Signs your child may have too much homework

By Amanda Morin

Expert reviewed by Jenn Osen-Foss, MAT

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.”)

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

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