What's Your Question?
- History & Geography
- Science & Technology
- Business & Finance
- Pets & Animals
Why Should Homework Be Banned?
Homework should be banned because there is no evidence that it correlates to better learning or grades. Additionally, too much homework can detract from other important activities and relationships that are essential for the child’s development.
Though having been a staple of school for generations, there is actually little if any evidence to suggest homework has any real benefit for children. The supposed goal of it is to reinforce concepts taught during the school day, but studies suggest that the benefits of homework are negligible at best. There is no statistical relationship between homework and how well a child does in school, especially in elementary school.
Additionally, there are detriments to children being assigned too much homework, detriments that some argue would negate any benefits, however small, that homework might bring. For example, homework detracts from family time. It also makes it difficult for children to engage in free play and to strengthen bonds with neighbors and friends. Balancing a heavy homework load with extracurricular activities can be all but impossible, which can result in children engaging less often in other worthy pursuits, such as learning a musical instrument or participating in sports.
Some studies do suggest that if homework is to remain, educators must take a good hard look at quality over quantity to ensure that the types of assignments they give actually have value rather than being assigned for the sake of tradition or routine.
MORE FROM REFERENCE.COM
- For Parents
- For Educators
- General Health
- Growth & Development
- Diseases & Conditions
- Pregnancy & Baby
- Nutrition & Fitness
- Emotions & Behavior
- School & Family Life
- First Aid & Safety
- Doctors & Hospitals
- Expert Answers (Q&A)
- Parents Home
- Sitio para padres
- How the Body Works
- Puberty & Growing Up
- Staying Healthy
- Staying Safe
- Health Problems
- Illnesses & Injuries
- Relax & Unwind
- People, Places & Things That Help
- Sitio para niños
- Sexual Health
- Food & Fitness
- Drugs & Alcohol
- School & Jobs
- Sitio para adolescentes
4 Ways to Make Homework Easier
- Listen Play Stop Volume mp3 Settings Close Player
- Larger text size Large text size Regular text size
Homework can seem overwhelming at times, especially in high school. One of the biggest challenges of being a high school student is learning how you work best — and this can look a little different for everyone.
Luckily, you can try many different strategies to find what works best for you.
1. Create a Homework Plan
Understand the assignment. Write it down wherever you keep track of your assignments, such as a notebook or an app on your phone. Don't be afraid to ask questions about what's expected. It's much easier to ask the teacher during or after class than to struggle to remember later that night. Consider asking your teachers how long they expect specific assignments to take.
Start as soon as you can. Use any free periods during your school day to start your homework. If you don’t have any free periods, take a few minutes to look at all your assignments during school so you have a chance to ask questions before you go home.
Budget your time. It’s normal for students to have a few hours of homework a night. If it's a heavy homework day, you'll need to devote more time to it. Try to come up with a homework schedule, especially if you're involved in extracurriculars or have an after-school job.
2. Find a Good Place to Work
When you settle down to study or do homework, where do you do it? Parked in front of the TV? In the kitchen, with other family members distracting you? Maybe these places worked when you were younger and homework was simpler, but your homework is probably more complicated now.
Find a place to focus. You'll do best if you can find a place to get away from distractions, like a bedroom or study. If your house is noisy no matter where you go, try searching online for study music, anything you find relaxing or inspiring. This can help drown out noise in your environment — just be mindful of the volume so you don’t hurt your ears.
Make sure you feel comfortable. Sit at a desk or table that’s comfortable, or try spreading out on the floor. It’s usually best to avoid your bed because you might get sleepy or have trouble sleeping later on. As long as you find a spot where you feel comfortable (and not tired), you’ll be able to focus.
3. Get to Work
Get in the right mood. If you start working while you feel stressed out, anxious, or otherwise in a bad mood, you may not get much done. Try practicing a mindfulness or breathing exercise before getting started, even just for a few minutes. These will help you focus better.
Decide where to start. Some people like to start with the easy assignments to get them out of the way, while others prefer to tackle the more challenging assignments first. Consider which strategy will work better for you. Try both and see if you notice a difference.
Keep moving. If you get stuck, try to figure out the problem, but don't spend too much time on it because you need time for your other assignments. If you need to, ask someone for help, like an adult or sibling. You could also text a classmate — just do your best to stay on topic.
Take breaks. Most people have short attention spans. Sitting for too long without stretching or relaxing will make you less productive than if you stop every so often. Taking a 15-minute break every hour is a good idea for most people. (If you're really concentrating, wait until it's a good time to stop.)
