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homework tasks ideas

Your Career• 3 Min read

6th September 2020

Creative Homework Ideas

How can you create homework assignments that build on the day’s lessons and encourage creative, student-led learning? It’s a challenge for most teachers, especially as motivating pupils to complete homework can add a whole extra layer to your lesson plans. But it’s essential to bridge the gap between teacher and student learning –  the skills gained through independent study reinforces knowledge from your class, as well as a host of other benefits:

  • Extended learning time – outside of the constraints of the school day, students are free to learn at their own pace and in their own environment.
  • Independent learning – vital skills for exam preparation and higher education
  • Teaches students to be resourceful and to overcome challenges independently.
  • Gives students the freedom to be creative in their learning, gain valuable problem-solving skills and confidence in their own abilities.

Tips For Setting Creative Homework

  • Plan independent learning both in and out of the classroom – you can monitor students effectiveness and address issues that may arise in the classroom before they become problematic for pupils at home.
  • Don’t leave homework assignment to the end of the lesson, rushing through the task might leave some students confused which inevitably leads to a lower homework completion rate. Write plenty of time for explaining homework assignments into your lesson planning – read our Beginner’s Guide To Lesson Planning here
  • Homework should to not too easy nor not too hard, offering pupils a challenge that reinforced the topics learnt during the day
  • Give room for creative expression – allowing students to add their own diagrams, decorations or chose their own project topics from a selection. 
  • Try using peer or self-assessment to mark homework – a double whammy of reducing your workload and allowing pupils to take control of their own learning.
  • Include timings and explicit steps for completing more complicated assignments, especially for pupils that you anticipate might struggle. Comprehension of the task is the biggest hurdle in getting pupils to work on an independent basis.
  • Self-driven projects, posters, creative tasks and research are more exciting than standard comprehension tasks and might encourage pupils that find sitting and writing dull or hard to complete the homework set – give students the freedom to learn and be creative in their home study.
  • Provide specific instructions and internet safety reminders for research-led assignments. It’s very easy for children to find research overwhelming with a vast amount of information available online. Provide suggested websites and links in your homework to keep things on track!
  • Don’t introduce a new topic for homework – keep it to topics that you’ve already covered in class
  • Taking note of the subjects that excite and engage your class and set homework accordingly – try keeping dryer topics and  for the classroom so that you can monitor engagement
  • Mark work promptly – essential to keep students motivated to complete work in their own time!
  • Offering students the opportunity to select the homework that they would like to do from a selection guarantees a higher rate of completion. We’ve seen some teachers create grids or sheets of homework assignments for the pupils to select, or offer baskets of activities for younger children to take home and complete with an adult.

Creative Homework Ideas For All Ages

Coming up with innovative ways for students to reinforce their knowledge at home can be difficult – many of these ideas would be suitable for lots of subjects with a little tweaking!

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homework tasks ideas

20+ creative alternative homework ideas for teachers

homework tasks ideas

When giving homework, it must always be based on learning goals your students have to reach, just like in your lessons. But it’s sad to see that lots of teachers are using homework as extra lesson time. Of course, as a teacher, you’re on a clock. But that doesn’t mean your students have to suffer from it and keep working on those boring textbooks and worksheets at home.

Consider goals like attitudes, real-life experiences, and practice, physical exercise, social encounters, creative solutions, and philanthropy as crucial as your lesson goals. These are things students don’t just pick up in your classroom. These are things they pick up in life.

In this blog post, I’ll give you some innovative homework ideas that will engage your students more. These alternatives to traditional homework will thereby also teach your students new things that can’t be taught in the classroom. You will find a variety of homework ideas: online and offline.

I will mention homework alternatives for primary school and high school. Some of these ideas can be changed a little bit, so they are the perfect fit for the right audience.

20 Creative homework ideas

You can divide homework tasks into the following themes or categories:

  • Crafts & arts
  • Outdoor activities & outings
  • Games and activities
  • Physical activities
  • Digital or computer activities
  • Philanthropy & social work
💡 Good to know : all the ready-to-use homework activities are created with BookWidgets . You can easily create activities like these yourself or duplicate an activity below for free, edit it if needed, and share it with your students. You can do so in the examples separately, or you can find all the homework examples in the BookWidgets Blog group folder .

