Despite every intention to stay on top of homework, students get behind on assignments and it is overwhelming to get caught back up. 5 Strategies to Conquer Homework and Missed Assignments will give you great tips to get back on top! 

Getting behind can happen for a variety of reasons such as absences because of illnesses, vacations, sports activities or just being busy with after-school activities. Regardless of the reason, getting behind interferes with the learning process and can be stressful for students, parents, and teachers. 

As a teacher and administrator, I help students get caught up all the time. At times the student was so behind that the in-class activities were meaningless because they didn’t understand what was going on. For example, the students were working on editing a paper, but the student(s) behind hadn’t even picked a topic to write about yet. Many times, teachers would ask for me to help work with the student during study halls, after school, and whatever nook and cranny was available during the student’s day.

Oftentimes, if a student was behind in one class, he or she was behind in others too. The student was so overwhelmed that their motivation was very low. Creating a plan of attack that a student can be onboard with is essential to help get this done.

5 Strategies to Conquer Homework and Missed Assignment

Please note, that it is most desirable to stay up to date with homework activities, life happens, and these methods are intended to keep students engaged with their progress. 

#1 Snowball

This method for conquering homework and missed assignments works much like the snowball debt method. With this method, the student will start with the smallest of assignments first. Often students will have ‘missing assignments that they have almost completed. Starting these first and quickly checking them off their missing assignment list, it will help ease the student’s anxiety and motivate them to keep going. 

When to use the Snowball Method

  • Students have a lot of busy work
  • Students have a favorite subject they can catch up on quickly and move on to the next
  • Students have a turning in homework problem

#2 Avalanche

The next of the Five Strategies to Conquer Homework and Missed Assignments is the avalanche method which is similar to the avalanche debt method. This entails having the student start with the assignments worth the most points first. This helps dramatically increase the student’s grades, boosts their confidence, and also encourages them to keep going. 

When to use the Avalanche Method

  • Students have long term projects and need to complete componets of it to participate better in class.
  • Students are missing large assignments that have a big impact on their grade.
  • Student’s missing assignments are affecting eligibility for activities or sports
  • Student’s end of term is near.

#3 Favorites

The favorites method for conquering missing assignments and homework mountains allows the student to prioritize the list themselves. To effectively use this method, you want to have a list of the missing assignments for the student to review and prioritize off of. When using the favorites method you want to encourage the student to finish all missing assignments in one subject before moving on to the next. 

When to use the Favorites Method

  • Student is capable of doing the work and has all of the materials necessary to complete it.
  • When all work is necessary to complete

(Hint: Discourage the student to go on hunts for things like art materials, books, supplemental materials from the teacher etc.  because many times the student spends all of the time doing this)

#4 Hardest

Students have a mental block or academic deficit when finishing an assignment. Often times a student will shut down because he or she does not know how to do something. When using the hardest method first approach to conquer missing assignments and homework mountains, the student will complete the work they struggle with the most and be able to accelerate through the other homework afterward.

When to use the Hardest Method First

  • A tutor, parent, or peer is available and capable to help with questions.
  • The assignment is part of a concept that builds for future assignments
  • When the student has limited time with a person who can assist

#5 Rewind Time

Many classes have learning goals that build on each other. When using the Rewind Time method to conquer missing assignments and homework mountains, a student starts with the oldest assignment and works their way through to the most recently assigned homework. With this method, the student will not miss out on the intended succession of learning for each of the assignments. 

When to use the Rewind Time Method

  • When there is a long-term project where assignments were assigned in pieces
  • Student needs to prepare for a test or quiz

Need more help?

Sometimes despite our best efforts of trying to help a student conquer missing assignments or a homework mountain the student still struggles with getting back on track. Falling behind can affect each student differently, struggling to learn the missed concepts on their own can cause more confusion, stress, and anxiety leaving them feeling defeated before they can even begin. 

Hiring a tutor to work with the student will benefit them greatly in completing the missing assignment list and defeating the negative thoughts and feelings that come along with the stress of falling behind. It’s also a great way to boost the student’s confidence and help motivate them to succeed moving forward.

For tips on avoiding the homework mountain, check out our blog on the Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid the Homework Battle.

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