4. Get Help When You Need It
Even when you pay attention in class, study for tests, and do your homework, some subjects may still seem too hard. Don’t be afraid to ask for homework help — from teachers, counselors, friends, or family members. They'll respect your honesty and most are happy to help.
- EXPLORE Coupons Tech Help Pro Random Article About Us 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
- EDIT Edit this Article
- PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
- Browse Articles
- Learn Something New
- This Or That Game New
- Train Your Brain
- Explore More
- Support wikiHow
- About wikiHow
- H&M Coupons
- Hotwire Promo Codes
- StubHub Discount Codes
- Ashley Furniture Coupons
- Blue Nile Promo Codes
- NordVPN Coupons
- Samsung Promo Codes
- Chewy Promo Codes
- Ulta Coupons
- Vistaprint Promo Codes
- Shutterfly Promo Codes
- DoorDash Promo Codes
- Office Depot Coupons
- adidas Promo Codes
- Home Depot Coupons
- DSW Coupons
- Bed Bath and Beyond Coupons
- Lowe's Coupons
- Surfshark Coupons
- Nordstrom Coupons
- Walmart Promo Codes
- Dick's Sporting Goods Coupons
- Fanatics Coupons
- Edible Arrangements Coupons
- eBay Coupons
- Log in / Sign up
- Education and Communications
- Study Skills
- Homework Skills
How to Do Homework
Last Updated: May 20, 2023 References
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 viewed 943,858 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
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Planning Your Homework
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.  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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
Expert Q&A Did you know you can get expert answers for this article? Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow
Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer.
- If you missed school that day, then you should call a friend to get the notes and/or homework from that day. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- 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 0
- 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 0
- 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 23 Not Helpful 0
- If you forget your homework, your teacher might not accept late work or may even give you more homework. Thanks Helpful 6 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
- ↑ 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
- ↑ http://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
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
Dec 2, 2017
Did this article help you?
Oct 25, 2017
May 27, 2017
Jun 3, 2017
Sep 13, 2021
- Do Not Sell or Share My Info
- Not Selling Info
wikiHow Tech Help Pro:
Level up your tech skills and stay ahead of the curve
Choose Your Test
Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to do homework: 15 expert tips and tricks.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!”
How To Do Your Homework: 8 Tips & Strategies To Get It Done
Homework is an important part of a student’s academic journey because it plays an important role in preparing students for success in their academic and professional careers.
It is a task that is assigned by teachers to be completed outside of the classroom, such as solving problems, writing, reading, or researching.
Homework can help us to reinforce what we have learned in class, improve independent study habits, and improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
It can also provide an opportunity for parents or guardians to be involved in their child’s education and track their progress.
But for some students, it can be a complex and time-consuming task. However, with proper planning and organization, completing your homework on time can be a manageable task.
So, let’s know some of the best tips on how to do your homework that can help you to finish your homework easily.
And also if you want to get the best homework help service from experts, then you can contact our experts who will provide you with top-notch & plagiarism-free homework service within the given deadline at an affordable price.
So, let’s get started!
5 Importance Of Doing Homework
Table of Contents
Homework can be important for many reasons. Here are some of the most common reasons why it is important to do homework:
- Develop Responsibility: completing homework or assignment every day can help you develop discipline and responsibility, skills that are very important for success in academics and in life.
- Prepares For Exams: It can also help you to prepare for exams by allowing you to practice and apply the concepts you have learned in class.
- Improve Critical Thinking: It also requires you to think critically and independently, which can improve your problem-solving and analytical skills.
- Build Time-Management Skills: You can also develop your time-management skills by managing your time effectively to finish homework.
Reinforces Learning: It provides an opportunity for you to practice and reinforce what you have learned in class, which can lead to better retention of information.
Get useful Instructions on How To Do Your Homework
Homework actually is not a burden if you enjoy the process of doing it. Basically, homework helps to know how well we have understood the concept of a particular chapter. However, it also prepares for any test and is a good practicing tool that ensures our improvement. In addition to this, it also teaches us time management and prioritizing work. Thus, it directly makes a self-disciplined
These benefits of homework make your learning process interesting and faster. However, we have 10 useful instructions on How To Do Your Homework. Follow them to improve your homework success.
1. Review the material that relates to your homework
So first of all, you have to review the textbook, stationary, or any other material that directly relates to your homework. Usually, it happens when a student starts doing their homework and then suddenly then gets to know that they forget something which breaks their concentration and focus on the work.