Crafts and arts homework

1. prepare a dish from a recipe book.

homework tasks ideas

2. Make a board game

homework tasks ideas

3. Create a birdhouse

homework tasks ideas

4. Transform a fictional book character into a hand puppet

homework tasks ideas

Outdoor homework activities and outings

5. coupon game.

homework tasks ideas

Students can also go grocery shopping with their parents. Here, they have to read the ingredients of the products and help their parents choose the healthiest products for the best prices, figure out the best deal between the sizes of items, …

6. Visit the zoo

homework tasks ideas

7. Visit the local dumping ground or container park

homework tasks ideas

8. Build a tree house

homework tasks ideas

Games and activities as homework

9. bookwidgets games.

homework tasks ideas

10. Minecraft

homework tasks ideas

11. Play Cards

homework tasks ideas

12. Play Zoo Tycoon or Rollercoaster Tycoon

homework tasks ideas

Physical homework activities

13. rope skipping.

homework tasks ideas

Many rope-skipping songs let your students do different tricks while rope-skipping. This is an excellent opportunity for homework as well. Ask your students to transform a rope skipping song into a song with lesson content. Let them count or spell or even sum up the different states or capitals. To engage their lifestyles even harder, you can additionally give them the assignment to create a TikTok in which they are jumping and singing.

Click here to see how you can get Tiktok more involved in the classroom.

14. Walking quest

homework tasks ideas

If there aren’t any walking quests in the neighborhood, you could ask your students to create a walking quest like this for their fellow students. What a fun day it will be!

15. Obstacle Quiz

homework tasks ideas

In order for students to answer the questions, they have to run and pass a challenging parkour. This is a fun homework exercise, and in the end, it’s a great lesson starter or lesson end.

16. Swimming games

homework tasks ideas

After the activity, they can fill out an Exit Slip:

Swimming games

Digital or computer homework activities

17. create a picture album.

homework tasks ideas

This teaches them to handle the online software, add pictures and write without spelling mistakes. And of course, creating memories is so much fun!

18. Video job application

homework tasks ideas

19. Your life in 10 minutes - video

homework tasks ideas

20. Email pen-pals

homework tasks ideas

Is it still too complicated? Read the messages from your students, before they send them, and provide them with some feedback.

Email pen-pals

Philanthropy and social homework

21. grow a community garden.

homework tasks ideas

22. Help in a retirement home

homework tasks ideas

23. Help at a homeless shelter

homework tasks ideas

24. Collect litter

homework tasks ideas

Here’s another homework tip: Don’t call homework “homework”. Call it a challenge. Homework has become a negative word for students, and I bet they start rolling their eyes as you even mention the word.

Still looking for more inspiration? Check out the blog on short films and lesson activities that spice up your Google Classroom . Tip: even if you don’t use Google Classroom, there is a lot of inspiration back here.

Above you have read single assignments. But, you also have the option to involve your homework in a project. Find out more here .

So, as I mentioned earlier, there are many fun alternatives to traditional homework. Now it’s up to you to apply this in the classroom as well. In this folder , you will find all the examples you have come across.

Which idea do you or perhaps your students like the most? Let us know on Twitter . Of course, there are many more alternatives. If you have other ideas, you are always welcome to share it with other teachers in our Facebook group .

One more thing: don’t forget to say hi👋 on LikedIn .

20+ creative homework alternatives

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BookWidgets enables teachers to create fun and interactive lessons for tablets, smartphones, and computers.

homework tasks ideas

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Home > Learning Resources

Interesting ideas for primary homework

  • Author: Kevin Harcombe
  • Main Subject: CPD
  • Subject: Leadership
  • Date Posted: 12 January 2011

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Interesting ideas for primary homework

Evenings and weekends are precious to us all. So don't waste children's time, and your own, by setting dull homework...

Homework – a compound word that resonates down the chalk dust swirling corridors of all our school days. Home: warmth, security, a place to relax. Work: well, fill this one in yourself, why don’t you?

