How to Get Your Homework Done in College

  • Before You Arrive
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition
  • Living On Campus
  • Outside The Classroom
  • Graduation & Beyond
  • Homework Help
  • Private School
  • College Admissions
  • Graduate School
  • Business School
  • Distance Learning
  • M.Ed., Higher Education Administration, Harvard University
  • B.A., English and Comparative Literary Studies, Occidental College

In contrast to the academic requirements of high school, college courses present a much heavier, more consistent workload. And with everything else that college students have to manage -- jobs, personal life, relationships, physical health, cocurricular obligations -- it can sometimes seem like getting your homework done is an impossible feat. At the same time, however,  not  getting your work done is a recipe for disaster. So, what tips and tricks can you use to get your homework done in college?

Tips for Successfully Doing College Homework

Use these tips to create a process that works for you and your personal study style.

Use a Time Management System

Put all major assignments and their due dates in your time management system . A key part of staying on top of your homework is knowing what's coming; no one, after all, wants to realize on Tuesday that they have a major midterm on Thursday. To avoid surprising yourself, make sure all of your major homework assignments and their due dates are documented in your calendar. That way, you won't inadvertently sabotage your own success simply because you've mismanaged your time.

Schedule Homework Time

Schedule times to do homework each week, and keep those appointments. Without designated time for addressing your to-dos, you're more likely to cram at the last minute, which adds to your anxiety levels.

By putting homework on your calendar, you'll have the time allocated in your already-too-busy schedule, you'll reduce your stress by knowing when, exactly, your homework will be done, and you'll be better able to enjoy whatever else you have planned since you'll know your homework is already taken care of.

Sneak in Your Homework

Use small increments of time whenever possible. You know that 20-minute bus ride you have to and from campus every day? Well, that's 40 minutes a day, 5 days a week which means that if you did some reading during the ride, you'd get more than 3 hours of homework done during your commute.

Those little increments can add up: 30 minutes between classes here, 10 minutes waiting for a friend there. Be smart about sneaking in small bits of homework so that you can conquer the bigger assignments piece by piece.

You Can't Always Get It All Done

Understand that you can't always get all your homework done. One of the biggest skills to learn in college is how to gauge what you  can't  get done. Because sometimes, there really is only so many hours in a day, and the basic laws of physics mean you can't accomplish everything on your to-do list.

If you just can't get all your homework done, make some smart decisions about how to choose what to do and what to leave behind. Are you doing great in one of your classes, and skipping the reading one week shouldn't hurt too much? Are you failing another and definitely need to focus your efforts there?

Hit the Reset Button

Don't get caught up in the get-caught-up trap. If you fall behind on your homework , it's easy to think -- and hope -- that you'll be able to catch up. So you'll set a plan to catch up, but the more you try to catch up, the more you fall behind. If you're falling behind on your reading and are feeling overwhelmed, give yourself permission to start anew.

Figure out what you need to get done for your next assignment or class, and get it done. It's easier to cover the material you missed when you're studying for an exam in the future than it is to fall further and further behind right now.

Use Your Resources

Use class and other resources to help make doing your homework more productive and efficient. You might, for example, think that you don't need to go to class because the professor only covers what's already been addressed in the reading. Not true.

You should always go to class -- for a variety of reasons -- and doing so can make your homework load lighter. You'll better understand the material, be better able to absorb the work you do out of class, be better prepared for upcoming exams (thereby saving you studying time and improving your academic performance), and overall just have a better mastery of the material. Additionally, use your professor's office hours or time in an academic support center to reinforce what you've learned through your homework assignments. Doing homework shouldn't just be a to-do item on your list; it should be an essential part of your college academic experience.

  • Is Homework Good or Bad for Students?
  • What to Do When You're Behind in Your College Classes
  • 17 Things to Do on a College Campus When You're Bored
  • Tips for Preparing for the New School Year
  • Top Tips for Succeeding in Statistics Class
  • Time Management Tips for Graduate Students
  • What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed in College
  • 4 Tips for Completing Your Homework On Time
  • How to Stay Organized in College
  • How to Survive Your First Year of Law School
  • 8 Benefits of Time Management
  • How to Reduce Academic Stress
  • 50 Differences Between College and High School
  • 5 Time Management Tips for Busy Students
  • Organize Your Homework With Color Coded Supplies
  • Tips for Studying for a Midterm Exam

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

PrepScholar

Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to do homework: 15 expert tips and tricks.

author image

Coursework/GPA

feature-homework-stress-biting-pencil

Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)! 

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find: 

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them 
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you . 

So let’s get started! 

body-stack-of-textbooks-red

How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to Instagram...so you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 

body-procrastination-meme

How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do things...as long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 

body-busy-meme-2

If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away. 
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C. 

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels 

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 

body-unmotivated-meme

This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 

body-focus-meme

Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, y ou get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. 

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!) 

body-hand-number-two

Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast 

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.) 

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later. 

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too. 

body_next_step_drawing_blackboard

What’s Next? 

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a day...so it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!) 

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

Connect With a Tutor Now

Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

Student and Parent Forum

Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.PrepScholar.com , allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers.

Join the Conversation

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!

Improve With Our Famous Guides

  • For All Students

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points

How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:

Score 800 on SAT Math

Score 800 on SAT Reading

Score 800 on SAT Writing

Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:

Score 600 on SAT Math

Score 600 on SAT Reading

Score 600 on SAT Writing

Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests

What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?

15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay

The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points

How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer

Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:

36 on ACT English

36 on ACT Math

36 on ACT Reading

36 on ACT Science

Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:

24 on ACT English

24 on ACT Math

24 on ACT Reading

24 on ACT Science

What ACT target score should you be aiming for?

ACT Vocabulary You Must Know

ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score

How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League

How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA

How to Write an Amazing College Essay

What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?

Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide

Should you retake your SAT or ACT?

When should you take the SAT or ACT?

Stay Informed

get his homework done

Get the latest articles and test prep tips!

Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?

Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:

GRE Online Prep Blog

GMAT Online Prep Blog

TOEFL Online Prep Blog

Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”

Daniel Wong

Equipping Students to Be Successful and Happy

8 Proven Hacks to Get Your Homework Done Fast

Updated on September 29, 2023 By Daniel Wong Leave a Comment

how to do homework fast

It reinforces your learning at school and enhances your knowledge. There’s no better way to master a concept than to practice solving problems related to it.

But as a student, there’s more to life than homework.

Figuring out how to balance school and work , leisure, social activities, volunteering, etc. is vital.

The good thing is that there are proven ways to be more efficient and finish your homework fast – without compromising on the quality of your work.

In this article, we’ll talk about 8 strategies you can use to maximize your efforts and get everything done in less time!

(Make sure to download your free quick action guide below.)

FREE  QUICK ACTION GUIDE:  

12 Guaranteed Ways for Students to Improve Focus & Reduce Procrastination

Get your FREE copy of

12 Guaranteed Ways for Students to Improve Focus and Reduce Procrastination .  

The guide has already been downloaded thousands of times, so don't miss out!

When is the best time to do your homework?

Getting your homework done as soon as you can is always a good idea.

After your classes, the information you’ve learned is still fresh in your memory. So applying these concepts in your assignments will be easier.

It also helps to have a routine – for instance, getting started on your homework one hour before dinner every weekday.

Find out when the best time to study is for you and build your schedule around it.

Let’s say that you always feel motivated to complete your schoolwork as soon as possible. If so, you can leverage this motivation by diving into your assignments right when you get home.

But if you need a short break, you can set a timer for 30 minutes to an hour once you get home to remind you to get started after you’ve had some rest.

What to do when you have a lot of homework

student buried in homework

When this happens, you might feel stressed or overwhelmed.

When your to-do list gets longer and longer, the best thing you can do is to stay calm and focused.

Set yourself up to enter a flow state where you focus solely on the task at hand.

Write down all your pending assignments, and take on just one task at a time. Set a goal and timeframe for each task, and minimize distractions in your study environment.

If the assignment is complex, break it down into smaller and less intimidating steps. Checking these smaller goals off your list as you go can keep you motivated and focused.

How to finish homework fast

It’s important to work hard, but it’s also important to work smart .

Here are some of the best time-saving productivity hacks for students to make it easier and faster to complete their homework.

1. Consistently keep track of your homework

One of the biggest mistakes I see students make is thinking they’ll remember all of their assigned tasks.

I don’t doubt that you have a good memory. But keeping track of your homework by writing things down is much more efficient.

Keep a physical or digital list of all your pending assignments and their deadlines. You can consistently track your tasks using this list. A notebook or note-taking app would work well.

When it’s time to work on your assignments, pull out this list and start with the most urgent task that has the closest deadline. Continue working your way through the list based on how urgent each task is.

The list clarifies which assignments require immediate attention and which can be done another day.

This allows you to dive right into doing your homework and saves precious time.

Making lists can lighten your brain’s workload . It also helps to reduce anxiety and boost productivity.

2. Spruce things up with a study buddy

students writing homework together

One of the best ways to boost motivation and get the ball rolling is by doing homework with a study buddy.

Having someone with you can help you to stay engaged and on task.

You’ll keep each other accountable and ensure that all assignments are completed on time.

During these study sessions, you can work together to solve challenging questions and understand difficult concepts.

3. Remove distractions (especially electronic ones)

Procrastination and distractions can kill your productivity.

Here are some study strategies to help you combat procrastination and make the most of your time:

  • Find an ideal study environment at your school or at the library, or create an optimal work environment at home.
  • Use earplugs or noise-canceling earphones to reduce external distractions.
  • Keep only the materials and stationery you need at your desk. You can also have a water bottle and a few snacks prepared, so you won’t have to get up midway through your study session.
  • Turn off your phone. In fact, it’s best to keep all your devices in a different room or at least out of arm’s reach.
  • If a thought or idea pops into your head, instead of acting on it, write it down. Maybe it’s an errand you need to run or a friend you promised to call. Acknowledge these thoughts by writing them down, then take care of them after you’ve completed your homework.

4. Create a reward system

A reward system nurtures motivation – at least in the short term – by giving you something to look forward to.

It trains your brain to understand that hard work results in an enjoyable outcome. Plus, it builds a positive association with homework.

So identify some reasonable rewards that you’d enjoy. List out items or activities you value that are consistent with your goals.

What works best is building multiple practical rewards into your homework routine.

For example, you could reward yourself by listening to your favorite music after every 45-minute work session. Or you could have a quick, healthy snack after completing each set of practice questions.

Of course, you can occasionally use big rewards too. After finishing a complex assignment or a long practice exam, treat yourself to something special, like watching a show with your friends.

5. Gamify your study session

student writing a project about the moon

Why are video games so much fun?

Games are designed to keep you hooked on leveling up your character, exploring new worlds, and unlocking rewards.

But what if I told you that you could apply specific video game principles to your homework sessions to keep you motivated?

Research suggests that gamification could address motivational problems related to work and learning. So applying this concept will make homework and studying more fun !

One of the simplest ways to do this is by downloading gamification apps.

Some examples include Forest , EpicWin , and Habitica . These apps have features that allow you to unlock new game elements, rank up, or collect points.

This enables you to track your progress and stay on task.

6. Create a dedicated workspace

Having a suitable place at home to study will help you complete your homework faster.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so it’s important to personalize your workspace based on what enables you to focus best.

For example, one person might enjoy having a bunch of stationery, Post-it notes, and colorful highlighters on his or her desk. But these might only serve as distractions for others.

Some people might work best with white noise or a little background chatter. On the other hand, some people might only be able to concentrate in a quiet environment.

So feel free to experiment to find what works best for you. Here are some general tips to get you started:

  • Ensure that there’s adequate lighting and keep your space at a comfortable temperature.
  • Reduce stress with the right scents, e.g. use a pleasant-smelling room fragrance or diffuse an essential oil.
  • Personalize your work desk with items like a memo board, calendar, clock, or artwork.
  • Keep your desk well-organized and clean.
  • Invest in a good office chair.

7. Make a study plan

student making a list

It also takes the guesswork out of the equation when allocating time.

Here’s how you can create an effective study plan:

  • Cater to your specific learning preferences. Are you more productive in the morning or evening? How long can you focus without a break? Whenever possible, plan your schedule based on the times of the day that suit you best.
  • Create deadlines that fall a few days before the actual ones. This gives you a cushion in case your assignments or projects take longer than expected.
  • Space out your homework into blocks with rest intervals. For example, you could divide your work into 40-minute work blocks with 10-minute breaks in between.
  • Limit social media usage during breaks. Scrolling through social media can take a toll on your mental capacity and eat up more time than you intended. Instead, engage in less mentally-taxing activities, like taking a stroll, performing simple stretches, or having a light snack.

8. Break up your homework into manageable chunks

It’s natural to sometimes feel overwhelmed by your assignments – especially the long, complicated, and tedious ones.

Getting started on a large or complex task might seem like you’re biting off more than you can chew. In turn, this can lead to procrastination.

One tried-and-tested study tip for handling challenging tasks is to break them down into smaller chunks.

List out each smaller task and work through the project bit by bit. You can even use programs and apps like Trello, Asana, or Notion to create daily to-do lists and keep tabs on your progress.

When you do this, the tasks become much more doable, so you’ll be able to submit your assignments on time.

How to finish homework at the last minute

student doing homework at home

But if you find yourself in this situation, the most important thing to do is to prioritize well.

Which assignments are due the soonest? And which tasks account for what percentage of your overall grade?

Write down all your pending tasks. Then, prioritize those with the closest deadlines.

You should give your best effort for every assignment, project, quiz, etc. But if you’re running out of time, it may not be possible to give your 100% effort. So do just what’s required and move on.

But make a firm commitment that you won’t do your homework at the last minute again in the future!

While homework is part and parcel of student life (and an important one at that), it shouldn’t have to be something you dread.

Try these 8 proven strategies to help you do your homework faster while making it more enjoyable!

(And if you haven’t already done so, make sure to download your free quick action guide below.)

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 Tips to Get Your Homework Done Fast

10 Tips to Get Your Homework Done Fast

Introduction

It's a tale as old as time: the clock ticking away ominously as you sit there, a heap of untouched homework glaring at you. The common hurdle many face is not the complexity of homework but the time management and discipline it requires. As the night descends, the looming deadline causes stress levels to skyrocket. However, fret not! Through this article, we unfold ten practical homework tips and hacks aimed at transforming this daunting task into a manageable one. Let's break it down together and achieve ultimate motivation.

get his homework done

Make a To-Do List

The first step towards conquering your homework begins on a note of organization. Drafting a to-do list is a classic yet effective homework tip. This list will serve as your roadmap, outlining the tasks at hand. It not only organizes your thoughts but also provides a clear picture of the workload, helping to prioritize tasks accordingly.