However, a proper review will expand your chances of completing your homework successfully. Being a student if you are habitual of forgetting things then you should improve it. Besides, if you want to be successful in the learning process then must review your textbook first which requires completing the homework assignments.
2. Evaluate your lecture notes
After reviewing your textbooks, you should also review your homework lecture notes. If you feel like carrying the burden of your books then it is recommended to take lecture notes on that particular subject which you want to learn.
3. Complete your homework neatly
You should do your homework as neat and clean as possible. However, there are several benefits of doing homework neatly. Firstly, when you ask your teacher about any homework doubts, he/she will be able to understand your handwriting to solve the problem.
Thus, your teacher would easily identify your mistake and help you to make it correct. Moreover, when you review your notes for final or mid-term exams then you can quickly learn the homework getting to the bottom of the concept.
4. Evaluate these Opinions when you don’t understand
If you do not understand a particular topic then start reviewing the following points.
Opinion 1: Firstly, you should evaluate your textbook material that relates to your Query
Opinion 2: Afterwards, you should review your lecture notes related to your problem
Opinion 3: Then, you should evaluate other similar problems related to diagrams, examples, etc that help to find the misunderstood material.
Opinion 4: If still you do not find any solution in your notes or textbook then you can refer to another solution guide. However, you can also take help from youtube videos, and computer software programs to obtain a better understanding of the material.
Opinion 5: You can ask your family or friends to help you out with the problem.
Opinion 6: If you are still stuck in a problem, then you may contact your tutor or instructor for help .
So this is how to do your homework faster in the slotted time .
5. Make a Schedule
To do your homework with full focus and concentration power, you should make a schedule first. Some students do house chores and often forget or stop doing the homework as they are in the middle of some other work.
If you are also one of them, then you should set a schedule so that you can give proper time to your studies as well. As a better way to deal with the situation, you can make a routine and stick to it every day.
6. Be attentive in your class
You should be attentive and focused during your class sessions. This will make your homework much easier. By paying attention to your class and completing homework on time, you can enjoy the whole day peacefully. If you are attentive in your class then you can also clear your doubt without taking help from anyone. This is how to stay focused on homework .
Point to remember: Whenever you learn something new in your class then always make sure to take notes. Thus, it will help you to do the homework faster.
7. Make an Effective Planning
Planning plays a crucial role in achieving one’s goals. If you really want to do your homework fast and on time then you have to plan the most efficient ways of managing the time. Along with that, you also need to establish a reliable system for tracking the basic requirements. Such requirements are what you need to do today, what’s the planning for today? How many assignments need to be completed today, etc? If you go with planning then you can also achieve your goal of doing homework efficiently and effectively.
With proper planning, you can manage the time as well, so that you can easily give extra time to fun activities.
8. Take a Short break
Additionally, it’s critical to unwind your body and mind. You can do this by taking short breaks in between your homework hours. Basically, you should set a specific amount of time in which you need to take a break and stick to that routine. However, you also need to make sure one thing is not to extend it too much as it disturbs your entire routine schedule.
Sometimes students start doing their homework after reaching home, they don’t relax their body. Don’t do that… Take care of yourself and give yourself an hour to relax before starting the homework. So this is how to do your homework effectively.
Conclusion (How To Do Your Homework)
In this blog, we have listed 8 interesting ways How To Do Your Homework. If you are also one of those students who struggle daily in doing their homework then this blog will help you out. Here we provide 8 different solutions for doing homework.
Being a student homework feels like a punishment. Some find it easier and some find it harder. But if you want to be a good person then you should be able to take responsibility and homework teaches the same. If you take the responsibility of doing homework daily then this prepares you to become a better and responsible person. Besides, you learn something new by doing homework. So do not take it as a punishment but enjoy it by following our 8 simple ways.
FAQs (How To Do Your Homework)
Is there any way to finish the homework faster.
Yes, there is always a way. You can simply make a schedule and stick to it until you start doing it by yourself.
Is it compulsory to do Homework?
Yes, it is compulsory to do homework and submit it on time. This helps in boosting up your learning process and makes you more responsible in attaining your goals.
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 – 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 .
Recently viewed courses
Find Your Dream School
COVID-19 Update: To help students through this crisis, The Princeton Review will continue our "Enroll with Confidence" refund policies. For full details, please click here.
Enter your email to unlock an extra $25 off an SAT or ACT program!