The point is, the two things don’t often sit well together and I have always been ambivalent about the value of homework for children under 11. An Ofsted inspector once told me that they’d stopped being critical of schools about parental attitudes to homework, because invariably half of parents thought the school set too little and the other half set too much, so schools couldn’t win (no change there, then).

Some parents think homework must be a ‘good thing’, without being quite sure why. They may have read it in the Daily Mail, or they may be of the “I had to do it and it never did me any harm” school of thought, in which case what’s wrong with flogging and outside lavatories?

These may well be the same parents who can remember how to do quadratic equations; unlike me whose secondary school child regularly weeps into her calculator at half nine of a Tuesday evening whilst bewailing the fact her parent is a mathematical imbecile. (Watch out, I riposte, it’s genetic.)

When homework has a positive impact

homework tasks ideas

The nub of the matter is that homework is only useful when meaningful, related to and supporting class based work, well matched to the child, time limited and marked with top notch feedback from the teacher. Sadly, this is only the case in a minority of cases. Having got those longwinded caveats off my chest, here are some suggestions where homework can be manageable (for both the setter and the doer) and have a positive impact.

6 creative homework tasks

homework tasks ideas

Interview a family member about their school days, work, play, food, etc. This develops questioning skills and can be recorded rather than written. Digital dictaphones are available for 20 quid and are within the reach of most schools. Results can be shared and presented in any way from a video presentation to a pie chart.

2. Pack a suitcase

Following some input on WWII and the mass evacuation of the young, set the children the task of making their own evacuation suitcase. (Some children will literally make one out of cardboard, but it’s the contents that are the key). What five things would they take with them and why? They can write this, or simply talk through their suitcase with the rest of the class. It’s the thinking behind this task that is the real learning. The speaking/ listening/writing is, as so often, a secondary benefit.

3. Flour babies

Read Anne Fine’s tremendous book of the same name, then provide the children with their very own flour baby (basically a 1 kilo bag of flour they have to look after as if it’s a baby). Children will draw faces on theirs, dress it, even push it to school in a toy buggy. Again, the real learning is in the thinking and empathy the activity generates.

4. Parent portraits

Sketch a parent in Henry Moore / Lucian Freud style, i.e. unflatteringly. It’s great fun, gives the parents a break from the child’s “I don’t know what to draw” cry and is a chance to look at more recent British artists.

5. Set up a museum

Our Y3 and Y4 children were recently given the task of designing their own Egyptian artefact at home. Resourcefulness from children – irrespective of family background – was stunning. We received several hieroglyphic scrolls (rolled up around cotton reels, rubbed with a tea bag to give the ageing effect) a multiplicity of pyramids (made from card, plasticine, lego), sarcophaguses, jewellery and lots of mummified Barbies and Kens. The class was turned into a museum, with carefully written exhibit cards and children curators on hand to explain the historical background to why the Egyptians valued these things, and opened up to parents and other classes on a Friday afternoon.

6. Serve breakfast

Sanctions for not having done homework don’t work, rewards do. Compare “If you don’t hand in homework you’ll miss break / lunch / PE / life.” With ” If you do hand it in regularly you’ll be invited to the end of half term Big Breakfast in the hall where your teacher will serve you toast, cereal, yoghurts, juice, etc.” Simple really, and a special occasion to look forward to at the end of half term.

Level the playing field

Set up a homework club…

For those children who don’t have access to books, internet, paper, pencils, scissors, glue at home, you could start a homework club and give those attending use of the school’s ICT facilities. For those familes who are ‘book poor’ you need to make sure your own library is well provided for. Last Christmas I asked assembly, “How many of you got some sort of a book as a Christmas present?” Less than half the hands went up. In the People’s Republic of Harcombe, when I get round to setting it up, the giving of books as presents would be enforced by presidential decree.

Throw the book at them

homework tasks ideas

When parents ask about homework for their child I always respond that a) the best thing for a child to do of an evening is have some quality time with family and friends, sit down for a meal together, play a sport, learn a musical instrument or sing and not feel badgered into working all the hours God sends, and b) reading is just about the best homework anyone, adult or child, can do.