Gather Your Resources

Before diving into the homework ocean, ensure you have all the necessary gear. Books, notes, stationery, and any other materials should be at arm's length. This prep step is a significant time-saver. It's also a moment to seek homework help if you realize you're missing crucial information. Having everything ready will smoothen the journey, ensuring you don't have to scurry around searching for a pen or a textbook amidst a study session.

Seek Help When Needed

There's no glory in struggling alone. When a concept seems confusing, seeking homework help from teachers, peers or online platforms can provide clarity. Platforms like Tutorpeers come in handy, offering assistance in over 50 subjects with affordable tutors available 24/7. The best part? All studying happens on the platform, eliminating the need for extra apps. This smart strategy not only saves time but also builds a better understanding, making your homework journey a lot smoother.

get his homework done

Create a Timetable

A timetable is your game plan. Allocate time slots to each task based on its complexity and urgency. This structure provides a clear vision, helps in tracking your progress, and ensures that you are on schedule. It's a step closer to mastering the art of time management, a core element in achieving homework success.

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into more insightful homework hacks in the following sections aimed to ease your homework routine, offering a lifeline when you're in dire need of homework help.

Designate a Distraction-free Zone

Crafting the right environment is crucial for homework success. Dedicate a spot that's not only free from distractions like noise or visual clutter, but also inviting and comfortable. Ensure you have a comfy chair, a table at the right height, and enough room to spread your resources. Personalize your space with elements that make it enjoyable to be at—be it a plant, some soft music, or pictures that inspire you. This homework hack goes beyond just limiting distractions—it's about creating a space where your mind can focus and flourish.

Limit Technology Usage

It's easy to lose track of time browsing social media or responding to messages. Create a tech-free bubble during your homework time. Keep your phone, tablet, or other distractions in another room. If you need a device for your work, consider using apps that block distractions.

Team Up With a Study Buddy

Companionship can make the daunting homework journey enjoyable. A study buddy brings a different perspective, and together you can divide tasks, discuss concepts, and keep each other on track. It's a blend of social interaction and productivity. Platforms like Tutorpeers offer a fantastic avenue to connect with peers for one-on-one tutoring sessions. Whether it's homework assignments or exam prep, having a study buddy from Tutorpeers can significantly enrich your learning experience. Ready to elevate your homework game? Sign up as a learner on Tutorpeers and discover a community ready to support your academic journey!

get his homework done

Take Scheduled Breaks

Continuous study sessions can lead to burnout, hampering productivity. Techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, working for 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break, can be effective. However, everyone's rhythm is different. Some might find longer work intervals of 2 hours with a 15 to 20-minute break more suitable. The key is to find a rhythm that keeps you refreshed and focused. Tailoring your break schedule to what suits you best can significantly enhance your concentration and efficiency, making the homework routine more sustainable and less stressful.

Reward Your Progress

Positive reinforcement is a powerful motivator. Set up a reward system to celebrate small and big wins alike. Finished a challenging assignment? Treat yourself to a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. Maintained a consistent homework routine for a month? Maybe it's time to discuss that iPhone 15 reward with your parents. By associating rewards with accomplishments, you create a motivating cycle that makes tackling homework a more enticing endeavor. This cycle of work and reward fosters a positive attitude towards homework, steering you towards a path of homework success.

Prioritize and Chunk Your Tasks

Start by listing all your assignments and categorize them based on their due dates and importance. Tackle the most urgent and challenging tasks first. This approach not only helps you meet deadlines but also allows you to focus on complex tasks while your energy levels are high.

Once you've prioritized your assignments, break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. For example, if you have a 10-page essay to write, aim to complete two pages a day instead of cramming it all into one night. This method makes the work less daunting and gives you a sense of accomplishment as you tick off each mini-goal.

By combining prioritization with task chunking, you'll find that your homework becomes much more manageable. You'll reduce stress, improve your focus, and, most importantly, you'll get your homework done more efficiently.

Conclusion:

The voyage through piles of homework need not be solitary or dreary. Armed with these 10 insightful tips, navigating through the homework landscape can be a more organized, less stressful endeavor. Implementing these strategies can usher in a transformative approach towards homework, morphing it from a dreaded task to a manageable, even enjoyable endeavor. Embrace these hacks, seek homework help when needed, and stride confidently on the path of academic success. Your journey towards achieving homework success just got a lot smoother!

Q: How can I enjoy doing homework?

A: To enjoy doing homework, try to make it more engaging. Use colorful notes, listen to calming music, or turn it into a game. The key is to find what makes the task enjoyable for you.

Q: What's the best time of day to do homework for maximum efficiency?

A: The best time to do homework varies from person to person. Some people are more productive in the morning, while others find their focus in the evening. Experiment to find your peak productivity hours.

Q: How long does it take to receive scores?

A: The time it takes to receive scores can vary depending on the type of assignment and the grading process. For most regular homework assignments, you can expect feedback within a week.

Q: Is multitasking an effective way to get homework done faster?

A: Multitasking might seem like a good idea, but it often leads to decreased focus and quality. It's generally more effective to concentrate on one task at a time.

Q: How can I minimize distractions while doing homework?

A: To minimize distractions, create a dedicated, clutter-free workspace. Use apps or techniques like the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time and take short, scheduled breaks to recharge.

Share with friends

You may also like.

A 4-Step High School Student's Guide to Job Exploration

A 4-Step High School Student's Guide to Job Exploration

Need help with your future career? Don't sweat it! Our step-by-step guide is here to help high school students like you find your dream job. From self-reflection to real-world experience, we've got you covered.

Best Tips on How to Prepare Your Child for Online Tutoring

Best Tips on How to Prepare Your Child for Online Tutoring

Discover how to set your child up for success with online tutoring. Get tips on finding the right tutor, tech setup, and more. Try Tutorpeers today!

Role of Parents in a Child’s Education

Role of Parents in a Child’s Education

Ever wondered how you, as a parent, can make a real difference in your child's education? Dive into our complete guide and become the superstar parent your child needs!

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Cookie Policy

  • PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game New
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • Education and Communications
  • Study Skills
  • Homework Skills

How to Do Homework

Last Updated: September 24, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Ronitte Libedinsky, MS . Ronitte Libedinsky is an Academic Tutor and the Founder of Brighter Minds SF, a San Francisco, California based company that provides one-on-one and small group tutoring. Specializing in tutoring mathematics (pre-algebra, algebra I/II, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus) and science (chemistry, biology), Ronitte has over 10 years of experience tutoring to middle school, high school, and college students. She also tutors in SSAT, Terra Nova, HSPT, SAT, and ACT test prep. Ronitte holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in Chemistry from Tel Aviv University. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 950,518 times.

Even though your parents probably complain about how hard it was in their day, students nowadays have more homework than ever before, even when just starting their first year at middle school. That homework doesn't need to be a struggle now. Learning to plan out an efficient schedule for completing your homework, working on it effectively, and knowing when to get help with difficult assignments can help take the stress out of studying. Don't put it off any longer. See Step 1 for more information.

Working on Homework

Step 1 Make sure you have everything you need before you start.

Once you go into your space and start working, try not to leave until you've got a break scheduled. If you want a quick snack or drink, get it now before you start. Hit the bathroom and make sure you'll be able to work for the amount of time before your next break, uninterrupted.

Step 2 Eliminate as many distractions as possible.

  • It's common that students will try to multi-task, watching TV or listening to the radio or continuing to chat on Facebook or Instagram while also trying to do homework. It'll be so much more fun to do those things after you're already done with your homework, though, and your homework will take half as much time if you're focused on doing nothing but your homework.
  • Check your phone or your social networking sites during your study break, but not before. Use these distractions as a carrot, not as a pacifier.

Step 3 Concentrate on one task at a time.

If one assignment proves challenging and time-consuming, it's okay to switch for a while to something else. Just make sure to save enough time to circle back and give it another shot.

Step 4 Take a break every hour.

  • Try to figure out what works best for you. Some students might like to start their homework immediately after school to get it done as quickly as possible, while it may be better to give yourself an hour to relax before starting in on it and decompress from the long school day. Don't wait for the last minute.
  • While it may seem like a better idea to work straight through and finish, it's possible that the quality of the work you're doing will start to suffer if you don't give your mind a rest. It's difficult to think hard for more than 45 minutes at a time on a particular subject. Give yourself a rest and come back refreshed.

Step 5 Dive back in after study breaks.

  • The first fifteen minutes after a break are your most effective minutes, because your mind will be cleared, and ready to work hard. Give yourself a pep talk and dive back in, refreshed and ready.

Step 6 Create incentives to finish.

  • If you have trouble staying focused, get a parent, sibling, or friend to help keep you honest. Give them your phone while you're working to avoid the temptation to check it, or give them the video game controller so you won't be able to plug in for a few minutes of alien-hunting when you're supposed to be doing your homework. Then, when you're finished, show them the finished product and earn back your fun. Make it impossible to cheat.

Step 7 Let the homework take as long as it needs.

  • You can make yourself take enough time by having your gate-keeper (the person with your phone or video game controller) check over your homework for quality when you're done. If you know you're not going to get it anyway unless it's done right, you won't have any reason to rush. Slow down and do it right.

Step 8 Review your work after you finish.

Planning Your Homework

Step 1 Write out your daily homework in a list.

  • It's common to quickly write out the math problems you're supposed to do at the top of your notes, or scribble down the page number of the English reading on a textbook page, but try to recopy this information into a specific homework list so you will be sure to remember to do it.
  • Write down as many details as you can about each assignment. It's good to include the due date, corresponding textbook pages, and additional instructions from your teacher. This will help you plan your night of homework more effectively. Also, it's a good idea to write about your homework in a planner.

Step 2 Make sure you understand each assignment.

  • Homework doesn't have to wait until you get home. Look through an assignment as soon as it's been given, so you'll have the time to ask your teacher any questions you might have before you leave school for the day.

Step 3 Create a comfortable homework spot

  • At home , a desk in your bedroom might be the best place. You can shut the door and tune out any distractions. For some students, though, this is a good way to get distracted. You might have video games, computers, guitars, and all sorts of other distractions in your bedroom. It might be a better idea to sit at the kitchen table, or in the living room, where your parents can call you out for procrastinating. You'll get it done more quickly without the temptation of distraction.
  • In public , the library is a great place to study and do homework. At all libraries, it's a rule that you have to be quiet, and you won't have any of the distractions of home. The school library will often stay open after school ends, making it a good option for finishing up homework before heading home, or your school may even have an after-school study spot specifically for the purpose. [11] X Research source
  • Try to switch it up . Studying in the same place too often can make work more difficult. Some studies have shown that a change in environment can make your mind more active, since it's processing new information. You'll be able to vary your routine and remember what you learned more effectively.

Step 4 Choose the most important assignments to work on.

  • Try starting with the most difficult homework . Do you really hate the idea of getting into the algebra homework? Does reading for English take the longest? Start with the most challenging homework to give yourself the most time to complete it, then move on to the easier tasks you can complete more quickly.
  • Try starting with the most pressing homework . If you've got 20 math problems to do for tomorrow, and 20 pages to read in a novel for Friday, it's probably better to start with the math homework to make sure you'll have enough time to complete it. Make homework due the next day the priority.
  • Try starting with the most important homework . Your math homework might be difficult, but if it's only worth a few completion points, it might be less important to spend a lot of time on it than the big project for Social Studies that's due in two days. Devote the most time to the most valuable assignments.

Step 5 Make a timetable.

  • Set an alarm or a timer to keep yourself honest. The less time you spend procrastinating and checking your text messages, the more quickly you'll be done. If you think you can finish everything in a half hour, set a timer and work efficiently to finish in that amount of time. If you don't quite finish, give yourself a few extra minutes. Treat it like a drill.
  • Keep track of how long you usually spend on particular assignments on average. If your math homework typically takes you 45 minutes to finish, save that much time each night. If you start plugging away for an hour, give yourself a break and work on something else to avoid tiring out.
  • Schedule 10 minutes of break time for every 50 minutes of work time. It's important to take study breaks and give your mind a rest, or you'll work less effectively. You're not a robot!

Finding Extra Time

Step 1 Start working on it now.

  • Do you really need an hour of TV or computer after school to decompress? It might be easier to just dive into your homework and get it done while the skills are still fresh in your mind. Waiting a couple hours means you'll have to review your notes and try to get back to the same place you already were. Do it while it's fresh.
  • If you've got three days to read an assignment, don't wait until the last evening to do it all. Space it out and give yourself more time to finish. Just because you've got a due date that's a long time away doesn't mean it wouldn't be easier to finish now. Stay ahead of the game. Try either waking up earlier or going to bed later. But don't get too tired!

Step 2 Steal some homework time on the bus.

  • If you've got to read a bunch of stuff for homework, read on the bus. Pop in some headphones to white noise that'll drown out the shouting of other students and tune into your book.
  • The bus can be distracting, or it can be a great resource. Since it's full of your classmates, try to get other students to work with you and get things done more quickly. Work together on the math problems and try to figure out things together. It's not cheating if everyone's doing the work and no one's just copying. Also, you might make some new friends while you're at it!

Step 3 Work on your homework in between class periods.

  • Don't rely on this time to finish homework just before it's due. Rushing to finish your last few problems in the five minutes before you need to turn it in looks bad in front of the teacher, plus it doesn't give you any time to review your homework after you finish it. Rushing is a good way to make mistakes. And always check difficult problems you had trouble with.

Step 4 Work on homework during long waits.

  • Work on your homework while you're waiting for a ride, while you're killing time at your brother's soccer game, or while you're waiting for your friend to come over. Take advantage of any extra time you have in the day.

Getting Homework Help

Step 1 Talk to your teacher about difficult assignments.

  • Asking for help with your homework isn't a sign that you're bad at the subject or that you're "stupid." Every teacher on the planet will respect a student that takes their homework seriously enough to ask for help. Especially ask if you weren't there that day!
  • Asking for help isn't the same thing as complaining about the difficulty of homework or making excuses. Spending ten minutes doing half your math problems and leaving most of them blank because they were hard and then telling your teacher you need help isn't going to win you any favors on the due date. If it's hard, see your teacher ahead of time and find the time to get help.

Step 2 Visit the tutoring center or help desk at school.

  • If there's not an organized homework help group at your school, there are many private tutoring organizations that work both for-pay and non-profits. Sylvan Learning Center and other businesses have after-school hours that you can schedule appointments at to get help studying and completing your homework, while community centers like the YMCA, or even public libraries will often have homework help hours in your area.
  • Getting help doesn't mean that you're bad at your homework. All variety of students visit tutoring centers for extra help, just to make sure they have enough time and motivation to get everything done. It's hard being a student! There's no shame in extra help. Imagine being afraid to ask for anything! You wouldn't be able to ask in restaurants, shops, anywhere!

