10 Real Reasons Students Aren't Doing Their Homework

Author: Naimish Gohil

Posted: 09 Jun 2013

Estimated time to read: 3 mins

Remember when you were at school and hadn't done your homework? What excuse did you come up with? You completed it but you left it at home? It's in your other bag? A goose ate it on your walk to school? Whatever you came up with, any parent and their parents before them have passed on a few stories of what they used to tell teachers about their homework.

Although some stories might be a little exaggerated, the truth is that these worlds might indeed be quite different from the one our students are growing up in today. But, something that hasn’t changed much are the real reasons why students don’t do their homework. Whilst students might give made up excuses when put on the spot, often these excuses are hiding the real truth of why they didn't complete their work. And here comes the shock: It's not always their fault!

Here are 10 real reasons that students aren't doing their homework:

1. It’s boring 

Let’s face it, if you've been in school all day listening to the teachers and doing work, so why would you want to come home and do some more?

2. The instructions are too hard to understand

Okay. Be honest. Maybe you weren’t totally listening. Maybe you don’t know what to do or how to do it. Or maybe the homework was not explained clearly enough for you to understand. Whatever the case, it’s just too difficult.

3. It’s too easy

It just does not make sense to do more of what a person already knows how to do, so why do it? If you can write an essay well, what is the purpose of rewriting it or writing another one, for that matter? If you can solve some math problems, do you really need to do another page or two? If you already know what is going to happen in a science or marketing experiment, do you have to outline each step and complete them all?

4. It’s not a priority

With sports, music and art classes and a whole range of additional extracurricular activities, maybe some do volunteer work or have a job, and don’t forget hanging out with friends plus if you throw in a couple of other class assignments, you get the picture … so why would this homework be a high priority to finish?


5. They forgot

Does this sound familiar? I forgot to copy the assignment down. I don’t remember parts of the assignment. I forgot to bring the work home. I forgot the materials I need to do it. I don’t remember when it is due.

6. It’s pointless and irrelevant

I’m sick of it. Perhaps the work does not seem to relate to anything really meaningful so you don’t want to spend any time on it. Maybe it looks like busy work and it does not seem worthwhile.

7. There’s no place to do it

The house is noisy, there’s other family members interfering with a quiet place to work, the rooms are too cluttered so there is no good space to work.

8. They don’t have the necessary equipment

The computer crashed or the electricity went out… the slide ruler is misplaced or there are no working batteries for the calculator.

9. There’s just too much of it

Maybe it seems overwhelming. Maybe it is hard to organize what needs to be done. Maybe you just don’t know how or where to start.

10. It doesn’t matter if I do it

It only counts for a few points or it’s not graded anyway, so why do it at all?

No matter the subject, there are always going to be those who have an excuse for not wanting to do their homework. When setting homework try and bear some of these common excuses at mind, and create a task that students have a hard time thinking up an excuse for. 

download the improtance of homework guide PDF