Parents don’t count reading as homework, see, and we need to educate them (this parent thinks homework is when you have indentations in your finger from holding the pen/tapping the keyboard for three hours, because writing is homework).

Time spent reading is seldom wasted and is either entertaining, thought provoking or informative or – just like this article, hopefully – all three. If you like you can structure what the children read by recommending lists (The Redlands Ten – ten books to read before you’re 10) to add a little challenge to the task. Local libraries might be able to help by ordering multiple copies of books for those parents that can’t/won’t buy them. Children get a certificate (and a book!) when they complete the ten.

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homework tasks ideas

Creative Homework Ideas For Your Students

Setting appropriate homework tasks is a big part of your teaching role. Setting homework is an opportunity to ensure that your students have absorbed the lesson and can apply what they've learnt to individual study. Homework allows students to reflect on your teachings and broaden their understanding of a particular subject or topic.

However, motivating your class to view homework this way might be something of a challenge! Most young people find settling down to complete homework outside of school hours challenging. If the task feels overwhelming or difficult or seems monotonous, they might just go through the motions of getting it done rather than giving it their full energy and attention and completing it the best they can.

So how can you ensure students' love of learning continues outside the classroom and that they not only give their all to completing homework but actually enjoy it too?

By getting creative with the work you set and thinking about how you can engage and motivate students to complete their homework, you will undoubtedly see better results.

Here are some excellent homework ideas to help encourage creative, student-led learning.

Exciting, engaging homework ideas to keep your students paying attention

Write their own lesson plan.

If you want to give your students a chance to step into your shoes for the day, why don't you ask them to create their own lesson plan around a topic they've learnt about or are about to learn? This will give them a chance to showcase their knowledge, do research and think creatively. You'll also learn more about how your students like to work and what would make a good lesson from their perspective, which could help inform how you shape your lessons in the future.

Write a speech or story from a different perspective

If your students are learning about a famous historical figure or studying a classic text, why not get them to think about different perspectives? You could ask them to embody someone influential from a particular period or a character from a play or story and write a speech or story from that person's point of view.

Create a board game

Gamification is always a fun idea to try to inject energy into the classroom, and getting your students to create their very own board game is a fantastic way to keep things fun while also getting them engaged in their learning. Games could centre around a particular topic; they could be quiz-based, matching games, or number games - let them get as creative as they like. You can then have fun in class playing the best ones too.

Go on a treasure hunt

As a fun homework task that will get your students out and about, ask them to go on a treasure or scavenger hunt, finding certain things that are related to your topic. For younger children, this could be as simple as collecting leaves, flowers, or twigs they might find in their local park, or particular shapes or colours, but older children can benefit from this kind of task too by setting more complicated challenges.

Create a collage

Creating collages can be a fun and interesting way for students to demonstrate their learning, improve their research skills and use their creativity and imagination and can be based on a variety of different topics so they work well across lots of subjects. Encourage them to stick cutouts, fabrics, tickets, photographs, and any other relevant materials to make up their collages, and then they can take turns presenting these in class.

Film a video

If your students are older and have mobile phones, you could set a video-making task for them to do at home. This could involve interviewing friends and relatives about a topic or filming themselves talking about a specific subject, or answering a particular question. Students could share their videos in class and will love being able to use their phones in school for once!

Create a crossword

Get your students to think creatively about questions and answers by asking them to create their very own crossword puzzle, using the material you've taught them in class as a basis. You can ask them to bring all their crossword puzzles into class and then swap them with each other to see if other students can fit the answers in correctly.

Find fun facts

Almost every subject has weird and wonderful facts surrounding it. Did you know, for example, that the word 'hundred' derives from an old Norse term 'hundrath,' which actually means 120?! Or that water can both boil and freeze simultaneously? Encourage your students to find the most obscure or interesting facts about the subjects you are teaching them, and then you can all share your findings in class.

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- See more at: https://www.horizonteachers.com/blog/2023/01/creative-homework-ideas-for-your-students/279#sthash.x9SGIBTc.dpuf

homework tasks ideas

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7 Ways To Make Homework Fun For Back To School

Are you tired of the same old same old homework or heading back to school and need new ideas? Here are some creative homework ideas to put into the mix.

