Coping with Homework

Here's our top ten tips on how to cope with managing your homework:

1. Use a homework diary

If you have a clear idea of how much homework you need to do that evening, week or month, you won't be caught out by nasty surprises. Keep a diary so you can track coursework deadlines well in advance and also so that you recall smaller exercises which need completing over the next few days. Try to estimate how much time each task will take you so that you can plan ahead. 

2. Manage your commitments

Think through your week when planning. Is there a football match, music lesson or favourite TV programme you don't want to miss? Allow for this in your plans so you don't run out of time.

3. Prioritise

Subject to time shortage, consider what needs completing first and weight the tasks on whether they are coursework and when the deadlines are for each one.

4. Don't put it off

It may be the subject you like least but the homework still needs doing. Why not aim to do the homework for that subject first followed by the subjects you enjoy and have more motivation for?

5. If you run out of time

Deadline tomorrow? No time left?- try to achieve something that reflects your efforts. For example, supposing that you were asked to write an essay, at least produce an essay plan with introductory and concluding paragraphs. Perhaps the homework is a Maths problems page so do a few to show some effort. In the event that failure to provide homework is a frequent occurrence, try to think about why and what you can change to avoid this happening again.

6. Does the homework seems to never end?

Check to see if your peers are also feeling the pressure. Perhaps there are clashing coursework deadlines, in which case try approaching your teachers well in advance of the deadline to warn them. Alternatively, assuming you think you are the only person with this problem, look at which subjects are taking you the longest and think about whether you are having difficulty with them; working to perfect them to a great degree or procrastinating. Talk to your parents and your teachers about the possibility of receiving extra private tuition.

7. Give yourself a progress marker

Keeping a diary and crossing through tasks when you've finished helps you monitor your progress, reveal what you've learnt and ultimately, what you've achieved. It is useful to know you are making improvements, especially when you are concentrating on a few tasks simultaneously, over a period of time.

8. Make your homework interesting

Providing you have the opportunity to be creative, why not introduce something that makes your homework stand out a little for the right reasons! For example, in an essay you could introduce an unusual (but relevant) quotation or fact. In science, you could add an extra diagram. Personalising your homework makes it more interesting for you and for your teacher to read.

9. Build in rewards

You've done the coursework, written the essay and finished off those equations... So treat yourself to some time out, something nice to eat or a chat with a friend, whatever makes you feel good. It is important to take a break and return refreshed.

10. Remember why homework matters

Here's three good reasons to do your homework, even when it seems really boring:

  • Do it for yourself - Your homework is set by teachers to help you understand your school-work, progress your performance and accustom you to time management. If you want the best grades, you can to keep your options open in life, but you need to work for it.

  • One day you'll have to - take home tasks that need managing in your own time. If you develop self-discipline early, these issues will come easy to you later in life.

  • It can be satisfying – As long as you bring yourself to do homework, even for the subjects you don't enjoy, you take away some personal satisfaction in a job well done- then comes the reward!