How many times have you found yourself still staring at your textbook around midnight (or later!) even when you started your homework hours earlier? Those lost hours could be explained by Parkinson’s Law, which states, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, if you give yourself all night to memorize those geometry formulas for your quiz tomorrow, you’ll inevitably find that a 30 minute task has somehow filled your entire evening.
We know that you have more homework than ever. But even with lots and lots to do, a few tweaks to your study routine could help you spend less time getting more accomplished. Here are 8 steps to make Parkinson’s Law work to your advantage:
1. Make a list
This should be a list of everything that has to be done that evening. And we mean, everything—from re-reading notes from this morning’s history class to quizzing yourself on Spanish vocabulary.
2. Estimate the time needed for each item on your list
You can be a little ruthless here. However long you think a task will take, try shaving off 5 or 10 minutes. But, be realistic. You won’t magically become a speed reader.
Free SAT Practice Tests & Events
Evaluate and improve your SAT score.
3. Gather all your gear
Collect EVERYTHING you will need for the homework you are working on (like your laptop for writing assignments and pencils for problem sets). Getting up for supplies takes you off course and makes it that much harder to get back to your homework.
The constant blings and beeps from your devices can make it impossible to focus on what you are working on. Switch off or silence your phones and tablets, or leave them in another room until it’s time to take a tech break.
Read More: How to Calculate Your GPA
5. Time yourself
Noting how much time something actually takes will help you estimate better and plan your next study session.
6. Stay on task
If you’re fact checking online, it can be so easy to surf on over to a completely unrelated site. A better strategy is to note what information you need to find online, and do it all at once at the end of the study session.
7. Take plenty of breaks
Most of us need a break between subjects or to break up long stretches of studying. Active breaks are a great way to keep your energy up. Tech breaks can be an awesome way to combat the fear of missing out that might strike while you are buried in your work, but they also tend to stretch much longer than originally intended. Stick to a break schedule of 10 minutes or so.
8. Reward yourself!
Finish early? If you had allocated 30 minutes for reading a biology chapter and it only took 20, you can apply those extra 10 minutes to a short break—or just move on to your next task. If you stay on track, you might breeze through your work quickly enough to catch up on some Netflix.
Our best piece of advice? Keep at it. The more you use this system, the easier it will become. You’ll be surprised by how much time you can shave off homework just by focusing and committing to a distraction-free study plan.
Stuck on homework?
Try an online tutoring session with one of our experts, and get homework help in 40+ subjects.
Try a Free Session
Explore Colleges For You
Connect with our featured colleges to find schools that both match your interests and are looking for students like you.
Take our short quiz to learn which is the right career for you.
Get Started on Athletic Scholarships & Recruiting!
Join athletes who were discovered, recruited & often received scholarships after connecting with NCSA's 42,000 strong network of coaches.
Best 388 Colleges
154,000 students rate everything from their professors to their campus social scene.
SAT Prep Courses
1400+ course, act prep courses, free sat practice test & events, 1-800-2review, sat® 1400+ course, our top sat experts teach the strategies proven to have helped our students join the top 5% of test takers..
Free MCAT Review Guide
Thank you! Look for the MCAT Review Guide in your inbox.
1-800-2REVIEW (800-273-8439) ext. 1
1-800-2REVIEW (800-273-8439) ext. 2
- Teach or Tutor for Us
- Enrollment Terms & Conditions
- Cigna Medical Transparency in Coverage
Mon-Fri 9AM-10PM ET
Sat-Sun 9AM-8PM ET
Local Offices: Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM
Mon-Fri 9AM-9PM ET
Sat-Sun 8:30AM-5PM ET
- SAT Subject Tests
- Social Studies
Find the Right College
- College Rankings
- College Advice
- Applying to College
- Financial Aid
School & District Partnerships
- Professional Development
- Advice Articles
- Private Tutoring
- Mobile Apps
- Local Offices
- International Offices
- Work for Us
- Affiliate Program
- Partner with Us
- Advertise with Us
- International Partnerships
- Our Guarantees
©2023 TPR Education IP Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University
TPR Education, LLC (doing business as “The Princeton Review”) is controlled by Primavera Holdings Limited, a firm owned by Chinese nationals with a principal place of business in Hong Kong, China.
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.
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.
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.
Get our latest tips, new articles, and expert advice direct to your inbox every week.