Whether you are heading back to school or have been back for a bit, perhaps you are tired of the same old same old homework. Hopefully, you’re coming back with some new energy. Why not infuse that into creative, new activities that you send home with students to consolidate skills? 

Here’s how to make homework fun!

Start with these free fun homework ideas

Free phonics worksheets & activities.

homework tasks ideas

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Fun homework ideas for the whole year

One of the things that keeps homework from getting stale is to have a variety of activities and approaches. This does three things:

  • It keeps students from getting bored with a fill-in-the-blank worksheet every single day
  • It provides options for students to draw in different skills and learning styles
  • It allows you to practice the same skill in multiple ways. 

Here are some creative ideas to put into the mix. 

Homework bingo

At the beginning of the week give students a bingo card with different activities related to your focus on a particular subject. For example, a phonics bingo card might include activities like: make a list of at least 10 words with the long e sound, sort the list of words into groups based on how the long e sound is spelled, write sentences using 5 long e words, draw pictures of 5 of our long e words and label them, look around your house for long e words (books, labels, sign, clothing, etc.). Instruct students they need to do five activities this week. If a word list, a game, or other resource is useful for completing the activity, you can attach it to the bingo card. You can even use the same card for more than a week. Let students know if they can repeat any activities or have to do all new ones in week 2.

Cootie catchers

Do you remember these folded paper playground games? You might have called them fortune tellers or chatterboxes. Kids still love them, and they are a great way to practice phonics or math. Cootie catchers can be a two-person activity (students can practice with a friend or somebody in their home), but they can also be used individually. 

Are you tired of the same old same old homework or heading back to school and need new ideas? Here are some creative homework ideas to put into the mix.

Make a poster

Have students make a poster about a specific topic or something they learned. For example, students could make a poster illustrating with examples the different ways to spell the oo sound. Hang the posters in the classroom. 

Are you tired of the same old same old homework or heading back to school and need new ideas? Here are some creative homework ideas to put into the mix.

Math card games

Card games can be a fun way to practice math. I’ve used math card games to build math fluency, practice adding on, and come up with different ways to get to the same number, among other things. You can find some step-by-step math card games here. If students don’t have playing cards at home, you can print out number cards to work with. 

Are you tired of the same old same old homework or heading back to school and need new ideas? Here are some creative homework ideas to put into the mix.

Phonics card games

When it comes to card games, math might come to mind first because playing cards have numbers, but you can print word cards for any word list you are using for students to use for phonics card games. You can have students sort the word cards based on certain criteria. Or they can play classic games like Go Fish or Concentration. Some games, like Go Fish, only work with another player, but some like concentration or sorting games can work for individuals. 

Are you tired of the same old same old homework or heading back to school and need new ideas? Here are some creative homework ideas to put into the mix.

I use task cards in lots of ways. I put math task cards in my math station, use them as a morning warm-up, have them available for early finishers — and I use them for homework. Send a stack of them home at the beginning of the week and have students complete them all by the end of the week. 

Are you tired of the same old same old homework or heading back to school and need new ideas? Here are some creative homework ideas to put into the mix.

Mix it up worksheets

I mentioned at the beginning that creative activities saved students from the boredom of worksheets, so I wanted to be clear. I’m not anti-worksheet. Worksheets can make home practice easy on teachers, students, and parents. The key, I think, is to have a variety of options when it comes to worksheets, so students are not doing the same thing day after day. Maybe one worksheet has them fill in the blanks, but another has them unscramble words or match words to a picture or cut and sort. There are so many homework ideas in worksheets alone. 

Are you tired of the same old same old homework or heading back to school and need new ideas? Here are some creative homework ideas to put into the mix.

Need creative and easy homework ideas 

If you were trying to figure out how to make homework fun, I hope one of these homework ideas inspired you. And if you were inspired, but you’re not sure you have the time or energy to pull it off, I’ve got some good news. You don’t have to create it to have creative homework activities. 

