Oct 13 2021

Six Reasons Why Students Fail to Complete Their Homework

Roger Dutta


It is frustrating to have students that don’t complete their homework. As a teacher, you want your students to learn so they can get good grades.

What students don’t know is that they are hurting themselves by not completing the homework. For teachers as well as parents who did complete their homework, it can be challenging to understand why students fail to complete their homework assignments.

Despite the controversy surrounding the issue of homework and the debate on whether the homework actually offers any benefits to students, the truth is that most teachers are still assigning homework and some students fail to complete their homework.

By understanding why students fail to do their homework, we stand a better chance of assigning homework that students can actually do and to offer the motivation they need to complete their homework.

Many reasons make students fail to do their homework. Understanding this goes a long way in helping teachers realize that it is not about how they teach or the subject matter.

Below are some reasons why students don’t do homework and some suggestions that might help eliminate the problem:

 Failure to Understand the Significance of the Assignment

Just like adults, students would be more compelled to do their homework if they understood its significance. Everyone, students included, want to engage in things that will be beneficial to their lives.

Sometimes students rebel because they perceive homework as busywork. They assume that if they can solve ten science problems correctly, then doing fifty science problem is busywork.

Be sure to explain the importance of homework to your students and how they’ll benefit from it. Help them understand how it connects to the tasks in the real world.

 Lack of Skills to Handle the Assignment

Students need to have the basic skills and understand the directions to do and complete homework on their own. Ideally, students need to have been introduced to a topic rather than trying to learn something new on their own.

What’s more, the materials they’re using should be at their independent level. Ensure to give clear and specific instructions and that the level of work is appropriate for them. You can also encourage them to seek answers to homework questions online if there is an issue and if they have difficulty with the assignment when at home.

 Lack of Time

Some students engage in various extracurricular activities. While these activities are positive and can help students remain engaged with school, sometimes it makes it impossible for students to find time to do their homework at night.

What’s more, older students may have other responsibilities or jobs. To make it easier for your students to do their homework, we would recommend you give them assignments ahead of time. This way, they can do the assignment throughout the week instead of assigning homework due the following day.

They are Overwhelmed

You know that experience when you feel overloaded with tasks. Unlike adults who have mastered the art of breaking down tasks, most students are yet to learn this trick.

Rather than assigning your students a large project due in one week, you can assign smaller chunks that they can do before the due date for the entire project. Show your students how to break down larger projects into smaller chunks.

Failure to Give Feedback On Their Work

Students expect to receive feedback when they turn in an assignment. While teachers are used to giving them grades, they also expect comments. And since homework is an opportunity to learn, feedback can go a long way towards achieving this.

Teachers need to read a student’s homework and give feedback. You can also use homework in ways that enable students to get feedback.

Sometimes students fail to do homework for reasons not related to the teacher or their content. While some reasons are beyond your control, there are some positive steps you can take to help with the situation.

Lack of Appropriate Environment to Study at Home

It is no doubt that some students live in deplorable conditions. Getting a place to work from or the tools they need to do their homework is not possible.

In such a case, it is necessary to have a one-on-one conversation with the student to get to know the underlying issue. Talk about the things they require to do their homework and how they can get them.

Could they work from a public library? Could they stay behind at school and work on their homework? Try to offer as much help as you can.

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