- Parenting Advice & Articles
- Clinical Care Programs
- School & Educator Programs
- Science, Data, & Research
- Resources in Spanish
- Book Lists by Age
- Book Lists by Category
- Reading Resources
- Language & Speech
- Raise a Reader Blog
- Back to School
- Success Guides by Grade
- Homework Help
- Social & Emotional Learning
- Activities for Kids
9 Smart Tips for Homework Success
Help kids manage their homework load with these strategies..
Even children who enjoy doing homework can lose their enthusiasm for it over the course of the school year, and find ways to stall or avoid doing it. But after-school study time is important, both for reinforcing the day’s learning and for lending structure to your child’s day.
“Homework isn’t just about academics,” says Karen Burke, SVP of Data Analysis and Academic Planning, Scholastic Education Solutions. “It can help students create routines and build responsible behaviors.”
Playing cop rarely works — micromanaging and nagging only make kids feel incapable or frustrated. Instead, think of yourself as a coach and cheerleader.
“Generally, the idea of homework should be to help students set goals, build independence, and practice applying the knowledge they are gaining,” says Burke.
To help you get there, we asked teachers and parents to share their strategies for solving the most common homework struggles. These 10 tips will bring harmony back into your homework routine, whether your child is a kindergartner or 5th grader, perfectionist or procrastinator.
1. Do It Early
Give your child a time frame in which to get down to business. In your household, this may be before or after extracurriculars.
Work with your child to identify the time when their energy and focus are at their peak. This gives your child some control over their schedule. (Some kids need a longer break after school, and others need to start right away to keep the momentum going.)
However, plan on 5 p.m. being the latest they can start their homework.
2. Phone a Friend
From kindergarten onward, kids should have a list of three or four classmates they can call on when they forget an assignment, or even just to ask a question. Study buddies can provide motivation for each other to get the work done.
3. Collaborate to Build Confidence
When kids don’t understand a concept right away, they may feel like they’re not smart enough and start to shut down, says Sigrid Grace, a 2nd grade teacher in Michigan.
Short-circuit negative thinking by sitting down with your child and figuring out the first problem in the assignment together. This should help jog their memory to complete the rest. Then, heap on the praise: “You did a great job on that one! Try the next one now.”
4. Change the Scenery
Sometimes something as simple as changing up their workspace can boost a child’s motivation and, in turn, their confidence. If your child has been working alone at a desk or designated study nook, perhaps they’d be more comfortable doing their homework in a public area, like the kitchen table while you’re preparing dinner.
Conversely, if they’ve been working in a high-traffic part of the house, they might need a more private space in which to focus.
5. Keep the Positive Feedback Coming
Younger kids need instant feedback, so it’s okay for parents of young grade-schoolers to correct mistakes, says Grace, the 2nd grade teacher. Follow this up with specific praise about what your child has done well.
6. Leave the Room
“Kids who drag things out are often doing so for your attention — they’re enjoying the interaction on some level,” explains Grace. “Avoid joining in.”
If you must stay in the room, have your child work in a spot that’s farther away from whatever you’re doing.
7. Beat the Clock
Sometimes procrastinators just need a jump-start. If that’s true for your child, try this:
Set a timer for five minutes and have your child work as quickly and steadily as they can until the timer goes off. At that point, they can choose to take a short break or keep going — many kids continue.
“Racing against a timer gives kids an external sense of urgency if they don’t have an internal one,” says Ann Dolin, a former educator.
However, a timed work session is not an excuse for sloppy work. Make sure your child reviews theirs before submitting it.
8. Plan, Plan, Plan
To get the most out of your days, include every appointment — from sports practice to meals to reading time — on a big calendar or schedule log and stick it in a central place where every member of the household can see it.
If you know that certain nights present a conflict with your child’s homework schedule, you can ask for the week’s assignments upfront and work with your child to decide the best times to complete them, says Cathy Vatterott, a professor of education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
“Teachers will often work with you on this, but most parents are afraid to ask,” she says.
9. Let ’Em Vent
If your child is resisting doing their homework — or worse, is tearing up over it in frustration — soothe any pent-up worries by letting them complain. Listen, empathize (“Wow, that is a lot of work”), and state their feelings back to them (“You sound upset”).
Once your child feels understood, they’ll be more likely to accept your suggestions, says Dolin — and better able to focus on what needs to be done.
You can also help by talking to your child about what they remember from class and steering them to the textbook. If they’re still lost, have them write a note to the teacher explaining that they don’t understand.
Get ready for your child to go back to school with our guide — it's full of recommended books, tips to help if your child is struggling with homework , and more resources for starting the year off right .
Shop workbooks and learning kits to support good homework habits. You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store .