Here are two DONE FOR YOU ways to freshen up your homework ideas: 

Phonics homework for the ENTIRE year

You get 100 weeks of engaging, skills-based phonics activities, ready to print and go. They cover blending, segmentation, phoneme manipulation, fluency, vocabulary, and punctuation and give students practice in CVC words, more complex words, digraphs, alternate spellings of many sounds, suffixes, and double consonants. In addition to a variety of skills, there’s a variety of activities too! Easy homework? Done: https://topnotchteaching.com/downloads/fun-phonics-homework/

Top Notch Teaching membership

Looking for ways to make homework fun beyond phonics? The Top Notch Teaching Membership has you covered with done-for-you lessons, activities, and projects you can use for literacy, math, science, PE, and more. No more getting lost down a Google rabbit hole. Instead, you have one place to go for done-for-you printables and digital products you know you can trust. Homework ideas, lesson plans, classroom management? Done: https://topnotchteaching.com/members/

Are you tired of the same old same old homework or heading back to school and need new ideas? Here are some creative homework ideas to put into the mix.

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homework tasks ideas

Engaging and exciting homework tasks – Part Two

In her previous post, Joanna Szoke emphasized the importance of planning the homework we set students, of making sure they understand what they have to do, as well as making homework more personally relevant and interesting.

homework tasks ideas

In this second post, Joanna shares some ways to incorporate 21st century skills into homework.

There are many such skills, all crucial, but the 4 most well-known are: creative thinking, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration – the 4 C’s.

Let’s see how this can work in practice with some simple examples! I’ll show you 3 quite traditional tasks and what we can do with them to incorporate some of the 4C’s:

homework tasks ideas

Connect the new terms with their definitions – A staple in almost every course book but not so exciting. What we can do to make it collaborative is to build in a crossword game! Just keep the terms, ask your students to prepare definitions for them, and type them into a free template offered by crosswordlabs.com . They take part in the defining process and they can then fill in the crossword in pairs, which improves their communication skills as well.

2. Communicate

Write a 150-word letter of complaint to the restaurant manager – This is a typical exam task. To make it a little different, you could include some research or some real experiences. Ask your students to look up a unique restaurant online (they might even go and try the food there), try to imagine what they could complain about, and then put it on padlet.com with the image of the restaurant. You can also appoint restaurant managers whose responsibility is to respond to these complaints under the original Padlet post. A similar but more life-like twist could be to make your students write Google Maps reviews – they might even post it in the end!

3. Do research, advance preparation

You just finished a unit, will start a new topic next, and have nothing really to give as homework – Imagine that you finished everything and have no idea what to do with your students. They can either have some time off or… You could ask them to do some research on the topic that’s coming up next and record their findings via videoask.com , flipgrid.com or vocaroo.com (this one’s audio only). You could also ask them to look for something specific – a surprising fact, a controversial idea, a scandal, or something inspiring. They can watch each other’s short videos before the lesson with some guided task, and come to class prepared.

So to sum up the main takeaways: To make homework tasks more engaging, try making them more personalised, authentic, and challenging by integrating several 21st century skills and involving the real world around your students . Don’t hesitate to share your ideas here or on social media!

Joanna is a very active educator, trainer and blogger.

Check out her blog (highly recommended): http://www.shortandsimpleenglish.com  

Follow Joanna on: http://linkedin.com/in/joanna-szoke https://twitter.com/jo_shortnsimple

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Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)!

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find:

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them 
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you . 

So let’s get started! 

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How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to Instagram...so you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 

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How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do things...as long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 

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If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away. 
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C. 

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels 

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 

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This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 

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Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!)

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Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.)

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later. 

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too. 

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What’s Next?

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a day...so it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!) 

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

Connect With a Tutor Now

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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15 Innovative School Homework Ideas to Make Learning Fun

15 Innovative School Homework Ideas to Make Learning Fun

Aashita Pillai

Aashita is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher Mentor for a couple of years. She wields words like weapons to help readers get clear and concise information.

Introduction

General tips to keep students hooked to school homework, 15 innovative school homework ideas to engage your students, theme a: arts and crafts, theme b: physical and outside activities, theme c: digital activities, theme d: games, theme e: entrepreneurship.

