Homework is one of those things you do because it needs to be done. But what happens when students struggle to complete assignments? Researchers have discovered that children who have difficulty completing homework tasks often lack executive function skills. Executive function refers to a set of abilities that allow people to plan, organize, prioritize, problem solve, and pay attention.
The good news is that there are ways to teach students the skills necessary to complete homework effectively. In this article, we explore the various factors that keep students from completing their homework, and how these factors can be dealt with.
What can you do if a student refuses to do work?
Most teachers have been in a situation where students refuse to do the work they are assigned. Whether it is because they don't understand the assignment or because they feel like they can’t do it, there are several things that teachers can do to help them learn to overcome obstacles.
For example, you can ask the student to explain the reasoning behind his or her refusing to do the work. If he or she is struggling because of personal reasons, you can allow the student to hand in the work later, or even assign an extra credit for the completed assignment. You can also provide additional instructions if needed.
What are the reasons why students don't do their homework?
There are different reasons why a student might not complete his homework but this problem is generally attributed to two primary factors:
Lack of understanding: Sometimes students don’t understand their homework assignments so they ignore them instead of reviewing what they learned in class.
Lack of motivation: Some students may not want to do the work because they are bored with the subject matter. Others may believe that they are incapable of completing the task. They may also dislike the way you teach the material. Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that every person learns differently so it’s important to find ways to motivate each student.
Tips to encourage students to do their homework
Getting kids to do their homework, after going through an entire school day, can be complicated. However, there are things that you can do to encourage students to complete their homework and elevate their learning experience.
Use a digital student planner
It can be difficult to get student learning practices right. However, there are things you can do to help your students optimize time management. A digital student planner makes it easier for today's Internet-savvy students to stay on top of their work.
With so much homework being assigned every day, it’s easy for students to get overwhelmed. Thankfully, with a planner, they can easily see what they have to do, by day and by week, and therefore dedicate time to each homework assignment. This helps improve grade levels and prevents late assignments.
Create a clear homework policy
With a clear homework policy, you communicate expectations consistently. This helps students understand what they must do to meet these expectations. You might say something like "I expect my students to turn in homework on Monday" or "I expect my students' homework to resolve math practice questions every night".
Break down tasks
One thing that works really well is breaking down large assignments into smaller ones. Instead of tackling a huge project all at once, try breaking it up into smaller pieces. For example, say you want to write a paper for English class. Instead of writing the whole thing at once, start by writing a rough draft of the introductory paragraph. Once you've finished that, move on to the body paragraphs. When you finish those, go back and add the conclusion.
Talk through problems
Students are often frustrated when they hit a roadblock while completing assignments so it’s important to find a way to help them overcome those challenges. The best way to do this is to simply talk to them about the issues they are facing and provide help when needed.
Provide adequate support
If you want your students to succeed, make sure that they have access to sufficient resources. For example, provide ample time for students to complete their homework. If you've got limited time, consider providing additional materials, such as worksheets or study guides. You can also leverage online tools to help them keep track of their progress. You might even want to consider integrating team-based learning into your homework policy to allow students to collaborate on project ideas. This will also encourage the development of listening skills and social skills.
The best digital student planner
A planner can help students manage their time better and develop good study habits. Studyo developed a digital student planner that allows students to easily stay on top of the work they have to do. Whether it is a quick math paper, or a long-term project, they will know exactly what they need to do and by what date.
Our planner automatically syncs to Google Classroom. This means that assignments are instantly uploaded to it and ensures that students don’t miss assignments. Our student planner is personalized to your school and allows students to track their progress.