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Homework - get into the habit

homework; personal organiser; school; learn; work; study; diary; teacher; home; timetable; focus; motivation; concentration;


Dr Kate says    

Lots of kids groan about homework. They think that if you are working at school all day, you shouldn't have to do it at home too. You should be able to relax and have fun, play sports, hang out with friends and do all the relaxing things you need to do after a hard day at school.

Homework does have its 'up-side'

  • home workYou can practise what you have learned.
  • You can learn things you need to know by heart, eg. times-tables, spelling.
  • You can learn how to work alone and be responsible for your work.
  • You can get into the routine of organising your time so that you can do all the things you have to do or want to do.
  • You don't need to go into a panic about doing tests because you know the work.

Did you know that in 'the olden days', people often stayed in the same job, at the same place and doing the same thing all of their working lives?

Sounds pretty boring doesn't it?

Nowadays people change jobs or their job changes, they move all over the country or even to other countries because of their job, and they are learning all the time!

That means that even when you are working, you need to do 'homework' to keep up with all the changes in your life. If you learn to use your time well and work well at home when you are a kid, it will help you to cope well with all these changes when you are grown up.

How to organise for homework 

  • home workUse a diary to write down your homework and make a note of when you have to hand it in.
  • If you don't understand something ask the teacher before you go home.
  • Have a special study area.
  • Get into a study routine. Do homework every night, even when you haven't got any. Use the time to practise skills, read or find out about something.
  • Make a homework timetable. Put down all the things you do after school - eg. sport, music lessons, drama etc. - and work out when your homework time will be each night. Stick to it, and you will find that homework gets easier to manage and you still have time to hang out with your friends.
  • Do your work on your own. It's OK to ask mum or dad for help - after you have had a really good try by yourself. They're not going to be sitting next to you at school so you need to learn how to do things by yourself don't you?
  • Negotiate with mum and dad about programs you want to watch so that you can work round your favourite shows. Or ask if you can record them so that you can watch when you have time.
  • home workIf you know something special is happening that night - eg. you're going straight to a birthday party - ask your teacher if you can have extra time or work at lunch so that you get your work done.
  • Catch up on work missed if you are sick.
  • Get work from school if you are sick for more than two days or are going to be away for a long time.
  • Make it a rule that you don't do homework on weekends, then make sure you get it all done during the week so that you can keep the rule.

After all, a kid has got to have some fun! So do parents!

Plan: Sunday nights can be pretty awful if someone suddenly decides that the three-week project they haven't started yet is due to be handed in the next day!

How much homework?

In many schools K-2 kids get 15 minutes homework.

Grade 3-4 kids get 30-45 minutes homework.

Grade 5-6 kids get up to 60 minutes homework, and that increases as you get older and go into High School. Your school may be a bit different or only have homework on certain nights.

How much homework do you get at your school?

If you get into the homework habit, it will help you all your life and you'll still have time to do all the other things you want to do.

Why not get mum or dad to help you make a personal organiser?

Big business people and the rich and famous use personal organisers so that they can find time to fit everything into their lives. Why not you?

It might look something like this...

My personal organiser

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
4 PM          
Work done          
Schoolbag packed          


You could use it like this:

  • Put in all your sports/music/after school lessons. You can't change the times on these.
  • Put in family 'events'.
  • Put in time for your family meal.
  • Put in your homework.
  • Put in your favourite TV program (ask if you can tape it - then you can watch it when you have the time.)

Once you have done this, you will find that you still have heaps of time to do other things that you want to do.

Get mum, dad or your carer to sign when they've seen your homework. This would be a good time for you to get them to read and sign notes or have a chat with you.

Homework excuses

Some kids have some really amazing excuses for why they didn't get their homework done.

Here are a few of them:

  • My dog ate the book.
  • home workMy baby brother/sister ate the book/scribbled on it/threw up on it.
  • An alien took my homework.
  • I did it but it vanished overnight.
  • My friend lost it in her bedroom.
  • I left it in the car.
  • It fell into the river on my way to school.
  • My mum can't find the book.
  • I gave it to the teacher and she lost it.

What's the best excuse you have heard?

The thing is that you have to keep thinking up new excuses because your teacher has probably heard most of them before!

I guess that if you have to keep thinking of new excuses and the teacher doesn't accept them, then it might be easier to just do the homework! Making up excuses isn't taking responsibility for yourself, and isn't helping you to do well.

Dr Kate says:

Dr Kate"As you get older, you get longer assignments. Your teacher might give you days or weeks to complete the work. Use your diary to plan, and aim to finish before the due date. No mad panics the night before, and you have time to do work you can be proud of. How good is that?

 After all, if you have to do homework you might as well do a good job or else it's a waste of time - your time!"


Homework is dumb
It's a pain in the b--.
It's boring and bad.
When I don't get it I'm glad.
But sometimes I wonder
About all this homework.
And if I don't do it
Maybe…just maybe I'll turn out a jerk!

By Susanne
Homework is boring.
Homework takes time.
Does your teacher set lots?
Yes? So does mine.
Excuses, excuses there are all sorts to share.
"Our baby ate it,"
"It was taken by a bear"
But it's not worth the trouble,
Although homework takes time,
You might as well do it.
That's the end of my rhyme.

By Ailish

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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