“Hi teachers! I am your old friend, School Homework. Over time as education changed, so have I— thanks to the endless innovations that happened to me.  Let me take you through my life and the various innovations that made me your best friend- I was born in the 1920s to help students reinforce what they learned in class. Until the 1980s, I was basically just pen-and-paper-based assignments.  The Internet was born in 1983. From there onwards, I made my stride into the ‘digital era’.

Evolution of school homework

Until the beginning of 2020, I was slowly being integrated within online platforms and technology to help students learn better. Then at the onset of 2020, the world plunged into the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools shifted to a ‘remote learning’ mode of education. During this pandemic, you and I became very crucial in ensuring the continuity of our students’ learning. You all embraced creative approaches to keep the students engaged. You leveraged interactive games, virtual simulations, & more to make me engaging. Gone are the days when you, my dear teachers, would limit your homework to worksheets, textbook questions, literature reviews, and reports. Today as we stand here in 2023, there is no limit to innovative and exciting homework formats! Well, that’s from me. See you in the classrooms!”

Unlimited possibilities when school homework and innovation combine

So teachers, we heard from homework about how it has evolved over time. As it said, many innovative ways have come up to reinforce our students' learning. So, are you ready to make your students fall in love with these new school homework ideas? Let’s begin with understanding some general tips to keep your students engaged with their school homework.

1. Make it Relevant and Meaningful 

Connect the school homework to their lives, interests, or current events to make it more meaningful and relatable. For example, if it’s Christmas time, you can ask your students to explore the themes of charity, storytelling, etc.

2. Give Them a Choice

Allow students to have some choice and autonomy in their assignments. Ask them to select the format (e.g. written format in the online medium, oral format in the offline medium) in which they want to submit their homework. When they feel a sense of ownership, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged. This is how you become a 21st-century teacher who uses differentiated learning. 

3. Celebrate Their Achievements

When children get appreciated for their achievements or good behaviour, it boosts their self-confidence. It encourages them to repeat those actions. This creates a positive learning environment. They are more likely to deliver results when appreciated for their actions. Hence, you can celebrate their achievements via small rewards, recognition or a display of their work in class.

Let's move to the next part of this blog, where we will share innovative school homework ideas that will turn mundane homework into engaging learning sessions!  After assigning any of these innovative homework ideas, you might never hear students’ innovative excuses to avoid homework! To give you a quick run-through, these ideas have been grouped under some common themes. Under each theme, you will learn how to use 3 ideas listed alongside relevant examples to comprehend it completely. Come along as we give the ratty old homework a MAKEOVER!

By infusing the joy of arts and crafts into school homework, you can tap into the innate curiosity and imagination of your students. And you never know, you might end up being the person that shaped the next Da Vinci! So, let’s get right into it:

1. Create Your Storybook

Storybooks as creative holiday homework for nursery class

We all have heard stories. We have loved them and adored them. So why not give our students a chance to write one?  After the students submit their storybooks, you can review their stories and give personalised feedback. Such feedback addresses each student’s individual needs, strengths, and areas for improvement. This fosters a student-centric learning environment.  Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

2. Make Your Own Board Game

Holiday homework to make your own board game

Do you remember the joy of gathering around a table, rolling a dice, and playing Snakes & Ladders? As kids and even as adults, many of us love spending our time playing board games.  Now, picture becoming the teacher that integrates school homework with a board game! Students can design board games and incorporate artistic elements into their theme, board layout, cards, etc. They can become architects of fun and learning!

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

3. Construct a Birdhouse

Summer vacation holiday homework to create a birdhouse

Now, let’s tap into the sweet nostalgia of DIY(Do it Yourself) Projects. It could be something as simple as bedsheet forts or something a little more complex like a birdhouse 🙂 Won’t it be wonderful to watch your students feel a sense of accomplishment when they build their own handmade creations?  Let’s focus on the idea of constructing a birdhouse. By assigning students this homework, you’ll additionally be encouraging kinesthetic learning . 

Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely: 

Students love spending their time outdoors. Assigning school homework that requires them to be outside is a big plus! It will also help them apply what’s taught in class in real-life situations and promote active learning.