Step 3 Work with other students.

  • Make sure that your group study sessions don't cross the line into cheating. Dividing up an assigned so your friend does half and you copy each other's answers is considered cheating, but discussing a problem and coming up with a solution together isn't. As long as you each do the work separately, you shouldn't have any problems.

Step 4 Talk to your parents.

  • Some parents don't necessarily know how to help with your homework and might end up doing too much. Try to keep yourself honest. Asking for help doesn't mean asking your parent to do your work for you.
  • Likewise, some older relatives have outdated ways of completing specific tasks and might suggest forcefully that something you learned in class is wrong. Always use your teacher's approach as the correct approach, and discuss these alternative ways of completing an assignment with your teacher if necessary.

Supercharge Your Studying with this Expert Series

1 - Study For Exams

Expert Q&A

Ronitte Libedinsky, MS

  • If you missed school that day, then you should call a friend to get the notes and/or homework from that day. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 2
  • Make sure your little study space is well lit, quiet, and comfortable. This will make it much easier to do your homework properly. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
  • Take a piece of paper or wipe board and create a schedule for your homework. Be generous with the amount of time that you give for each task. If you end up finishing a task earlier than the schedule says, you will feel accomplished and will have extra time to complete the next task. It makes homework get done quicker than usual. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 2

get his homework done

  • Never leave unfinished homework for the next day because you might have other homework to do and you will have to do both. Thanks Helpful 24 Not Helpful 0
  • If you forget your homework, your teacher might not accept late work or may even give you more homework. Thanks Helpful 7 Not Helpful 1

Things You'll Need

  • Writing equipment, such as pencils, rulers, and erasers.
  • Resources that may help you work faster.
  • A comfy place to sit while doing homework.

You Might Also Like

Excuse Yourself from Unfinished Homework

  • ↑ https://www.warnerpacific.edu/5-tips-for-dealing-with-too-much-homework/
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-wealth/201206/10-tips-make-homework-time-less-painful
  • ↑ Ronitte Libedinsky, MS. Academic Tutor. Expert Interview. 26 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/plan-for-college/college-prep/stay-motivated/take-control-of-homework
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/homework.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/understanding-assignments/
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/homework.html
  • ↑ http://kidshealth.org/teen/school_jobs/school/homework.html#a_Create_a_Homework_Plan
  • ↑ https://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Extras/StudyMath/Homework.aspx
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/studying-101-study-smarter-not-harder/
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/homework-help.html

About This Article

Ronitte Libedinsky, MS

If you need to do homework, find a quiet, comfortable spot where you won’t be distracted. Turn off any electronics, like your TV, phone, or radio, and gather all of the supplies you’ll need before you get started. Work on the most important or hardest assignments first to get them out of the way, and if you have a homework assignment that actually seems fun, save it for last to motivate you to finish your other work faster. Keep reading to learn how to find extra time to get your homework done, like working on it on the way home from school! Did this summary help you? Yes No

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

Margaret Wessex

Margaret Wessex

Dec 2, 2017

Did this article help you?

get his homework done

Doris Fasanya

Oct 25, 2017

Kerry Iris

May 27, 2017

Shibapriya Mukhopadhyay

Shibapriya Mukhopadhyay

Jun 3, 2017

Veda D.

Sep 13, 2021

Am I a Narcissist or an Empath Quiz

Featured Articles

Apply for a Blue Badge

Trending Articles

Which Kardashian Am I Quiz

Watch Articles

Give Yourself a Facial Massage

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

Get all the best how-tos!

Sign up for wikiHow's weekly email newsletter

ct-logo

How to Get Homework Done Fast | Top 10 Hack to Try in 2022

Are you searching for some of the best hack on how to get homework done fast? If yes, then follow these hacks right now to get your homework done faster

Homework is one of the most boring tasks for most students. Every student tries to skip the homework, but it’s not possible for them. Although some of the students also love to do homework, especially when it comes to some creative homework.

But there is still a problem. Yes, you heard it right. Whether you love to do homework or not, it is always challenging for you to do your homework within the given deadline. Nowadays, students need to finish a couple of homework assignments at the same time.

Apart from that, some of the homework is complex enough and requires more than enough time to finish. If we talk about those students who hate homework, then it is impossible for them to complete their homework on time in today’s scenario.

So what are the best ways to get homework done fast, even if you need to do lots of extracurricular activities? Before we get started, let me advise you to not compromise on your extra-curricular activities because physical activities are always beneficial for you.

Let’s have a close look at some of the most effective hacks on how to get homework done fast. Explore them now:

How to Get Homework Done Fast

Table of Contents

1. Plan a Schedule for Your Homework

If you want to get anything done fast, then you need to plan a schedule. As we know, planning is the backbone of every successful task. Therefore, before you are going to start your homework, you first need to plan a schedule.

Don’t jump over the task to start your homework without having any schedule because you will get jumbled while doing your homework and will not finish it on time. Therefore, you need to create a perfect schedule for your homework.

In your schedule, first you need to be sure of how much time you need to finish your homework. After that, you need to list down the tasks you need to perform in the homework. Assignment time for each task in your homework also includes some break time between the tasks.

Don’t assign too little time to each task; the time should be attainable. Once done, then get started on doing your homework and do the tasks one by one. Don’t skip any steps or jump any steps because it will ruin your entire schedule and you will not get your homework done fast.

2. Gather All The Supplies

What does it mean to you? Yes, most of you think that supplies means books, including geometry books, laptops, notebooks, and other stationary-oriented stuff. But it is not done just by being stationary.

You should also keep a water bottle with you while doing your homework. It will help you stay hydrated throughout your homework. In a study, it is already proven that our minds work well when we are hydrated because 75% of the brain is made of water.

Don’t drink cold water. Always prefer warm water; it can help you maintain your energy level. Apart from that, you need to have a stopwatch along with you so that you can track your time to finish the task on time.

3. Find the perfect place

If possible, try to do your homework in the library. If somehow you are late to the library, then you need to find a quiet place in your house to start your homework.

Most of the time, students make the mistake of doing their homework in front of the television. And it ruins their concentration when they get distracted by the noise of the TV. Therefore, they slow down their work and it takes a long time to complete the task.

Apart from that, you should also avoid using your bedroom to do your homework. Because most of the time, the students lie down on the bed and start doing their homework. It reduces their productivity because the human body can’t work at its best when we lie down.

In a study, it was proven that the human body releases the hormone that makes us feel sleepy. Therefore, you should pick an area where you can sit straight and do your homework without any distraction.

4. Turn Off All Your Personal Devices

Yes, but don’t turn off your PC! If you’re going to do your homework, you should turn off your devices. Nowadays, the phone is a crucial part of our lives, and we can’t survive even one minute without our smartphone.

It is quite often that we check our phones frequently to check the notifications on our social media accounts. Therefore, it is quite hard for the students to concentrate on their homework.

In a study, it has been proven that if we encounter any distraction while doing work that requires concentration, then it is quite hard for us to get back into focus on the work.

Therefore, we should avoid the distraction created by our smartphones and other gadgets. Also, lock certain apps on your PC so that you can’t access them while doing your homework. This tip on how to get homework done fast will help you do it faster than ever before.

5. Think About the Benefits of Homework

Lack of motivation while doing homework won’t help you finish it on time. So what should you do? One of the best solutions to this problem is to start thinking about the benefits of doing homework. Yes, you may not know that homework offers tremendous benefits to students.

Likewise, if you do your homework, it will help you score good grades. Apart from that, with the help of the homework, you can easily understand the concepts that you have studied in your classroom.

Other than that, homework also helps you to solve a particular problem in the most innovative way. Likewise, you can explore some other ways to solve the same problem.

You May Also Like

How to Stay Awake to Do Homework | Top 10 Hacks to Follow

6. Find the right study method

It is quite important for us to choose the right study method. Without a proper study method, it is quite hard for students to do their homework on time. Everyone has their own way of studying, so it is always best for you to follow your own study method.

You can do some highlights in your books. so that you can pick the key points easily. Some of the students try to summarize the topic and take notes. You can do whatever works for you. You can also do some experiments to find out what works best for you.

7. Find a study partner

It is highly suitable for you to find a study partner that can do homework with you. Studying with your best friend always works best for you. With this hack, you can do your homework with more efficiency. Keep in mind that your friend should not waste your time talking and chatting.

Both of your goals should focus on your homework. With this method, you can explain the concepts to each other and perform quite well on your homework. Studying with a friend is always fun for students, and they work at their full productivity.

8. Put On Some Music

Listening to music can also help you with how to get homework done fast. Don’t use your phone to listen to music. Always prefer your PC for listening to music. You can listen to background music that can help you feel relaxed. It also helps you stay focused while doing your homework.

If you have multiple homework assignments to do within a short deadline, then listening to music will help you focus on your homework. For this, you can use the playlist on Spotify to listen to the focus music for the students. You can also pick the music genre as per your taste in music.

9. Take short breaks

Taking a short break is always useful for students. It is one of the best tips on how to get homework done fast. If you have a lot of homework to do, then you will feel pressured to do it. Therefore, you feel excessive pressure while doing your homework.

Therefore, it is always best for you to take enough breaks to do your homework. In a study, it was proven that if we take short breaks at a regular interval, we re-energize our bodies and get better focus. But what should you do between the breaks?

You can do some stretching or walk around. You can also eat some healthy, healthy snacks during your break. It is highly advisable to take a break every 30 minutes for the students.

They are permitted to take a 5- to 7-minute break. Don’t you ever try to finish the entire homework without taking a single break, because it can’t help you to memorize whatever you have done in your homework.

10. After you’ve finished, treat yourself

If you want to get your homework done fast, then set a reward for yourself to finish the work within a given deadline. Remember that the actual deadline would be different. Our brain loves rewards.

Therefore, when you set a reward for yourself, your brain tries its best to get the work done faster and get the reward. You need to set the reward after the completion of every task.

It means that when you finish your task, you can give yourself a reward. The reward can be anything, like playing a game or going out and doing something fun. You can also set a big reward after the completion of your entire homework.

Bonus Tip: Ask for Help

Most students don’t prefer to get help from experts in homework help. But what if you find a problem that is quite hard to solve in your homework? Will you call your teacher for help? Probably not. You can’t even get the help of your friend because they are already struggling with the same thing.

So what would be the best solution to that problem? The solution is homework help experts. Here at CallTutors, we are one of the best and most highly reliable homework help experts who can help you a lot with your homework. With the help of our experts, you can clear your concepts easily.

And they can also help you score good grades on your homework. So don’t lose your hope and try our experts for the best homework help services in the USA. They charge a minimal fee from you and deliver you a world-class solution to your problem. Try them now and experience the best help ever.

These are some of the best and most reliable hacks on how to get homework done fast. If you are struggling to do your homework fast, then you should try these hacks.

And you will find that you are doing your homework quite faster than ever before. But if you think that we have missed any of the hacks for how to get homework done fast, then please comment down below.

Similar Articles

How To Improve Grade

Top 19 Tips & Tricks On How To Improve Grades?

Do you want to improve your grades? If yes, then don’t worry! In this blog, I have provided 19 tips…

How To Study For Final Exam

How To Study For Final Exam – 12 Proven Tips You Must Know

How To Study For Final Exam? Studying for the final exam is very important for academic success because they test…

Leave a Comment Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Home / Expert Articles / Child Behavior Problems / School & Homework

The Homework Battle: How to Get Children to Do Homework

By debbie pincus, ms lmhc.

Teen girl with hands on head frustrated by homework

Parents often feel it’s their job to get their kids to do well in school. Naturally, you might get anxious about this responsibility as a parent. You might also get nervous about your kids succeeding in life—and homework often becomes the focus of that concern.

But when parents feel it’s their responsibility to get their kids to achieve, they now need something from their children—they need them to do their homework and be a success. I believe this need puts you in a powerless position as a parent because your child doesn’t have to give you what you want.

The battle about homework becomes a battle over control. Your child starts fighting to have more control over the choices in their life, while you feel that your job as a parent is to be in control of things. So you both fight harder, and it turns into a war in your home.

Over the years, I’ve talked to many parents who are in the trenches with their kids, and I’ve seen firsthand that there are many creative ways kids rebel when it comes to schoolwork. Your child might forget to do their homework, do their homework but not hand it in, do it sloppily or carelessly, or not study properly for their test. These are just a few ways that kids try to hold onto the little control they have.

When this starts happening, parents feel more and more out of control, so they punish, nag, threaten, and argue. Some parents stop trying altogether to get their children to do homework. Or, and this is common, parents will over-function for their kids by doing the work for them.

Now the battle is in full swing: reactivity is heightened as anxiety is elevated—and homework gets lost in the shuffle. The hard truth for parents is that you cannot make your children do anything, let alone homework. But what you can do is to set limits, respect their individual choices, and help motivate them to motivate themselves.

You might be thinking to yourself, “You don’t know my child. I can’t motivate him to do anything.” Many parents tell me that their children are not motivated to do their work. I believe that children are motivated—they just may not be motivated the way you’d like them to be. Keep reading for some concrete tips to help you guide them in their work without having to nag, threaten, or fight with them.

Offer for FREE Empowering Parents Personal Parenting Plan

Also, keep in mind that if you carry more of the worry, fear, disappointments, and concern than your child does about their work, ask yourself, “What’s wrong with this picture, and how did this happen?” Remember, as long as you carry their concerns, they don’t have to.

Stop the Nightly Fights

The way you can stop fighting with your kids over homework every night is to stop fighting with them tonight. Disengage from the dance. Choose some different steps or decide not to dance at all. Let homework stay where it belongs—between the teacher and the student. Stay focused on your job, which is to help your child do their job. Don’t do it for them.

If you feel frustrated, take a break from helping your child with homework. Your blood pressure on the rise is a no-win for everyone. Take five or ten minutes to calm down, and let your child do the same if you feel a storm brewing.

Create Structure Around Homework Time

Set limits around homework time. Here are a few possibilities that I’ve found to be effective with families:

  • Homework is done at the same time each night.
  • Homework is done in a public area of your house.
  • If grades are failing or falling, take away screen time so your child can focus and have more time to concentrate on their work.
  • Make it the rule that weekend activities don’t happen until work is completed. Homework comes first. As James Lehman says, “The weekend doesn’t begin until homework is done.”

