Why kids don’t hand in their work (even if they did it)

By Amanda Morin

Expert reviewed by Bob Cunningham, EdM

When kids complete their homework but don’t turn it in, it’s frustrating. And it can be even more frustrating if kids don’t have an answer to the question, “Why didn’t you hand it in?”

It’s not unusual for kids to forget to turn in their homework from time to time. And some kids choose not to hand in their homework, even if they did it.

Middle-schoolers and high-schoolers may want to seem cool in front of their friends. To some kids that age, caring about getting their homework done isn’t cool. 

Some kids might feel like they’re just “not good” at a class or at school in general. Maybe they had a bad experience with an assignment or a teacher in the past. So they don’t even bother handing in their work — even if they did it.

For other kids, though, getting homework to the teacher is a different kind of challenge. It’s one thing to do homework. It’s another thing to put it in your backpack, bring it to school, find it in your backpack, and remember to turn it in.

It may seem like kids are being lazy or not trying hard enough. But challenges with organization are real.

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About the author

About the author

Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days. 

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Bob Cunningham, EdM serves as executive director of learning development at Understood.