direction / deadlines seriously not from his parents nor from teachers at class.
It seems to me that the most important thing that your child has learned to date is that "He is in charge". You first need to establish or re establish routines and rules for him.
If you need soft approach try this.
(1) Have him write a list of things that he LOVES to do, with the most important one at the top of the list. Then ask him to write a list of things that he HATES to do. The ask him to list the thing that he believes he does not NEED to do.
And you do the same thing for yourself. You write the three lists items that you love, hate, and think do not need to get done. Compare your lists.
Have a discussion of why we all have these lists in our lives, regardless of our age.
(2) Select from his list of LOVES, items that he will need to EARN, in order to keep them or to continue getting them. Tell him how to earn them. It could be a 'point system' where he gets so many points every time he does something without being asked more than once. I could be points for every time he remembers to bring his books home. Similarly, negotiate the things he hates and needs to do. There should be some that are not negotiable, like a specific time to go to bed, brush his teeth, do his homework, etc.
(3) Please explain to your child the difference between "work", "play", "jobs", and "hobbies". The child needs to know that school is a "JOB" and it is "WORK". Sometimes school, like a job, is fun. But they are always required. They need to be done to prepare for later in life to earn a living. You can bring this idea to his level by explaining how everything that he has and loves takes effort and money from someone.
(4) Finally, remind the child everyday that you love him, and that it is your responsibility to look out for his safety and happiness. And sometime is going to feel like fun and sometimes it will not.
You need to be in charge NOW! It will only get much more difficult as he gets older. Do not give him the option of being in control.