Let Your Child Make Their Own Choices

I recommend that your child be free to make their own choices within the parameters you set around schoolwork. You need to back off a bit as a parent. Otherwise, you won’t be helping them with their responsibilities.

If you take too much control over the situation, it will backfire on you by turning into a power struggle. And believe me, you don’t want a power struggle over homework. I’ve seen many kids purposely do poorly just to show their parents who’s in charge. I’ve also seen children who complied to ease their parents’ anxiety, but these same kids never learned to think and make choices for themselves.

Let Your Child Own the Consequences of Their Choices

I’m a big believer in natural consequences when it comes to schoolwork. Within the structure you set up, your child has some choices. They can choose to do their homework or not. And they can choose to do it well and with effort or not. The natural consequences will come from their choices—if they don’t choose to do their work, their grades will drop.

When that happens, you can ask them some honest questions:

“Are you satisfied with how things are going?”

“What do you want to do about your grade situation?”

“How can I be helpful to you?”

Be careful not to be snarky or judgmental. Just ask the question honestly. Show honest concern and try not to show disappointment.

Intervene Without Taking Control

The expectation is that homework is done to the best of your child’s ability. When they stop making an effort, and you see their grades drop, that’s when you invite yourself in. You can say:

“It’s my job to help you do your job better. I’m going to help you set up a plan to help yourself, and I will check in to make sure you’re following it.”

Set up a plan with your child’s input to get them back on their feet. For example, the new rules might be that homework must be done in a public place in your home until they get their grades back up. You and your child might meet with the teacher to discuss disciplinary actions should their grades continue to drop.

In other words, you will help your child get back on track by putting a concrete plan in place. And when you see this change, you can step back out of it. But before that, your child is going to sit in a public space and you’re going to monitor their work.

You’re also checking in more. Depending on your child’s age, you’re making sure that things are checked off before they go out. You’re adding a half-hour of review time for their subjects every day. And then, each day after school, they’re checking with their teacher or going for some extra help.

Remember, this plan is not a punishment—it’s a practical way of helping your child to do their best.

“I Don’t Care about Bad Grades!”

Many parents will say that their kids just don’t care about their grades. My guess is that somewhere inside, they do care. “I don’t care” also becomes part of a power struggle.

In other words, your child is saying, “I’m not going to care because you can’t make me. You don’t own my life.” And they’re right. The truth is, you can’t make them care. Instead, focus on what helps their behavior improve. And focus more on their actions and less on their attitude because it’s the actions that matter the most.

Motivation Comes From Ownership

It’s important to understand that caring and motivation come from ownership. You can help your child be motivated by allowing them to own their life more.

So let them own their disappointment over their grades. Don’t feel it more than they do. Let them choose what they will do or not do about their homework and face the consequences of those choices. Now they will begin to feel ownership, which may lead to caring.

Let them figure out what motivates them, not have them motivated by fear of you. Help guide them, but don’t prevent them from feeling the real-life consequences of bad choices. Think of it this way: it’s better for your child to learn from those consequences at age ten by failing their grade and having to go to summer school than for them to learn at age 25 by losing their job.

When Your Child Has a Learning Disability

I want to note that it’s very important that you check to see that there are no other learning issues around your child’s refusal to do homework. If they’re having difficulty doing the work or are performing below grade-level expectations, they should be tested to rule out any learning disabilities or other concerns.

If there is a learning disability, your child may need more help. For example, some kids need a little more guidance; you may need to sit near your child and help a little more. You can still put structures into place depending on who your child is.

Advertisement for Empowering Parents Total Transformation Online Package

But be careful. Many times, kids with learning disabilities get way too much help and develop what psychologists call learned helplessness . Be sure you’re not over-functioning for your learning disabled child by doing their work for them or filling in answers when they’re capable of thinking through them themselves.

The Difference Between Guidance and Over-Functioning

Your child needs guidance from you, but understand that guidance does not mean doing their spelling homework for them. Rather, it’s helping them review their words. When you cross the line into over-functioning, you take on your child’s work and put their responsibilities on your shoulders. So you want to guide them by helping them edit their book report themselves or helping them take the time to review before a test. Those can be good ways of guiding your child, but anything more than that is taking too much ownership of their work.

If your child asks for help, you can coach them. Suggest that they speak with their teacher on how to be a good student and teach them those communication skills. In other words, show them how to help themselves. So you should not back off altogether—it’s that middle ground that you’re looking for. That’s why I think it’s essential to set up a structure. And within that structure, you expect your child to do what they have to do to be a good student.

Focus on Your Own Goals

When you start over-focusing on your child’s work, pause and think about your own goals and what do you need to get done to achieve those goals. Model your own persistence and perseverance to your child.

Believe In Your Child

I also tell parents to start believing in their children. Don’t keep looking at your child as a fragile creature who can’t do the work. I think we often come to the table with fear and doubt—we think if we don’t help our kids, they’re just not going to do it.

But as much as you say, “I’m just trying to help you,” what your child hears is, “You’re a failure; I don’t believe you can do it on your own.”

Instead, your message should be, “I know you can do it. And I believe in you enough to let you make your own choices and deal with the consequences.”

Related content: What Can I Do When My Child Refuses to Go to School? “My Child Refuses to Do Homework” — How to Stop the Nightly Struggle Over Schoolwork

For more information on the concept of learned helplessness in psychology and behavior, we recommend the following articles:

Psychology Today: Learned Helplessness

VeryWell Mind: What Is Learned Helplessness and Why Does it Happen?

About Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC

For more than 25 years, Debbie has offered compassionate and effective therapy and coaching, helping individuals, couples and parents to heal themselves and their relationships. Debbie is the creator of the Calm Parent AM & PM™ program and is also the author of numerous books for young people on interpersonal relations.

You must log in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Create one for free!

Frank My daughter Nina just turned 8 (Feb 11). She does not like to do homework one bit. Her teacher gives her homework every day except Friday. She loves Fridays because she doesn't like homework. She always hides her homework under her bed, refuses to do her homework, and in the More morning she tells her teacher "I lost it last night and can't find it!". She feels homework is a waste of time, yes, we all feel that way, but poor Nina needs to learn that homework is important to help you stay smart. She needs to start doing homework. How can I make her 2nd-grade brain know that homework is actually good? Is there a way to make her love, love, LOVE homework? Let me know.

Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and sharing your story. Because we are a website aimed at helping people become more effective parents, we are limited in the advice and suggestions we can give to those outside of a direct parenting role. In addition to the tips in More the article above, it may be helpful to look into local resources to help you develop a plan for addressing these particular issues with your cousins, such as their doctor or their teachers. We wish you the best going forward. Take care.

Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach I hear you. Homework can be a challenging, frustrating time in many families even under the best of circumstances, so you are not alone. When kids struggle with a subject, it can be even more difficult to get assignments completed. Although you didn’t indicate that your daughter More has ADHD, you might find some helpful tips in Why School is Hard for Kids with ADHD—and How You Can Help . Author Anna Stewart outlines techniques that can be useful to help make homework more interesting for kids with a variety of learning challenges in this article. You might also consider checking in with your daughter’s teacher, as s/he might have some additional ideas for engaging your daughter in her homework. Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.

So, after reading this I get to say…GREAT…You really do not know my child.  We have done 100% of everything listed in this article.  In the end, my son has utterly declared “I DON’T CARE, AND I DON’T NEED SCHOOL”.  We have attempted a “reward” system as well, and that doesn’t work.  He cares about 3 or 4 things.  Nintendo DS, Lego, K’Nex, TV…all of those he has lost over the past year.  Now he reads, ALL the time.  Fine, but that doesn’t get his homework done.  It also doesn’t get anything else he needs to do done.  We’ve done “task boards”, we’ve done “Reward Systems”, we’ve done the “What is on your list to complete”.  EVERYTHING is met with either a full fledged meltdown (think 2 year old…on the floor, kicking and screaming and crying).  His IMMEDIATE response to ANYTHING that may interrupt him is “NO” or worse.  If something doesn’t go his way directly he throws a fit INSTANTLY, even if the response is “Give me a second” it’s NOW OR I’M DESTROYING SOMETHING.  He’s been suspended multiple times for his anger issues, and he’s only 10.  Unfortuantely we have no family history as he was adopted from Russia.  His “formal” diagnosis are ADHD and Anxiety.  I’m thinking there is something much more going on.  BTW: He did have an IQ test and that put him at 145 for Spacial and Geometric items, with a 136 for written and language.  His composite was 139, which puts him in the genius category, but he’s failing across the board…because he refuses to do the work.

Interesting article and comments. Our son (6th grade) was early diagnosed as ADHD and for the first 3 years of elementary school several of his teachers suggested he might require special education. But then the school counseling staff did a workup and determined that his IQ is 161 and from that point forward his classroom antics were largely tolerated as “eccentric”.  He has now moved to middle school (6th grade) and while his classroom participation seems to be satisfactory to all teachers, he has refused to do approximately 65% of his homework so far this school year. We have tried talking with him, reasoning with him, removing screen time, offering cash payments (which he lectures us as being unethical “bribes”), offering trips, offering hobbies and sporting events, and just about anything we can think of. Our other children have all been through the “talented and gifted” programs, but he simply refuses to participate in day-to-day school work. His fall report card was pretty much solid “F” or “O” grades. He may be bored out of his mind, or he may have some other issues. Unfortunately, home schooling is not an option, and neither is one of the $40,000 per year local private schools which may or may not be in a better position to deal with his approach to school.  Do “learning centers” work for kids like this? Paying somebody else to force him to do his homework seems like a coward’s solution but I am nearly at the end of my rope! Thanks..

RebeccaW_ParentalSupport 12yokosuka Many parents struggle with staying calm when their child is acting out and screaming, so you are not alone.  It tends to be effective to set up a structured time for kids to do their homework and study, and they can earn a privilege if they comply and meet More their responsibilities.  What this might look like for your daughter is that if she studies, she can earn her phone that day.  If she refuses, and chooses to argue or scream at you instead, then she doesn’t earn her phone that day and has another chance the next day.  You can read more about this in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/end-the-nightly-homework-struggle-5-homework-strategies-that-work-for-kids/.  If you are also looking for resources to help you stay calm, I encourage you to check out our articles, blogs, and other resources on https://www.empoweringparents.com/article-categories/parenting-strategies-techniques/calm-parenting/.  Please let us know if you have any additional questions.  Take care.

Scott carcione 

I’m sorry to hear about the challenges you are experiencing with your

son.I also hear the different

approaches you and your ex are taking toward parenting your son.While it would be ideal if you were able to

find common ground, and present a consistent, united response to your son’s

choices, in the end, you can only https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parenting-after-divorce-9-ways-to-parent-on-your-own-terms/.At

this point, it might be useful to meet with the school to discuss how you can

work together to hold your son accountable for his actions, such as receiving a

poor grade if he refuses to do his work.Janet Lehman discusses this more in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/when-your-child-has-problems-at-school-6-tips-for-parents/.Take care.

It can be so challenging when your child is acting out at school, yet does

not act that way at home.One strategy I

recommend is talking with your son at home about his behavior at school.During this conversation, I encourage you to

address his choices, and come up with a specific plan for what he can do differently

to follow the rules.I also recommend

working with his teachers, and discussing how you can assist them in helping

your son to follow the rules.You might

find additional useful tips in our article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/acting-out-in-school-when-your-child-is-the-class-troublemaker/.Please be sure to write back and let us know

how things are going for you and your son.Take care.

I hear you.It can be so challenging

when your young child is having outbursts like this.A lot of young children tend to act out and

have tantrums when they are experiencing a big transition, such as starting a

new school or adjusting to having a younger sibling, so you are not alone.Something that can be helpful is to set up

clear structure and expectations around homework, as Janet Lehman points out in

https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-child-refuses-to-do-homework-heres-how-to-stop-the-struggle/.I also encourage you to set aside some time

for you to have https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/attention-seeking-behavior-in-young-children-dos-and-donts-for-parents/ with your daughter as well.Please be sure to write back and let us know

how things are going for you and your family.Take care.

JoJoSuma I am having the exact same problem with my 9 year old son. His grades are quickly falling and I have no idea why or where to begin with helping him turn things around. When he applies himself he receives score of 80% or higher, and when he doesn't it clearly shows and he receives failing scores. He, too, says that he doesn't do or want to do the work because it is boring, or that he "Forgot" or "lost it". He has started to become a disruption to the class and at this rate I am afraid that he will have to repeat 5th grade. I am also a single parent so my frustration is at an all time high. You are not alone and I wish you and your family the best.

Thank you so much for these tips RebeccaW_ParentalSupport because I SERIOUSLY had nowhere to turn and no clue where to begin. I have cried many nights feeling like I was losing control. I will try your tips and see where things go from here.

It’s not uncommon

for kids to avoid doing homework, chores or other similar tasks.  After

all, homework can be boring or difficult, and most people (both kids and adults

alike) tend to prefer activities which are enjoyable or fun.  This does

not mean that you cannot address this with your daughter, though. 

Something which can be helpful for many families is to set up a structured

homework time, and to require that your daughter complete her homework in order

to earn a privilege later on that evening.  You can read about this, and

other tips, in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/end-the-nightly-homework-struggle-5-homework-strategies-that-work-for-kids/. 

Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and

your daughter.  Take care.

Thestruggleisreal I'm just now signing up for these articles, I'm struggling with my 12 year and school work, she just doesn't want to do it, she has no care I'm world to do, she is driving me crazy over not doing, I hate to see her More fail, but I don't know what to do

FamilyMan888 

I can hear how much your

daughter’s education means to you, and the additional difficulties you are

facing as a result of her learning disabilities.  You make a great point

that you cannot force her to do her work, or get additional help, and I also

understand your concern that getting her teachers to “make” her do these things

at school might create more conflict there as well.  As James Lehman

points out in his article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/stop-the-blame-game-how-to-teach-your-child-to-stop-making-excuses-and-start-taking-responsibility/, lowering your expectations for your daughter due to her

diagnosis is probably not going to be effective either.  Instead, what you

might try is involving her in the https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior-i-cant-solve-problems/, and asking her what she thinks she needs, and what she will do

differently, to meet classroom expectations.  Please be sure to write back

and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.

tvllpit Very effective to  kids age of 5, 7, and 11 years old. Thank you for sharing your idea.

Thank you for

your question.  You are correct that we recommend setting up a structured

time for kids to do homework, yet not getting into a power struggle with them

if they refuse to do their work during that time.  It could be useful to

talk with your 11 year old about what makes it difficult to follow through with

doing homework at that time, and perhaps experimenting with doing homework at

another time to see if that works more effectively.  In the end, though,

if your child is simply refusing to do the work, then we recommend giving a

consequence and avoiding a power struggle.  Megan Devine details this

process more in her article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/end-the-nightly-homework-struggle-5-homework-strategies-that-work-for-kids/. 

