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Why My Child is Unable to Complete Their Homework?

By: Kate Simpson BA, MA - Updated: 23 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Homework Time Management Homework

Occasionally, there may be times when, due to other commitments, your child is unable to complete a homework task by the proposed deadline. Helping your child to become organised and motivated, as well as developing an effective homework routine, will help to guard against such an occurrence. However, giving your child a little guidance and support on the odd, unavoidable occasions when deadlines are missed will help them to gain both confidence and maturity.

Speaking to the Teacher in Advance

If your child has a busy week ahead, full of important appointments that cannot be cancelled, encourage them to speak to their teacher in advance of the homework deadline. The teacher may grant your child an extension, allowing them extra time to complete the work. If this occurs, ensure that your child plans ahead so that they are able to meet the extension deadline. Your child's teacher is sure to understand that, at very busy times, homework might take a back seat. Keeping your child's teacher in the loop regarding your child's health or situations at home will signal to them that your child takes pride in their work, cares about their education and is keen to complete tasks.

There may be times when unforeseen circumstances mean that a child is unable to complete their homework. In these cases, it is unlikely that the teacher can be warned in advance. In the event of a family tragedy or similar circumstance, ensure that your child's teacher is notified as soon as possible. They are sure to be understanding.

Writing a Note

If there is a particular reason why your child has been unable to complete their homework, such as feeling unwell the night before the deadline, you might like to write a note for them to hand to their teacher. Caution should be exercised here to ensure that such a system is not abused. These notes should not be used as a form of excuse and should not be used frequently. Be careful to ensure that your child does not come to rely on these notes and does not expect you to write them. A brief note, explaining the situation, will suffice. You might like to discuss with your child when they feel that they will be able to complete the task by and incorporate this information into the note. Just because your child is unable to complete the task by the deadline, it does not mean that they should escape completing it at all.

Ultimately, homework enables a child to take responsibility for their own learning. The management of homework deadlines should be no exception. There may indeed be unfortunate times when it is best for you to speak to the relevant teacher on your child's behalf. Occasionally, circumstances outside your child's control may prevent them from completing homework on time and they should not be punished for this. Keeping your child's teacher informed will ensure that they can be understanding and supportive. However, if your child has neglected to complete their homework due to poor time management, encourage them to take responsibility. They might find the experience a little unpleasant but it will be worthwhile for their future.

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