Signs Your Child May Have Too Much Homework

By Amanda Morin

Sometimes, even with good habits or a homework contract in place, kids who learn and think differently may have more work than they can handle.

The list below can help you figure out if your grade-schooler or middle-schooler is struggling with the homework load.

Kids with too much homework might:

  • Put off doing homework, to the point of not having time to finish it.
  • Not want to go to school or feel unprepared for class because homework isn’t done.
  • Ask for help before trying to do homework on their own.
  • Ask for help even if they understand the assignment and could do it on their own.
  • Not accept help when you offer it.
  • Count on you to make corrections instead of just checking their work.
  • Say they’ll finish homework in the morning before school.
  • Stay up past bedtime to get homework done.
  • Keep missing assignments.
  • “Forget” to bring homework home.
  • Drop afterschool activities because there’s not enough time.
  • Complain about headaches or other physical issues during homework time.
  • Cry about doing homework.
  • Argue about getting started on homework.
  • Yell at you when you try to help. (“Leave me alone!” “Why aren’t you helping me the way I need you to?”)
  • Worry about the consequences of not completing assignments.
  • Get angry, defensive, or upset when you ask about homework.
  • Not have (or make) time to hang out with friends.
  • Make negative comments about the work. (“Algebra is so dumb.” “I’m never going to need to know this!”)
  • Make negative comments about the teacher. (“The teacher is too hard on us.”)
  • Make negative comments about themselves. (“I’m so dumb. I’ll never be able to get all this work done.”)

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    About the author

    About the author

    Amanda Morin is the director of thought leadership at Understood and author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.” She worked as a classroom teacher and early intervention specialist for more than a decade.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Jenn Osen-Foss, MAT is an instructional coach, supporting teachers in using differentiated instruction, interventions, and co-planning.