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.  Take care.

jovi916 I'm a mother to a 10 year old 5th grader. Since 3rd grade I've been struggling with homework. That first year, I thought it was just lack of consistency since my children go between mine and dad's house. I tried setting some sort of system up with More the teacher to get back on track, but the teacher said it was the child's responsibility to get the hw done. This year has been esp. Difficult. He stopped doing hw, got an F, so I got on him. He stared turning half done work, but same grades so I still got on him. Grades went up, I loosened up, then he stopped with in school work. Now it's back to not turning anything in, even big projects and presentations. He had never really been allowed to watch tv, but now it's a definite no, I took his Legos away, took him out of sports. Nothing is working. He's basically sitting at the table every night, and all weekend long in order to get caught up with missing assignments. I'm worried, and next year he'll be in middle school. I try setting an example by studying in front of him. My daughter just does her homework and gets good grades. Idk what to do.

I can hear your concern. Academic achievement is important

to most parents and when your children seem to be struggling to complete their

work and get good grades, it can be distressing. Ultimately, your childrens’

school work and grades are their responsibility. You shouldn’t have to quit

your own studies in order to help them improve theirs. The above article gives

some great tips for helping motivate your children to complete their homework.

We do have a couple other articles you may also find useful: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/10-ways-to-motivate-your-child-to-do-better-in-school/ & https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/sinking-fast-at-school-how-to-help-your-child-stay-afloat/. We appreciate you

writing in and hope you find the information useful. Take care.

RNM I have the exact same issues with my 8 year old. It makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. He's a smart kid, he just doesn't seem to care to do his homework let alone if he gets a bad grade as a result. He hates reading, but does More very well in spelling and science. Homework is an issue nightly and the teacher pulled me aside today to tell me again how much he talks in class and that now he isn't writing down his assignments and is missing 3 assignments this week. SMH, I don't know what to do anymore other than to coach him (some more) and take away basketball if he doesn't do his homework.

What?  "Let homework stay where it belongs—between the teacher and the student. Refuse to get pulled in by the school.."  I do not see the logic or benefit of this advice.  Homework, by definition, is the responsibility of the student and parent (NOT the teacher).  The teacher does not live at the student's home or run the house.  

In my opinion, the lack of parental involvement with academics often causes the low student performance evident across the U.S.  I do not agree with advocating for even LESS parental involvement.

I completely agree with you. Parental, or adult, engagement at home can be a deal-maker/breaker when it comes to student performance. I subscribe to theories that differ from the author's.

First, if an adult is involved with the child and his activities, then the child will commonly react with "hey, somebody cares about me" leading to an increased sense of self-worth. A sense of caring about one's-self leads to caring about grades and other socially acceptable behaviors (Maslow).

Secondly, I am a FIRM believer in the techniques of behavior modification through positive reinforcement (Karen Pryor). It's up to an invested adult to determine what motivates the student and use those motivators to shape and reinforce desirable behavior such as daily homework completion. A classroom teacher has too many students and too little time to apply this theory.

Letting a child sink or swim by himself is a bad idea. Children have only one childhood; there are no do-overs.

And yes, children are work.

Many experience similar feelings of being at fault when

their child fails, so, you’re not alone. Truth of the matter is, allowing your

child to experience natural consequences of their actions by allowing them to

fail gives them the opportunity to look at themselves and change their

behavior.  We have a couple articles I think you may find helpful: When You Should Let Your Child Fail: The Benefits of Natural Consequences & 5 Natural Consequences You Should Let Your Child Face . Good luck to you and

your family moving forward. Take care.

hao hao It is so true, we can't control our children's home. It is their responsibility. But they don't care it. What can we do it?

indusreepradeep

How great it is that you want to help your brother be more

productive with his homework. He’s lucky to have a sibling who cares about him

and wants him to be successful. Because we are a website aimed at helping

parents develop better ways of managing acting out behavior, we are limited in

the advice we can offer you as his sibling. There is a website that may be able

to offer you some suggestions. http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/

is a website aimed at helping teens and young adults figure out ways of dealing

with challenges they may be facing in their lives. They offer several ways of

getting support, such as by e-mail or text, through an online forum and chat,

and also a call in helpline. You can check out what they have to offer at http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/. Good luck

to you and your family moving forward. Take care.

Kathleenann indusreepradeep

Thank you so much for your humble support....

It sounds like you have done a lot

of work to try to help your daughter achieve her educational goals, and it’s

normal to feel frustrated when she does not seem to be putting in the same

amount of effort.  It can be useful to keep your focus on whether your

daughter is doing her work, and to keep that separate from whether she “cares”

about doing her work.  Ultimately, it is up to your daughter to do her

work, regardless of how she appears to feel about it.  To that end, we

recommend working with the various local supports you have in place, such as

her therapists and others on her IEP team, to talk about what could be useful

to motivate your daughter to do her school work.  Because individuals with

autism can vary greatly with their abilities, it’s going to be more effective

to work closely with the professionals who are familiar with your daughter’s

strengths and level of functioning in order to develop a plan to address this

issue.  Thank you so much for writing in; we wish you and your daughter

all the best as you continue to address her difficulties with school. 

is there a blog for parents that went to Therapeutic boarding schooling for their adolescent?

Responses to questions posted on EmpoweringParents.com are not intended to replace qualified medical or mental health assessments. We cannot diagnose disorders or offer recommendations on which treatment plan is best for your family. Please seek the support of local resources as needed. If you need immediate assistance, or if you and your family are in crisis, please contact a qualified mental health provider in your area, or contact your statewide crisis hotline.

We value your opinions and encourage you to add your comments to this discussion. We ask that you refrain from discussing topics of a political or religious nature. Unfortunately, it's not possible for us to respond to every question posted on our website.

  • 1. "My Child Refuses to Do Homework" — How to Stop the Nightly Struggle Over Schoolwork
  • 2. What to Do When Your Child or Teen is Suspended or Expelled From School
  • 3. Acting Out in School: When Your Child is the Class Troublemaker
  • 4. Young Kids in School: Help for the Top 4 Behavior Problems
  • 5. When Your Child Has Problems at School: 6 Tips for Parents
  • 140,000+ Subscribers Subscribe
  • 50,000+ Fans Follow
  • 10,000+ Followers Follow
  • 6,000+ Followers Follow

Disrespect... defiance... backtalk... lack of motivation...

Frustrated and exhausted by your child's behavior?

Get your FREE Personal Parenting Plan today.

Does your child exhibit angry outbursts , such as tantrums, lashing out, punching walls, and throwing things?

Would you like to learn about how to use consequences more effectively?

Backtalk... complaints... arguments... attitude... just plain ignoring you

Do you struggle with disrespect or verbal abuse from your child?

Has your child been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)?

Or does your child exhibit a consistent and severe pattern of anger, irritability, arguing, defiance, and vindictiveness toward you or other authority figures?

Intimidation... aggression... physical abuse and violence ...

Are you concerned that your child may physically hurt you or others?

You must select at least one category to create your Personal Parenting Plan:

We're just about finished! Create a secure account with Empowering Parents to access your Personal Parenting Plan.

Internet Explorer is no longer supported

Please upgrade to Microsoft Edge , Google Chrome , or Firefox .

Lo sentimos, la página que usted busca no se ha podido encontrar. Puede intentar su búsqueda de nuevo o visitar la lista de temas populares.

Get this as a PDF

Enter email to download and get news and resources in your inbox.

Share this on social

Strategies to make homework go more smoothly.

Routines and incentive systems to help kids succeed

Writer: Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP

Clinical Expert: Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP

Here is the best guide to helping kids do homework successfully that we’ve seen, published by the National Association of School Psychologists on their website, NASPonline.org . Our thanks to NASP for sharing it with us.

There are two key strategies parents can draw on to reduce homework hassles. The first is to establish clear routines around homework, including when and where homework gets done and setting up daily schedules for homework. The second is to build in rewards or incentives to use with children for whom “good grades” is not a sufficient reward for doing homework.

Homework Routines

Tasks are easiest to accomplish when tied to specific routines. By establishing daily routines for homework completion, you will not only make homework go more smoothly, but you will also be fostering a sense of order your child can apply to later life, including college and work.

Step 1. Find a location in the house where homework will be done. The right location will depend on your child and the culture of your family. Some children do best at a desk in their bedroom. It is a quiet location, away from the hubbub of family noise. Other children become too distracted by the things they keep in their bedroom and do better at a place removed from those distractions, like the dining room table. Some children need to work by themselves. Others need to have parents nearby to help keep them on task and to answer questions when problems arise. Ask your child where the best place is to work. Both you and your child need to discuss pros and cons of different settings to arrive at a mutually agreed upon location.

Step 2. Set up a homework center. Once you and your child have identified a location, fix it up as a home office/homework center. Make sure there is a clear workspace large enough to set out all the materials necessary for completing assignments. Outfit the homework center with the kinds of supplies your child is most likely to need, such as pencils, pens, colored markers, rulers, scissors, a dictionary and thesaurus, graph paper, construction paper, glue and cellophane tape, lined paper, a calculator, spell checker, and, depending on the age and needs of your child, a computer or laptop. If the homework center is a place that will be used for other things (such as the dining room table), then your child can keep the supplies in a portable crate or bin. If possible, the homework center should include a bulletin board that can hold a monthly calendar on which your child can keep track of longterm assignments. Allowing children some leeway in decorating the homework center can help them feel at home there, but you should be careful that it does not become too cluttered with distracting materials.

Step 3. Establish a homework time. Your child should get in the habit of doing homework at the same time every day. The time may vary depending on the individual child. Some children need a break right after school to get some exercise and have a snack. Others need to start homework while they are still in a school mode (i.e., right after school when there is still some momentum left from getting through the day). In general, it may be best to get homework done either before dinner or as early in the evening as the child can tolerate. The later it gets, the more tired the child becomes and the more slowly the homework gets done.

Step 4. Establish a daily homework schedule. In general, at least into middle school, the homework session should begin with your sitting down with your child and drawing up a homework schedule. You should review all the assignments and make sure your child understands them and has all the necessary materials. Ask your child to estimate how long it will take to complete each assignment. Then ask when each assignment will get started. If your child needs help with any assignment , then this should be determined at the beginning so that the start times can take into account parent availability. A Daily Homework Planner is included at the end of this handout and contains a place for identifying when breaks may be taken and what rewards may be earned.

Incentive Systems

Many children who are not motivated by the enjoyment of doing homework are motivated by the high grade they hope to earn as a result of doing a quality job. Thus, the grade is an incentive, motivating the child to do homework with care and in a timely manner. For children who are not motivated by grades, parents will need to look for other rewards to help them get through their nightly chores. Incentive systems fall into two categories: simple and elaborate.

Simple incentive systems. The simplest incentive system is reminding the child of a fun activity to do when homework is done. It may be a favorite television show, a chance to spend some time with a video or computer game, talking on the telephone or instant messaging, or playing a game with a parent. This system of withholding fun things until the drudgery is over is sometimes called Grandma’s Law because grandmothers often use it quite effectively (“First take out the trash, then you can have chocolate chip cookies.”). Having something to look forward to can be a powerful incentive to get the hard work done. When parents remind children of this as they sit down at their desks they may be able to spark the engine that drives the child to stick with the work until it is done.

Elaborate incentive systems. These involve more planning and more work on the part of parents but in some cases are necessary to address more significant homework problems. More complex incentives systems might include a structure for earning points that could be used to “purchase” privileges or rewards or a system that provides greater reward for accomplishing more difficult homework tasks. These systems work best when parents and children together develop them. Giving children input gives them a sense of control and ownership, making the system more likely to succeed. We have found that children are generally realistic in setting goals and deciding on rewards and penalties when they are involved in the decision-making process.

Building in breaks. These are good for the child who cannot quite make it to the end without a small reward en route. When creating the daily homework schedule, it may be useful with these children to identify when they will take their breaks. Some children prefer to take breaks at specific time intervals (every 15 minutes), while others do better when the breaks occur after they finish an activity. If you use this approach, you should discuss with your child how long the breaks will last and what will be done during the breaks (get a snack, call a friend, play one level on a video game). The Daily Homework Planner includes sections where breaks and end-of-homework rewards can be identified.

Building in choice. This can be an effective strategy for parents to use with children who resist homework. Choice can be incorporated into both the order in which the child agrees to complete assignments and the schedule they will follow to get the work done. Building in choice not only helps motivate children but can also reduce power struggles between parents and children.

Developing Incentive Systems

Step 1. Describe the problem behaviors. Parents and children decide which behaviors are causing problems at homework time. For some children putting homework off to the last minute is the problem; for others, it is forgetting materials or neglecting to write down assignments. Still others rush through their work and make careless mistakes, while others dawdle over assignments, taking hours to complete what should take only a few minutes. It is important to be as specific as possible when describing the problem behaviors. The problem behavior should be described as behaviors that can be seen or heard; for instance, complains about h omework or rushes through homework, making many mistakes are better descriptors than has a bad attitude or is lazy.

Step 2. Set a goal. Usually the goal relates directly to the problem behavior. For instance, if not writing down assignments is the problem, the goal might be: “Joe will write down his assignments in his assignment book for every class.”

Step 3. Decide on possible rewards and penalties. Homework incentive systems work best when children have a menu of rewards to choose from, since no single reward will be attractive for long. We recommend a point system in which points can be earned for the goal behaviors and traded in for the reward the child wants to earn. The bigger the reward, the more points the child will need to earn it. The menu should include both larger, more expensive rewards that may take a week or a month to earn and smaller, inexpensive rewards that can be earned daily. It may also be necessary to build penalties into the system. This is usually the loss of a privilege (such as the chance to watch a favorite TV show or the chance to talk on the telephone to a friend).

Once the system is up and running, and if you find your child is earning more penalties than rewards, then the program needs to be revised so that your child can be more successful. Usually when this kind of system fails, we think of it as a design failure rather than the failure of the child to respond to rewards. It may be a good idea if you are having difficulty designing a system that works to consult a specialist, such as a school psychologist or counselor, for assistance.

Step 4. Write a homework contract. The contract should say exactly what the child agrees to do and exactly what the parents’ roles and responsibilities will be. When the contract is in place, it should reduce some of the tension parents and kids often experience around homework. For instance, if part of the contract is that the child will earn a point for not complaining about homework, then if the child does complain, this should not be cause for a battle between parent and child: the child simply does not earn that point. Parents should also be sure to praise their children for following the contract. It will be important for parents to agree to a contract they can live with; that is, avoiding penalties they are either unable or unwilling to impose (e.g., if both parents work and are not at home, they cannot monitor whether a child is beginning homework right after school, so an alternative contract may need to be written).

