I’m sure most, if not all students, have at least a few times (or more!) during school where they’ve handed in a homework assignment late, and so as not to get into trouble, given an excuse to their teacher as to why they couldn’t complete their homework on time. Be careful not to use the same excuse too many times, or your teacher may not be so sympathetic next time!
If you’re like me, and often forget about their homework (oops), then maybe this list of excuses can help to bail you out:
- “My dog ate my homework!” – Hmm, perhaps not the most subtle or workable of excuses, but if you really do have a dog… There may be more than a 0.0001% chance that it could work?! If all else fails, you could always bring a stool sample as proof…
- “Homework? I don’t remember getting any homework?” – You probably DO remember getting your homework, but your teacher doesn’t know that, right?
- “Ahh, I thought it was in my bag, but it looks like I’ve left it at home by accident!” – Of course you left it at home by accident! This one is a great excuse, it’s worked a fair few times for me, anyway…
- “I didn’t understand the homework, could you explain it to me so I can give it a second go?” – This excuse works better more for maths or question based homework rather than essays. However, it’s a good way to hit two birds with one stone (you get help on your homework, and a deadline extension!), especially if you actually don’t understand the homework assignment!
- “My computer crashed and I didn’t save my work/my printer stopped working!” – With more and more people using computer based software to complete their homework, a whole new spectrum of excuses have been opened to the desperate, homework-lacking student.
- “I had too much homework from my [insert subject name] class to complete the homework you assigned,” – Poor you, clearly you’ve been given way too much homework by all your other teachers to do this piece! A homework overload is never a good thing.
- “Oh, I think I was absent when the homework was given out…” – You were obviously ill when the homework was handed out in class, even though your teacher is looking at your ‘tick’ of attendance in the register!
- “I’ve been busy with extra-curricular activities and volunteering work outside of school,” – If you’re doing any work or activities outside of work, hey, why not use them as an excuse for not doing your homework! It’s a pretty believable one (especially next to excuse 1.).
- “I’ve been so ill over the past few days, so I haven’t been able to do any of my homework,” – Bed ridden, feverish and unable to distinguish your cat from your sheet of homework, how on earth can you be expected to work in this state?!
- Tell the truth – After using all these excuses, perhaps it’s time to pull out your triumph card – the truth. On the occasion, your teacher may appreciate your use of the truth rather than the usual bombardment of (unbelievable) excuses. Use this one when you’re feeling especially sincere (and desperate).
I hope these excuses have been helpful, just remember that the more you use them, the more unbelievable they’ll become to your teacher. In fact, it may just be better (and easier) for you to hand in you homework on time!
Many parents can relate to the nightly homework struggle—kids want to hang out with friends, watch TV, play video games, or do basically anything besides their homework. Once parents actually get their kids to sit down and get started, the battle continues with constant distractions like siblings, friends, and TV. But, one of the most prominent distractions today is the internet.
Obviously, the internet is an amazing tool and now most school assignments are done online or require the internet to complete. It’s opened up the world of education, but has also created a constant distraction for students. Multi-tasking seems to be the new norm and studies show students can’t stay focused on one task for more than two minutes. Most homework or studying time is spent in what Dr. Larry Rosen, professor at California State University - Dominguez Hills, calls “Continuous Partial Attention.” Students spend most of their time switching between studying and technology. The students who have learned to limit distractions while doing homework tend to have higher GPAs.
Researchers have found that “[people who multitask] are not being more productive — they just feel more emotionally satisfied from their work.” So really, even though your teen may say that they are getting more work done while they have Netflix on in the background or are texting, they are actually feeling a false sense of satisfaction for getting all that done at once.
What are Online Homework Distractions?
Social Media: One of the biggest online distractions is social media. Sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are making it harder than ever for kids to stay focused on homework. The constant smartphone notifications make it nearly impossible to ignore the lure of social media, which can be a lot stronger than the urge to finish math homework. PBS reported results from a 2016 study that was published in the International Journal of Communication; “children who regularly use online social networks, such as Facebook, tend to obtain lower scores in math, reading, and science than students who never or hardly ever use these sites.” While it’s a common outlet for many kids, limiting social media use, especially while studying or doing homework, could have serious benefits.
Videos: Websites like YouTube and Vimeo, with a seemingly endless supply of videos, are especially easy for students (and adults) to get sucked into. Kids may take a harmless break from homework to watch a quick video and before they know it, they’ve wasted a good chunk of time.
Chat: Many people in the professional world, especially those that work online, know just how distracting chat platforms can be. It's the same for students. Texting and messenger applications, like iMessage and Facebook Messenger, allow students to talk to one another 24/7. It’s nearly impossible for kids to stay 100% focused on homework while carrying on conversations with friends.
How to Stop Online Distractions:
How to Stop Online Distractions:Distractions are a form of everyday life and we can’t prevent them all, but online distractions can be relatively controlled. Here are a few ways parents can teach kids how to focus on homework:
- Turn off phones, put them in a different room, or turn on “do not disturb” mode. The do not disturb function on Net Nanny, for example, is great because as a parent I can remotely “Pause the Internet” for whatever time of day I select. I can block the internet during homework time, meal time, or bed time. With the internet paused it stops all notifications from appearing on your screen and stops all notifications.
- Restrict social media and messenger use while doing homework. Since social media is such a large distraction, parents can set restrictions on social media use and messaging apps until homework is completed. One easy way to monitor this is to create a communal space for homework. Rather than letting your child do homework in their room with doors shut, setup a workspace in the living room or family room where parents can easily see their computer screen.
- Provide other break outlets. It’s important to give your kids’ brain a break while doing homework or studying. It's more beneficial and efficient to encourage your kids to do a physical activity rather than perusing a break online. They could go for a quick walk, play a game of ping pong, play with the family pet, or kick a soccer ball around. Getting up and doing something physical for 10 or 15 minutes can help your child refresh and get back on track. It gives the brain a break without letting them get caught up in the lure of social media or online activities.
- Make homework a routine. It’s not always possible to have your child do homework at the same time every day. But, keeping it relatively consistent will make it easier for them to detach from technology and focus. If kids know they come home from school, have a snack, and within 30 minutes start homework, then they get into a routine and know they will be disconnected from technology while focusing on school.
Approximately 80% of students reporting they spend most of their studying time switching back and forth between homework and online distractions. It’s important for parents to do their best to create a quiet, peaceful, distraction-free homework setting whenever possible. This isn’t always easy in the world of technology, but online distractions can be lessened by setting a few simple rules, restricting phone and social media use, and encouraging healthy after school homework and break routines at an early age.