Ask a teacher

17th November 2006 at 00:00

Q How do you deal with children who "forget" homework? I have several Year 56 children who persistently "forget" to bring their homework back or return it a few days late. They always say they've lost it or they didn't have time, even though I give them a full week to do it. Does anyone have a good homework system, and what should I do with the offenders?


A We start the year very strict. Children in my Year 6 class go straight to the head with their "excuses", so they see that we mean business. The head is very supportive about this. We don't tend to need this strategy for long as the children soon get into good habits.

Veronica, Cardiff

A I stand the class up and go through the handed-in books. As I call their names, they sit down. Those left standing write their names on a flipchart.

They get one chance to bring it in the next day and cross their name out.

If not, they do it at lunchtime. Works for all but most obdurate.

Peter, Whitstable

A Tip I've picked up is keep a record of who returns homework on time and at the end of each term or half-term give them a prize or certificate. I get my form captains to tick off the homework and they do the chasing up.

Jo, Gloucester

A I have used a homework raffle. Each child who hands in a piece of homework on time receives a ticket at an end of term draw. Almost bribery, but it makes those who do hand in homework feel good about themselves, and acts as a carrot to those who don't.

Jane, Spalding

A I would tell my old Year 4s that if they brought a note from home explaining why homework wasn't done, then that was no problem as they were being responsible. If not, I would say they were letting the rest of the class down. Tough love, but it worked and they were proud of themselves with the effort that they put in. I also linked it to their treat of the term if they behaved themselves and completed their homework.

Simon, Sutton Coldfield

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