We have found that it is a rare incentive system that works the first time. Parents should expect to try it out and redesign it to work the kinks out. Eventually, once the child is used to doing the behaviors specified in the contract, the contract can be rewritten to work on another problem behavior. Your child over time may be willing to drop the use of an incentive system altogether. This is often a long-term goal, however, and you should be ready to write a new contract if your child slips back to bad habits once a system is dropped.

Click here to download the homework planner and incentive sheet .

Was this article helpful?

Explore popular topics, subscribe to our newsletters.

" * " indicates required fields

Don’t Miss Out

Sign up for more articles and parenting tips direct to your inbox.

List of Topics

SfC Home > Education > Getting Good Grades >

  • Getting Your Homework Done

by Ron Kurtus (updated 28 February 2022)

In order to finish your homework as fast as possible, you need to manage your time and make sure you don't become sidetracked. Instead, keep focused on your homework goal. One trick is switching subjects when mentally saturated on a specific subject.

Questions you may have include:

  • How do I manage my time?
  • What can sidetrack me?
  • What does switching subjects do?

This lesson will answer those questions.

Manage your time

Once you get your assignments for the day, you need to make some plans to manage how you will spend your time.

How much time is needed?

Determine how much time you want or need to spend on homework and if you have other pressing engagements to attend that evening.

Have a schedule

Set aside a certain amount of time to do each homework assignment. It is not a bad idea to write down your time schedule.

Zip through each subject

Then try to blast or zip through each subject, concentrating on getting the job done. In this way you won't dawdle or doodle. If you don't have a time limit set on a subject, you may take longer than necessary to finish your homework.

Don't get sidetracked

If you are trying to finish your homework quickly, don't let yourself be sidetracked by minor distractions. Set aside specific time periods for doing your homework. You can always phone your friend at a different time or during a break.

Stay focused

One thing to do is to concentrate on getting the job done. Unless you have a hyperactive mind, don't try to do several things at once. Rather, focus on doing your homework right away, so then you can enjoy some free time.

Computer distractions

Major distractions can be found when you are using your computer as part of doing your homework. It is easy to check out Twitter, Facebook or some other social application while trying to do your homework.

Jacob would start writing a report on his computer, but then every 5 minutes, he would check Twitter to see what was going on with his friends or his favorite celebrity. Afterwards, he would complain that he never had enough time to do his homework.

Every time you get distracted, you lose your concentration and train of thought. It takes an extra effort to get back into what you were trying to do in your homework.

If you are using texting to get some homework information from a friend, it might be considered part of your work. But if you are just texting to find out what's going on, you are getting distracted.

Listening to music

Many students like to listen to music while studying. If music doesn't interfere with your mental concentration, fine.

Some students can listen to music while studying, some can't. See what works best for you.

Watching television

Do NOT watch television while doing your homework. It will take you forever to finish your homework, and you will most likely do a poor job at it.

Switch subjects

If you have a lot of homework to do, try switching subjects every 30 to 40 minutes. If you stay on one subject for too long, you can become mentally saturated and less efficient.

Use different part of brain

Researchers found that when you become saturated and change to a completely different subject—like from Math to English—you use a different part of your brain. This results in a mental freshness and being able to get more done. Later, you can go back to the original assignment to finish it at that time.

Pace yourself

If you pace yourself like this, you will be able to get a lot more done in a shorter span of time. Experiment to see what works best for you.

Concentrate on getting your homework done by managing your time. Keep focused on your homework goal and don't become sidetracked. Switch to a different subject when you feel mentally saturated.

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Homework Helper - Lists of homework webistes for all levels from CollegeScholarships.org

Homeworkhelp.com - Provides some free lessons but also charges for better information

Good Grades Resources

(Notice: The School for Champions may earn commissions from book purchases)

get his homework done

Students and researchers

The Web address of this page is: www.school-for-champions.com/grades/ getting_your_homework_done.htm

Please include it as a link on your website or as a reference in your report, document, or thesis.

Copyright © Restrictions

Where are you now?

School for Champions

Getting Good Grades Getting Your Homework Done

Good Grades topics

  • Overview of Getting Good Grades

Seeking good grades

  • Reasons to Seek Good Grades
  • Factors in Determining Your Grades
  • Having Fun in School
  • Reasons Students Get Poor Grades
  • Avoid Getting Failing Grades
  • Cheating to Get a Better Grade

Absorbing information

  • Taking Notes in Class
  • Using Graphical Outlines
  • Texting During Class
  • Learn From Observing Others
  • Learn by Teaching Others

Dealing with teachers

  • When the Teacher is a Jerk
  • Getting a Good Teacher
  • Class Participation Improves Your Grades

Doing your homework

  • Purpose of Homework
  • Zip Through Your Homework
  • Doing Homework with Friends
  • Plagiarism Can Lower Your Grade

Using important skills

  • Special Homework Skills
  • Reading Faster
  • Writing Clearly
  • Speak to Your Class with Confidence
  • Researching Information

Knowing how to take tests

  • Be Good at Taking Tests
  • Practice Taking Tests
  • Preparing to Take a Test
  • Mental Process in Preparing for a Test
  • Avoid Goofing Up Tests
  • Preparing for the Final Exams

Problems in school

  • Being Bullied Can Affect Your Grades
  • Protecting Your Books from Thieves
  • Characteristics of Hyperactive Students
  • Harness Your Hyperactivity

Having champion attitudes

  • Become a Champion Student
  • Three Levels of a Champion Student
  • Being Healthy
  • Being Knowledgeable
  • Striving for Excellence
  • Being Valuable
  • Having Good Character in School

Misc. tools

  • Speech Writing Aid
  • Why Learn a Foreign Language
  • Educational Discount on Software
  • Good Grades Survey Results
  • Succeed with Good Character
  • Succeed in Physical Science
  • Succeed in Writing

Let's make the world a better place

Be the best that you can be.

Use your knowledge and skills to help others succeed.

Don't be wasteful; protect our environment.

You CAN influence the world.

Live your life as a champion:.

Take care of your health

Seek knowledge and gain skills

Do excellent work

Be valuable to others

Have utmost character

Be a Champion!

The School for Champions helps you become the type of person who can be called a Champion .

  • EXPLORE Random Article

How to Get Your Kids to Do Their Homework

Last Updated: May 10, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Klare Heston, LCSW and by wikiHow staff writer, Sophia Latorre . Klare Heston is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker based in Cleveland, Ohio. With experience in academic counseling and clinical supervision, Klare received her Master of Social Work from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983. She also holds a 2-Year Post-Graduate Certificate from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, as well as certification in Family Therapy, Supervision, Mediation, and Trauma Recovery and Treatment (EMDR). This article has been viewed 465,732 times.

Parents around the world would love the magic formula to encourage kids to do their homework. Alas, it's not as simple as waving a wand, but there are some methods for encouraging your kids to develop and stick to a regular homework routine. For some parents, effective encouragement will also be about changing your own approach to homework enforcement. Don't worry, it's not hard, it's just about taking a moment to work it through. Create a homework space and schedule, establish clear expectations, rewards, and consequences, and approach homework positively.

Creating a Homework Space and Schedule

Step 1 Pick a quiet spot.

  • For example, if your kids do their homework at the dinner table, unpack the box to give them access to their supplies when it’s time to do homework. Pack up the box and move it off the table when they’re finished.

Get Your Kids to Do Their Homework Step 5

  • Allow your kids to have a say in creating the schedule. If they feel like their opinions have been heard and considered, they’re more likely to stick to the plan.
  • Agree on homework-free times, such as Friday nights or one weekend day, and allow them to plan how they use this free time.

Step 2 Allow your children to take a break, if needed.

Establishing Expectations, Rewards, and Consequences

Step 1 Establish clear expectations.

  • Occasional rewards for a special project done really well can be a great boost but regular material rewards are best avoided.
  • When your child does their homework, tell them that you are really proud of them for being organized, timely, proactive, etc. It is important to define the exact reason why you are proud so that they know what to keep up.

Step 3 Avoid using bribes.

  • Keep your message simple, reminding your kids what you have agreed upon together when discussing how they'd approach homework and expressing both disappointment and a hope to see things return to normal the next day.

Step 5 Make homework your children’s responsibility, rather than your own.

  • For example, if your child forgets their homework or books at school, don’t spend hours tracking down a maintenance worker to let you into the building so you can retrieve their forgotten items. If they can find a way to get them, great, and if not, they’ll have to suffer the consequences.

Step 6 Let the kids deal with the consequences of not doing their homework.

  • Naturally, if you have a child with learning or other disabilities, you may need to adjust this hands-off approach. Don't be afraid to seek support from professional people skilled in your child's particular disability; they may be able to provide you with additional strategies.

Approaching Homework Positively

Step 1 Make peace with the reality that most kids don't like doing homework.

  • You should still keep a positive attitude toward homework. Don’t agree with your kid when they say, “Homework sucks. I wish I didn’t have to do it.” Instead, reply with something like, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but once you finish your homework you can invite a friend over.”

Step 2 Find a new name for homework.

  • For example, if your child wants to be a marine biologist, tell them that they’ll need good grades in school to get into a college where they can earn a degree in biology, zoology, or ecology.
  • For example, tell your would-be actor that they won’t be able to memorize their lines if they’re not a stellar reader. Encourage them to read and memorize parts of their textbook for practice.

Step 4 Turn homework into a game.

Altering Your Own Involvement

Step 1 Be a facilitator rather than a force to be reckoned with.

Expert Q&A

Klare Heston, LCSW

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

  • When the teacher asks that you have a part in your child's homework, do it! Working with your child's teacher will show your child that authority figures at school and home or on the same team. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Encourage professional presentation and neatness. If they're producing messy homework, try to catch them in the process and encourage a neater effort. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Keep up to date with your child's school life. Talk with their teacher regularly to ensure you know the purpose of your child's assignments and understand the rules in class. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

You Might Also Like

Ask for Feedback

  • ↑ https://sparksofgenius.wordpress.com/2007/05/14/train-your-kids-to-do-homework-without-arguing/
  • ↑ http://sparksofgenius.wordpress.com/2007/05/14/train-your-kids-to-do-homework-without-arguing/
  • ↑ https://fosteringperspectives.org/fp_vol1no1/articles_vol1no1/ignoring_effective_way.htm
  • ↑ https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-homework-battle-how-to-get-children-to-do-homework/
  • ↑ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100819173846.htm
  • ↑ http://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/involve/homework/part_pg2.html#2

About this article

Klare Heston, LCSW

Reader Success Stories

Manuel Escoto

Manuel Escoto

Jul 12, 2016

Did this article help you?

Ask for Feedback

  • About wikiHow
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info
  • Trying to Conceive
  • Signs & Symptoms
  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Fertility Testing
  • Fertility Treatment
  • Weeks & Trimesters
  • Staying Healthy
  • Preparing for Baby
  • Complications & Concerns
  • Pregnancy Loss
  • Breastfeeding
  • School-Aged Kids
  • Raising Kids
  • Personal Stories
  • Everyday Wellness
  • Safety & First Aid
  • Immunizations
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Active Play
  • Pregnancy Products
  • Nursery & Sleep Products
  • Nursing & Feeding Products
  • Clothing & Accessories
  • Toys & Gifts
  • Ovulation Calculator
  • Pregnancy Due Date Calculator
  • How to Talk About Postpartum Depression
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board

Is it Okay to Nag Kids to Do Their Homework?

  • The Problem with Nagging

Allow for Natural Consequences

  • Motivate Your Child

Problem-Solve Together

After sitting in school all day, most kids can find lots of things they would rather do than sit down and do their homework. And now that kids have access to electronic devices, it's no surprise that that they'd rather play video games than solve math problems.

And some kids just don't like to do their school work. It can be frustrating to a parent who tries to constantly remind a child to "Do your spelling."

Nagging a reluctant child to do his work isn't effective. In the long-term, all that nagging might actually backfire.

The Problem with Nagging

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology , found that children do best when parents encourage them to be independent with their homework. The researchers found that children needed autonomy to become fully engaged learners.   

Nagging doesn't encourage independence. Constantly saying, "Don't forget to do your homework," and, "I'm not going to tell you again. Sit down and do your homework," means you're taking on more responsibility than your child is to get his homework done.

If you spend your evening nagging, begging, and trying to motivate your child to do his work, you’re likely putting more energy and investment in their work than they are.

Nagging until your child finally gives in doesn't teach self-discipline . Instead, they may comply to get you to stop nagging, not because they think it is important to do their homework.

Nagging also makes your child more dependent on you. He may not worry about managing his time or tracking his assignments if he knows you're going to offer frequent reminders.

Nagging also teaches your child that he doesn’t have to listen to you the first time you tell him something. If he knows you’re going to say “Do your homework,” at least 10 more times, he’s not going to be motivated to do it the first nine times you say it.

Sometimes,  natural consequences  are the best teachers. So rather than nag your child to get her work done, step aside and see what happens. 

Consider what consequences she might face at school if she doesn't get her homework done. Will she have to stay in for recess? Will the teacher make her stay after school? Will she get a zero? For some children, these consequences can be very effective. 

Of course, those strategies won't work for everyone. If your child doesn't care what kinds of grades she gets or she seems unaffected by the consequences the teacher hands out, she isn't likely to learn a life lesson if you allow for natural consequences.

But for other children, simply allowing them to face the consequences of their own behavior can be key to helping them learn. 

Motivate Your Child to do His Work

A report card alone doesn’t motivate every child. Many kids are more concerned with what’s going on today, not what sort of a grade they will receive on a report card in a few months. These kids need more immediate positive consequences to motivate them.

You can motivate your child to get his work done by setting limits with electronics. Establish a household rule that says, "No electronics until homework is done."

Then, leave it up to your kids to decide when to do their work. The earlier they get it done, the more time they'll have to do the things they like. If they choose not to do their work, restrict their privileges until they complete their assignments.

You can also provide extra incentives with a reward system .

If your child gets their homework done on time every day, consider giving them a little reward on the weekend.

Or, use a token economy system by providing him with a token each day he gets his work done. Let him exchange the tokens for rewards worth various points. Get him involved in choosing the rewards and he’ll be motivated to earn them.

When your child struggles to do his work, it can be helpful to problem-solve together. The work may be too difficult or perhaps he forgets to write down his assignments. If you work together to solve the problem you may find fairly easy solutions that will help him to do his work independently.

