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How to Catch Up when You're Behind on Homework

Amanda is a recent graduate from Southern New Hampshire University where she got a Bachelor's of Psychology where she took classes online.

Homework can be overwhelming.  Take it one step at a time.

Homework can be overwhelming. Take it one step at a time.

For whatever reason you have, getting behind on homework is an easy thing to do. If you are in High School or Middle School especially, having six classes a day with different homework assignments can be overwhelming. You may be tempted to just forget about it and accept the zero's. Don't! I am here to help you get caught up on your homework!

Communicate with your Teachers

If you are behind on your homework, especially if you've missed a lot of sick days, communicating with your teachers is a must! Express to them the concern you have about making up your homework and be honest with them. I've learned the hard way that teacher's definitely know when you're lying. If you are open and honest with them, they will more likely want to help you too! Teachers don't want to see their students fall behind or fail. They will be willing to work with you.

You will want to talk to your teacher as soon as possible. You can get their email address and email them while you are out to possibly get a head start on your missed homework. Some things to talk to your teacher about are:

  • How much work did you miss?
  • Can that work be made up?
  • Is there a time after school where you can get tutoring or make up tests (if applicable)?
  • If you are allowed to make up the work, when is it due?
  • Remember to be polite and honest with your teacher. They want to help you!

Make a Game Plan

Now that you have all the work you need to do, I would advise sitting down and making a game plan. Sort out what homework has to be done and when.

  • What homework is due first? Put that on the top of the list (in order of the closest due date.)
  • Don't overdo it. Spread your homework out as best as you can so you don't get overwhelmed with all the make-up homework you have to do.
  • Don't do your big projects all at once. Spread it out. For example, if you have to read a book and write a report, read for a few days then write the report.

Keep this list on your desk or wherever you do homework. Better yet, keep it in your binder or in your backpack so if you have free time at school you can complete some missed homework.

My Homework Plan

Homework AssignmentClassDate Due

What assignment is it?

What class is this for?

When is the due date?

Remember to put it in order

This column is optional

Remember, soonest to farthest

of date due (soonest to farthest)


Keep up with your current homework

Just because you've missed days doesn't mean you are excluded from turning in current homework. As you accumulate more homework, depending on the due date, do that homework first. It is more important at this point to keep up with the rest of the class than to catch up on your missed homework.

If I fall behind on homework and I get new homework I adjust my plan accordingly. If the homework assignment is a small thing (math questions, reading, worksheets) that is due the next day, I will do it right away. If it isn't due for a while, I can afford to put it off a little bit.

If you got an assignment for a huge project, do not put it off. Instead, break it up into smaller tasks and spread it around your homework plan. That way, you can still catch up with your old homework and keep up with your current.

Keeping up with your homework will help you keep from going behind further.

Keeping up with your homework will help you keep from going behind further.

Work Consistently

Find out how much time you have between now and whenever you need to make up the assignments by. From there, you can calculate how many assignments per day you need to do to catch up. Be consistent. Remember, if you only get one new assignment a day, and you do consistently finish three assignments a day, you are catching up! You may seem like you aren't getting anywhere but you are closing that gap, slowly but surely.

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Don't get discouraged

It is easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged when you have a lot of homework to catch up on. Don't let it overwhelm you. Even if you finish one assignment, that's one less that you have to do. Keep chipping away at the work and you will get there.

Catching up on Homework Tips

  • Discipline is key when catching up on homework. You definitely have to crack down on your school work until you are caught up. That means, Facebook to a minimum, no hanging out with friends, resist the urge to play games.
  • If you feel stressed or start to feel overwhelmed, take a break! It is okay to take a break once in a while! In fact, it is suggested! For every homework assignment you complete, take a 10 minute break. If you go from one assignment to another, you are more likely to get worn down.
  • Make a game out of it. If you meet your homework goals for the day, treat yourself to ice cream. Allow yourself to go on Facebook for a while. If you go above and beyond your goal for the day, you really do deserve something amazing.

Good luck

I know catching up on homework can be overwhelming and diffcult. It does take time to catch up on homework. Remember these tips and I'm certain you will do fine. If you find yourself needing more help, talk to your teacher. Set up a tutoring time or ask questions in class. If you feel you need more time, ask. Catching up on homework can be done!


Martha P on September 25, 2017:

Thanks a lot ...You are the best of all

Dusti Pitman from Washington on April 29, 2013:

This is really great information for any student. Thanks for sharing.

Amanda Brumbelow (author) from Camas, WA on January 27, 2013:

Thanks Reynold Jay! That means a lot from someone who has followed me from the beginning! :) Thanks for the voting!

Reynold Jay from Saginaw, Michigan on January 27, 2013:

You are becoming a terriffic writer. You have another great useful aricle here today. Up and USEFUL.

Amanda Brumbelow (author) from Camas, WA on January 26, 2013:

Thank you btrbell! I am grateful that I have had to catch up on homework to be able to write this! Thanks for the voting!

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on January 26, 2013:

Good job! This is useful information for anything that needs to bew done in a timely fashion! Thank you for sharing! up+

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