Ask your child, "What would help you get your work done on time?" You might be surprised to hear his ideas. It could be as simple as allowing him to do his work after dinner, so he can have a break when he comes home from school. Or, he may say he needs more help with a particular subject.

Inviting your child's input can help him become motivated to find a solution. Then, he'll be more likely to do his homework, with fewer reminders from you. 

Doctoroff GL, Arnold DH. Doing homework together: The relation between parenting strategies, child engagement, and achievement . J Appl Dev Psychol . 2017;48:103-113. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2017.01.001

Fan H, Xu J, Cai Z, He J, Fan X. Homework and students achievement in math and science: A 30-year meta-analysis, 1986–2015 .  Educational Research Review . 2017;20:35-54.

By Amy Morin, LCSW Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. She delivered one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Logo

  • Parenting Teens Mini-Courses
  • Destination→College 2023
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • College & Admissions
  • Social Life
  • Health & Sexuality
  • Stuff We Love

YourTeenMag Logo

  • Meet the Team
  • Our Advisory Board
  • In the News
  • Write for Your Teen
  • Campus Visits
  • Teen College Life
  • Paying for College
  • Teen Dating
  • Teens and Friends
  • Mental Health
  • Drugs & Alcohol
  • Physical Health
  • Teen Sexuality
  • Communication
  • Celebrity Interviews

My Teen Won’t Do Homework. How Can I Fix This?

close up of high schooler doing homework

Meet Jake, a 15-year-old ninth grader, who rarely, if ever, does his homework. Jake’s teachers report that he is inconsistent. He enjoys learning about topics that interest him but seems unfocused during class and fails to complete necessary schoolwork, both in class and at home. Although his grades are suffering , Jake makes no effort to improve his circumstances. His frustrated parents find that their only recourse is nagging and con­stant supervision.

Teen doing homework with mom at kitchen table

Sound familiar? When a teen won’t do homework , we call this behavior work inhibition. Here are some common characteris­tics of work inhibited students:

  • Disorganization
  • Lack of follow-through
  • Inability to work indepen­dently; more likely to do work when a teacher or par­ent hovers close by
  • Lack of focus
  • Avoidance of work
  • Lack of passion about school, despite ability and intelligence
  • Negative attitude; self-conscious and easily discouraged

How can a parent help when a teen refuses to do school homework? First, try to uncover the root of the problem and then devise solutions based on that reason.

3 Reasons Why Teens Don’t Complete Homework and What to Do:

1. missing skills.

The most common rea­son for lack of motivation is a gap in skills. Unplanned absences or a heavy extracurricular load can contribute to skill gaps, even in otherwise bright teens. If you suspect a skill gap, act quickly to have your teen assessed. Your school guidance counselor can recommend the right resources.

2. Poor habits

Poor work habits can also contribute to work inhibition. Try to focus on a work system rather than the work itself with your teen. Set small goals to­gether and teach your teen to set small goals for him or herself. Try to take frequent notice of your teen’s effort and progress.

3. Lack of confidence

Often, students who are work inhibited fear being wrong and won’t ask questions when they need help. Teach your teen that everyone makes mistakes. Help them see these mistakes as another opportunity for learning.

What Parents Can Do to Promote Self-Sufficiency

1. offer limited help with homework.

Parents can offer limited help with homework.  Try to avoid micromanaging the process. When you micromanage, the mes­sage you send is that your teen will fail if you aren’t involved. When you show confidence in your teen’s ability to complete the task with­out you, your teen’s motivation and self-esteem will increase.

3. Resist lecturing

Ask your teen for ways you can help, but don’t lec­ture. Lectures about poor work habits and constant reminders about the negative consequences of unfinished homework can cre­ate more dependency.

3. Empower your teenager

Chores are a great way to empower teens . Delegating demonstrates your confidence in their ability. Try assigning tasks related to an area of interest. If your teen en­joys trying new foods, delegate the preparation and cooking of dinner one night each week.

4. Focus on strengths

Focus on strengths rath­er than pointing out your teen’s faults. When your teen succeeds, give genuine, specific praise. When you need to discuss expectations or problems use a matter-of-fact tone instead of an emotional tone.

Overstuffed organized Backpack with homework spilling out

Once you and your teen agree on the underlying problem, then the two of you can develop a plan to help create a self-sufficient student.

Martina McIsaac is executive director of Huntington Learning Centers.

4 High School Parenting Mistakes I Made—That You Can Avoid

Mary C. Lamia Ph.D.

Homework Emotions in Children and Parents

Negative emotions can help get homework done..

Posted December 23, 2015

pixabay-labeled for reuse

Most kids and their parents hate homework, or at best don’t see the point of it. Teachers are not that fond of homework either, but they are expected to assign it. I will not be reviewing the merits and disadvantages of extended learning—what homework is supposed to be—since this has been done for decades. Let’s assume, for the time being, homework is here to stay regardless of the fact that many children and parents believe it makes their lives miserable. Since homework assignments can activate negative emotions, let’s take a look at how to effectively use those feelings to get it done.

A homework assignment can be a stimulus for any number of emotions. Erroneously, many children, parents, teachers, and even psychological researchers believe that children should be interested in doing their homework or enjoy doing it. However, in most cases, that’s just not going to happen. This belief is rooted in the notion that only positive emotions such as interest, excitement, or enjoyment are what motivate us. Granted, positive emotions are motivating because that’s their purpose, just as it is with negative emotions or neutral ones. In fact, at the core of our motivational system is emotion . Through their creation of bodily feelings, core emotions motivate us by directing our attention and giving us information about what’s going on. Thoughts and images (cognitions) that arise at the same time, make more specific the information provided by emotion.

Yet how many kids have a motivational system that will trigger the emotion of excitement in response to a stimulus consisting of 2 pages of math problems? I predict the numbers will be low. Perhaps there are some children who learn for love: they are interested in doing their homework because they desire approval from a teacher, or because they want to please them. And how many parents consider their role of helping their child with 2 pages of math problems to be an interesting job or anticipate with excitement reminding their child to do it? Few, if any. Nevertheless, some researchers suggest that a parent should maintain positive emotions in the homework context to counter the child’s negative response, since children are supposed to enjoy homework as well. Essentially, they are suggesting a parent should fib, as well as negate what the child feels, since it is likely most parents are not so positive about homework and how their kids are feeling about it. Why would anyone want to teach a child that it’s okay to lie or dismiss how a child feels? Let’s consider an alternative strategy that may be more in alignment with human motivation ; essentially, helping a child effectively use the motivation provided by his negative emotions to get his homework done.

Most often, what motivates a child to do his or her homework (or a parent to oversee it) are negative emotions. Negative emotions, like distress, fear , anger , disgust, and shame , will motivate a child to do something to avoid them, or urge a child to do something that will relieve their effects.[1] This does not imply that a child should ever be threatened by a parent or teacher with a behavior that activates negative emotion. It’s punishment enough for a child who experiences negative emotion in response to pages of math problems, be it anger, disgust, fear, or the anticipation of shame. Parents who recognize how to help the child make use of negative emotion can provide their child a lifelong gift: understanding human motivation.

So here is my point: Essentially, all humans are motivated by a desire to turn on emotions that are positive or to turn off the negative ones. A child may not be interested in or excited about doing homework, regardless of your efficacy as a cheerleader. And you don’t have to offer rewards as incentives, which can lead a child to expect that he or she should only do something for an external reward. And they don’t really understand the concept of intrinsic rewards in 3rd grade. But they do understand the notion of relief. The reason to get homework done, from the perspective of negative emotions, is to feel better. Relief from an emotion that is negative does feel better and it represents a primary reason why humans take care of many tasks in their lives. There is also another important component to this process. That is, the child should have a choice about timing and be helped to maintain that commitment. She may prefer to seek immediate relief by getting the work done as soon as possible so that it is off her mind and she can play. Or she may prefer to specify a later time when it will be done and engage in other activities until that deadline appears. Either way, the focus is on being effective and efficient, doing one’s best work, and relieving the negative emotion either now or later. Like adults and their tasks, children develop such preferences and you may even want to help them experiment with each way, without imposing your own style of getting things done.

Unfortunately, instead, researchers emphasize that negative emotions, especially on the part of a parent, will undermine a child’s motivation.[2] [3] Granted, I completely agree about the importance of a parent keeping their interactions with their children fun and loving around homework.[4] However, fun and loving does not involve lying and pretending to be positive about homework when you’re not, including feigning how exciting and interesting it is. Besides, some amusing moments with a child can occur when together you can laugh about something evoking a negative emotion, such as disgust. Yuck! Homework is disgusting! As well it can make you feel angry, distressed, and afraid that you'll experience shame if it isn't done well. Thus, a positive fun and loving relationship between parent and child can happen around seeking relief from homework emotions that are negative, and learning at the same time how to effectively use the emotions that evolved to motivate us.

[1] Tomkins, S. Affect imagery consciousness (1962/2008), New York, NY: Springer.

[2] Pomerantz, E.; Wang, Q.; & Fei-Yin Ng, F. (2005), cited above.

[3] Hokoda, A., & Fincham, F. D. (1995). Origins of children’s helpless and mastery achievement patterns in the family. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87, 375–385.

[4] Pomerantz, E.; Wang, Q.; & Fei-Yin Ng, F. (2005), cited above.

(For information about my books, please visit my website, www.marylamia.com )

Mary C. Lamia Ph.D.

Mary C. Lamia , Ph.D. , is a clinical psychologist in Marin County, California.

  • Find a Therapist
  • Find a Treatment Center
  • Find a Psychiatrist
  • Find a Support Group
  • Find Teletherapy
  • United States
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Portland, OR
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Washington, DC
  • Asperger's
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Chronic Pain
  • Eating Disorders
  • Passive Aggression
  • Personality
  • Goal Setting
  • Positive Psychology
  • Stopping Smoking
  • Low Sexual Desire
  • Relationships
  • Child Development
  • Therapy Center NEW
  • Diagnosis Dictionary
  • Types of Therapy

January 2024 magazine cover

Overcome burnout, your burdens, and that endless to-do list.

  • Coronavirus Disease 2019
  • Affective Forecasting
  • Neuroscience

get his homework done

Celebrating 25 Years

  •  | 

Subscribe to Additude Magazine

  • What Is ADHD?
  • The ADHD Brain
  • ADHD Symptoms
  • ADHD in Children
  • ADHD in Adults
  • ADHD in Women
  • Find ADHD Specialists
  • New! Symptom Checker
  • ADHD Symptom Tests
  • All Symptom Tests
  • More in Mental Health
  • Medication Reviews
  • ADHD Medications
  • Natural Remedies
  • ADHD Therapies
  • Managing Treatment
  • Treating Your Child
  • Behavior & Discipline
  • School & Learning
  • Teens with ADHD
  • Positive Parenting
  • Schedules & Routines
  • Organizing Your Child
  • Health & Nutrition
  • More on ADHD Parenting
  • Do I Have ADD?
  • Getting Things Done
  • Relationships
  • Time & Productivity
  • Organization
  • Health & Nutrition
  • More for ADHD Adults
  • Free Webinars
  • Free Downloads
  • ADHD Videos
  • ADHD Directory
  • eBooks + More
  • Newsletters
  • Guest Blogs
  • News & Research
  • For Clinicians
  • For Educators
  • Manage My Subscription
  • Get Back Issues
  • Digital Magazine
  • Gift Subscription
  • Renew My Subscription
  • ADHD Parenting

Q: The Big Problem of Even Bigger Homework Meltdowns

You are exhausted by your teen’s resistance to homework — yelling, slamming doors, and refusing to take responsibility for assignments due. is there any hope for stemming the meltdowns and incentivizing your child to take ownership of homework done well — and on time.

get his homework done

Q: “Though we have a homework plan and agreed-upon schedule , when the time comes to get started my child has an epic meltdown — yelling, slamming doors, refusing to do the work. I’m exhausted by these daily battles and my child’s grades are suffering. I know homework is tougher for students with attention deficit disorder ( ADHD or ADD ) and some accommodations may be appropriate, but how do we move forward when my child’s reaction is so strong and so negative every single time homework comes up?”

Homework is complicated — for kids and adults — for very different reasons! While you may have a homework plan to which your kids have agreed in theory, a plan is only as good as a child’s ownership of it. So if kids are having meltdowns and refusing to do homework , it is more than likely that they have not actually bought into the plan.

That doesn’t necessarily mean your son doesn’t want to use the plan, though, or that he won’t in the future. It just means that there’s probably something else going on that is a more pressing problem .

[ Free Download: Evaluate Your Teen’s Emotional Control ]

Perhaps he has not bought in because it’s not his plan; or he’s afraid he can’t do it; or he wants to do it another way; or he just doesn’t see why he needs to do homework at all! The real problem is not yet clear, and therefore even the best homework plan may not be the right solution to address the underlying problem. This is extremely common. Very often, parents put in place solutions before getting really clear about the real problem they’re trying to address.

For example, a parent or school might decide that all students need to use a planner. But what if it’s not a great fit for your child? When the child does not come home with all of her assignments written somewhat legibly in the book, she gets in trouble — either at home or at school. But the real challenge actually has not been discussed — that the child needs an effective way to capture her homework assignments each day . More than likely, no one ever talked with her about what else she might try besides a planner. And so she’s getting in trouble for not using the planner, when in truth she’d do great checking in with a homework-buddy or taking a photo of the assignment on the board, or… you get the idea.

We get upset when kids don’t use the systems we put in place for them. But why should they? It’s usually not really their system!

Instead of starting with the solution, I encourage parents to back up and figure out what’s really going on. If your kids are having homework meltdowns, ask yourself this: “What is the underlying challenge?” You’ll likely find that your child doesn’t see or agree that it’s his job to do the homework. He’s gotten accustomed to relying on his parents to make sure it gets done, so homework is still the parents’ priority, not his. An effective solution to that problem is very different from creating a homework plan. Now, the goal is to focus on helping the child take ownership of his homework.

[ Free Webinar Replay: You’ve Got This! Motivating Teens Without Threats or Arguments ]

So how do you help a child take ownership ? Well, it’s definitely a more complicated question to answer, as it involves motivation and a number of other parenting approaches. But I’d suggest you start by getting a better understanding of what your child is actually resisting. It is fear of failure (“If I don’t do it, I don’t do it wrong” or “It doesn’t matter; I’m just going to do it wrong anyway”)? Or maybe fear of success (“If I do this, they’ll expect me to do it every day.”)? Is it boredom? Too difficult right after school when your child is exhausted? What is really going on?

Resistance is a clear sign that your child is struggling with something. You can’t help him learn to overcome it if you don’t understand the real problem. If you accept that the problem is NOT that your child won’t follow an agreed-upon homework plan, then you can focus on the real problem… and you’ll be several steps closer to an effective solution.

[ Step In or Step Back? How to Recognize (and Stop) Enabling ]

Do you have a question for ADDitude’s Dear Teen Parenting Coach? Submit your question or challenge here.

The opinions and suggestions presented above are intended for your general knowledge only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your own or your child’s condition.

More Articles Recommended For You

ADHD Tantrum Triggers: How to Detect, Defuse an angry child

The Sad Truth About Tantrum Triggers

Anger and irritation, easy to explode, feeling mental tension, destructive thoughts, experiencing stress, panic attack, hysteric behavior, volcano eruption in head, vector flat illustration

The Top ADDitude Articles of 2023

get his homework done

The 25 Most Influential Reads from ADDitude’s First 25 Years

Woman writing illustrates one of your executive functions.

Your Executive Functions Are Weak. Here’s Why.

Free newsletter, the adhd parenting guide, behavior & discipline, positive parenting, organization, happiness & more..

It appears JavaScript is disabled in your browser. Please enable JavaScript and refresh the page in order to complete this form.

North Shore Pediatric Therapy

6 Tips to Help Your Child with ADHD Get His Homework Done!

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental conditions found in children.  The hallmark features associated with ADHD in children and adolescents are as follows:

  • Difficulty initiating and sustaining attentional regulation
  • Trouble with task completion
  • Difficulties organizing materials and work
  • Difficulty with initiation on tasks

Given the above concerns, homework completion is often found to be a difficult chore.  Several of the below tips prove beneficial for improving the completion of daily work and assignments.

6 Tips to Help Your Child with ADHD Complete His Homework:

  • Have the child start the work when he or she gets home .  These children oftentimes have difficulty with transitioning between tasks and initiating action with their work.  Children were in school all day and already have the mindset of doing academic work.  It may prove difficult for the child to take a break and then attempt to initiate the work.
  • Have a set location established for homework routines.   Keep the desk or table as clear of clutter as possible.  Keep the location in a quiet room away from extraneous distracters such as the television, other children and family members, and other items such as toys that may be distracting for the child.
  • Have the child create a list of daily homework tasks as well as an expectation of how much time each task would take.
  • Have the child stick with one subject and complete the work to fruition before moving to another task.
  • Encourage the child to take short, non-stimulating breaks between tasks .  Breaks should be going to get a light snack, walking around the house, etc. and not be anything that might be overly engaging such as playing videogames or watching television.
  • Have consistency with expectations of homework .  Make studying and homework completion daily habits.

get his homework done

Check out our latest blogs:

  • Tips to Keep Your Child Cautious Yet Calm During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • How to Help Your Child Adjust to Summer During COVID 19
  • How is My Kindergartener Doing in School?
  • Will My Child Be Ready for School In the Fall?
  • Should My Child Be Tested for Autism?
  • Phone: (877) 486-4140
  • Fax: (847) 486-4145
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Resources and Downloads
  • Patient’s Privacy Rights Statement
  • Privacy Policy
  • Legal Notice

potty training and sensory processing disorder

Help! How Can I Get My Kid to Do His Homework?

Author of Parenting With Presence (and Eckhart Tolle edition) and Parenting Without Power Struggles

Now that school is almost back in session, I would love to have a good strategy for avoiding struggles to get my 8-year-old son sit down and complete his homework. The past battles have been horrible. I personally am against too much homework, but for now, he needs to stay on task and not fight us every night about it. Thank you!

A child's natural desire to savor the moment is one of the greatest gifts they bring to our lives. Imagine how dreary the world would be if our kids didn't insist that we lighten up and have fun!

Doing pages of math problems or copying spelling words cannot compare to riding bikes, chasing the dog or, in the case of many children these days, playing an electronic game. But I do understand that homework needs to be done, and can appreciate your desire to help your son without enduring hours of whining and complaints.

Here are some ideas that might help reduce those horrid homework battles.

• Be realistic. I know there are some kids who naturally take pride in their academic achievements, but by the end of a long school day, most children simply want to have fun. While there's nothing wrong with encouraging your son to do a good job and experience the satisfaction that comes from a job well done, it is unrealistic to expect that level of care and dedication every night. Let your son know that you understand he'd rather be playing, and that you're willing to help him get his homework done so he can get back to the things he enjoys.

• Help him see the light at the end of the tunnel. Many children put off starting their homework because they feel as though it will take them hours. Invite your son to set a timer for the amount of time he believes he can work without needing a break. Many kids find it much easier to start an assignment if they know they only have to work for seven minutes; in fact, they often find that once they're on a roll, they don't want to stop when the buzzer goes off. (I personally use this approach for exercise!)

• Don't be needy. He who is most attached to a particular outcome has the least amount of power. If your son senses your desperation about getting his homework started, you will activate what I refer to as "MOM TV", adding to the drama by creating some of your own. Remember -- he is the one with the homework, not you. While it is important to help an 8-year-old get his lessons finished, avoid coming across as needing him to manage your anxiety about his work.

• Incentivize. Humans are motivated by one of two things: a desire to experience pleasure or to avoid pain. Rather than focusing on the latter (which requires endless threats and punishments), remember Mary Poppins' advice: "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down." Offer to play a few rounds of "Connect Four" with your son if he finishes in a reasonable time. Promise a cookie-baking session over the weekend if he manages to do homework all week without drama. While I would avoid on-the-spot bribes that are generated from desperation, I have no problem letting your son learn that good things happen as a result of fuss-free homework.

• Create an appealing space. Some children work well at a desk in their room. Others prefer being sprawled out on the living room floor. Ask your son to think about what kind of environment will best help him be focused and relaxed. Does he want to use noise-canceling headphones to tune out noise? Would he like to have a scented candle or quiet music in his homework haven? Help him create a space to work that is comfortable and inviting.

By letting your son know that you're on his side, rather than lecturing him for not being more enthusiastic about his school work, you can help him get his work done without the drama that wears everyone out. Best of luck!

Do you have a question for the Parent Coach? Send it to [email protected] and you could be featured in an upcoming column.

Support HuffPost

A no-b.s. guide to life.

At HuffPost, we believe that everyone needs high-quality journalism, but we understand that not everyone can afford to pay for expensive news subscriptions. That is why we are committed to providing deeply reported, carefully fact-checked news that is freely accessible to everyone.

Our News, Politics and Culture teams invest time and care working on hard-hitting investigations and researched analyses, along with quick but robust daily takes. Our Life, Health and Shopping desks provide you with well-researched, expert-vetted information you need to live your best life, while HuffPost Personal, Voices and Opinion center real stories from real people.

Help keep news free for everyone by giving us as little as $1. Your contribution will go a long way.

HuffPost is your trusted source to help you lead a better life. Our reporters rely on research, expert advice and lived experiences. So when you've got questions, you know you can trust our answers.

We're determined to keep HuffPost Life — and every other part of HuffPost — 100% free. Help us do that by contributing as little as $1.

HuffPost is your trusted source for stories that help you lead a better life. We've got you covered on all things health, wellness, food, style, parenting, relationships, work, travel and lifestyle. Our reporters rely on research, expert advice and lived experiences to address all your concerns, big and small. So when you've got questions, you know you can trust our answers.

Susan Stiffelman - Author of Parenting With Presence (and Eckhart Tolle edition) and Parenting Without Power Struggles

Susan Stiffelman, Contributor

Do you have info to share with HuffPost reporters? Here’s how.

Popular in the Community

From our partner, gift guides, more in life.

get his homework done

IMAGES

  1. Simple tips for getting the homework done

    get his homework done

  2. Happy little boy with his homework done at table Stock Photo

    get his homework done

  3. Boy doing homework

    get his homework done

  4. How to make time for homework and home learning

    get his homework done

  5. Boy finished his homework stock image. Image of expression

    get his homework done

  6. Top 10 Tips on How to Efficiently Get Your Homework Done

    get his homework done

VIDEO

  1. TRYING TO GET HOMEWORK DONE AT HOME BE LIKE!

  2. How someone do his homework: #homework

  3. THIS was my Homework Project…

  4. Hack for Getting Homework Done Faster & Easier

  5. homework done ✅ English teacher

  6. homework done by @parth and palvit #trending #viral

COMMENTS

  1. 3 Ways to Get Your Homework Done Fast

    1 Work in a comfortable, well-lit environment. Try sitting at a desk in a padded, comfortable chair. Avoid doing homework on the floor or on your bed, because these areas are more likely to make you sleepy and distracted. [1]

  2. How to Get Your Homework Done in College

    Hit the Reset Button Don't get caught up in the get-caught-up trap. If you fall behind on your homework, it's easy to think -- and hope -- that you'll be able to catch up. So you'll set a plan to catch up, but the more you try to catch up, the more you fall behind.

  3. How to Do Homework: 15 Expert Tips and Tricks

    1. You've just been assigned an essay in your English class that's due at the end of the week. What's the first thing you do? A. Keep it in mind, even though you won't start it until the day before it's due B. Open up your planner.

  4. 8 Proven Hacks to Get Your Homework Done Fast

    Getting your homework done as soon as you can is always a good idea. After your classes, the information you've learned is still fresh in your memory. So applying these concepts in your assignments will be easier. It also helps to have a routine - for instance, getting started on your homework one hour before dinner every weekday.

  5. 10 Tips to Get Your Homework Done Fast

    10 Tips to Get Your Homework Done Fast 10 Nov 2023 10 Tips to Get Your Homework Done Fast 5 minutes for reading Introduction It's a tale as old as time: the clock ticking away ominously as you sit there, a heap of untouched homework glaring at you.

  6. How to Do Homework (with Pictures)

    2. Eliminate as many distractions as possible. Put your phone away, get away from your computer, and make your environment as quiet as possible. Giving homework your undivided attention will actually make it easier, because your mind won't be balancing different tasks at the same time.

  7. How to Get Homework Done Fast

    1. Plan a Schedule for Your Homework 2. Gather All The Supplies 3. Find the perfect place 4. Turn Off All Your Personal Devices 5. Think About the Benefits of Homework You May Also Like 6. Find the right study method 7. Find a study partner 8. Put On Some Music 9. Take short breaks

  8. How To Do Homework

    Today I show you how to quickly complete homework. When it comes to completing homework it's extremely important that you get it done on time, but most impor...

  9. How to Get Children to Do Homework

    By Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC 1981 40 Parents often feel it's their job to get their kids to do well in school. Naturally, you might get anxious about this responsibility as a parent. You might also get nervous about your kids succeeding in life—and homework often becomes the focus of that concern.

  10. Strategies to Make Homework Go More Smoothly

    Step 1. Find a location in the house where homework will be done. The right location will depend on your child and the culture of your family. Some children do best at a desk in their bedroom. It is a quiet location, away from the hubbub of family noise.

  11. Get Your Homework Done by Ron Kurtus

    Jacob would start writing a report on his computer, but then every 5 minutes, he would check Twitter to see what was going on with his friends or his favorite celebrity. Afterwards, he would complain that he never had enough time to do his homework. Every time you get distracted, you lose your concentration and train of thought.

  12. 4 Ways to Get Your Kids to Do Their Homework

    1. Pick a quiet spot. Create a quiet place for your children to do their homework. Keep distractions, like television and music, away from this area. Try to reduce the amount of people coming and going in this area, and keep younger children away from older ones who are trying to study. 2.

  13. Doing Homework When You Have ADHD Is Painful

    The Homework System That Really Works. ADHD and homework mix like oil and water. All of the little details — from writing down assignments to remembering due dates — require intense focus and memory. With these routines, teachers and parents can replace after-school tantrums with higher grades. By ADDitude Editors Verified Updated on March ...

  14. Is it Okay to Nag Kids to Do Their Homework?

    Sit down and do your homework," means you're taking on more responsibility than your child is to get his homework done. If you spend your evening nagging, begging, and trying to motivate your child to do his work, you're likely putting more energy and investment in their work than they are.

  15. My Teen Won't Do Homework. How Can I Fix This?

    Ask your teen for ways you can help, but don't lec­ture. Lectures about poor work habits and constant reminders about the negative consequences of unfinished homework can cre­ate more dependency. 3. Empower your teenager. Chores are a great way to empower teens. Delegating demonstrates your confidence in their ability.

  16. Homework Emotions in Children and Parents

    Most often, what motivates a child to do his or her homework (or a parent to oversee it) are negative emotions. Negative emotions, like distress, fear, anger, disgust, and shame, will motivate a ...

  17. A Parent's Guide: How to Focus on Homework without any rama

    2. Sens ory needs: We all have sensory needs or preferences. You know preferring dim lights or loving loud music. Or, maybe for your child, they love to move and be active? Maybe, they get overstimulated when lots of people are talking or there's a lot of noise? If so, school itself can be hard.

  18. Stop Homework Meltdowns Before They Start: Teens with ADHD

    Dear Teen Parenting Coach Q: The Big Problem of Even Bigger Homework Meltdowns You are exhausted by your teen's resistance to homework — yelling, slamming doors, and refusing to take responsibility for assignments due. Is there any hope for stemming the meltdowns and incentivizing your child to take ownership of homework done well — and on time?

  19. 10 Homework & Study Tips for Students with ADHD/ADD

    The bedroom is a place for sleep, rest, and relaxation — not work and stress. 2. Create a consistent schedule. It is important for kids with ADD/ADHD to have a consistent routine. This will help your child start his or her homework and focus. Set a time each day for your child to sit down and complete his or her work. 3.

  20. Done his homework

    1. Literally, to complete the school work that has been assigned by a teacher to be done at home. You can't watch any more television until you do your homework! 2. To be thoroughly prepared and informed about something or something, especially in advance of some process, action, or decision.

  21. 6 Tips to Help Your Child with ADHD Get His Homework Done!

    Encourage the child to take short, non-stimulating breaks between tasks . Breaks should be going to get a light snack, walking around the house, etc. and not be anything that might be overly engaging such as playing videogames or watching television. Have consistency with expectations of homework . Make studying and homework completion daily ...

  22. Help! How Can I Get My Kid to Do His Homework?

    Remember -- he is the one with the homework, not you. While it is important to help an 8-year-old get his lessons finished, avoid coming across as needing him to manage your anxiety about his work. • Incentivize. Humans are motivated by one of two things: a desire to experience pleasure or to avoid pain. Rather than focusing on the latter ...

  23. He told me that he had done his homework honestly

    Indirect speech: "He said to me that he had done his homework honestly." In the indirect speech, the conjunction "that" is used instead of the quotation marks. The pronoun "I" is changed to "he." The reporting verb "told" is changed to "said." Finally, the time expression "yesterday" changes to "that day" or "then."