4. Participate in a Scavenger Hunt

homework tasks ideas

Everyone loves a good old mystery! Give your students the chance to be modern-day ‘Sherlock Holmes’ as they set out on scavenger hunts.  Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

5. Maintain a Physical Activity Journal

homework tasks ideas

In this digital age, where mobile and laptop screens often dominate, the majority of the students lead sedentary lifestyles. School homework which encourages physical activity, can be a game-changer! And what better than maintaining a physical activity journal that helps with it? Additionally, it will also promote the healthy habit of having an active lifestyle among students.  Getting students to journal can seem tough, but with the right motivation & incentives, it can be done. Additionally, this can also be a fun summer holiday homework, where students can keep track of their activities all summer! Encourage them to document their daily exercise triumphs. Push them to go beyond their own records! Ask them to explore science concepts- BMI, heart and pulse rates, diet, and nutrition! Once you do this, exercise will not just be about breaking a sweat anymore. It will also be something that incorporates learning! Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

6. Conduct a Survey at a Local Supermarket

homework tasks ideas

This outdoor activity is an extremely fun option for school homework. Most kids love running through the different aisles in a supermarket. Introducing a concept like surveys here gives them a chance to do some ‘real-life’ work and also provides much-needed relief to their parents!  Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely: 

In the age of tech-savvy students, we often find parents complaining about the excess screen time with their kids. But what if you could harness the untapped potential in technology? Today's kids are already immersed in the digital world, so why not tap into their enthusiasm and merge it with learning?  Let’s look at some innovative methods of assigning digital activities for school homework:

7. Record a Virtual Job Application

Homework for classes 9 to 12 related to career opportunities

This can be a fun homework assignment for students of all grades. One thing that we often forget as teachers is that school is not just about the present; it's also about the future. But often, we don’t discuss the future. This results in students being almost lost when it comes to their future career opportunities.  This is exactly where this school homework activity helps. Assigning school homework related to professions is a great chance for students to explore their career options. This, in turn, will help them be better prepared for life after school.  Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

8. Participate in Online Collaborative Projects

Online collaboration projects as holiday homework

Online projects are a catalyst for active learning and student engagement. They can be a tool for you to create a dynamic learning environment that goes beyond traditional classroom boundaries. Additionally, these activities enhance digital literacy and empower students to leverage technology for learning. Working on online collaborative projects will also help students learn how to function together as a team. This is something that also prepares them for life beyond school, where it’s crucial to learn to work together.

9. Virtual Cultural Exchange

Using cultural exchange as holiday homework

Cultural exchange events open doors to new horizons, offering students a unique chance to explore diverse cultures. By immersing them in new traditions, you develop acceptance, and empathy in your students. You give them a chance to have a broad and more inclusive perspective of the world. Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

Game-based school homework is one of the best ways to engage your students. Integrating learning within games creates a powerful synergy where education and entertainment merge seamlessly.  It’s time to tap into your students’ natural love for games and leverage it!

10. Use Minecraft as a Learning Tool

Summer vacation holiday homework using games

Ah, Minecraft! A name that brings back memories of endless adventures in pixelated landscapes. It’s a game that is a nostalgic reminder of our childhood.  But did you know that Minecraft can be more than just a game? It can be a powerful learning tool to level up the educational experience of your students.  💡Learn how to leverage Minecraft to make your classrooms more engaging! Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

11. Encourage Role-Playing Games

Using roleplay as creative holiday homework idea

Lights, camera, action! Role-playing games(RPGs) let students step into the shoes of a character and bring lessons to life. Even though RPGs are not typically classified as games, their unique blend of learning and fun makes them ideal for educational purposes.  You can assign students to act out roleplays based on a historical event, scientific concept or work of literature. They can develop characters, write dialogues, and present this to the class. Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

12. Online Challenges

Online coding as holiday homework design idea

You can introduce online challenges like coding of varying difficulties for different grade levels. Platforms like Scratch or Code.org can be helpful for this purpose. Coding challenges offer hands-on experience to students. It allows them to practice coding concepts and algorithms in a practical and engaging manner.  Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

In today's competitive world, students who embrace innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset stand out. As a teacher, you can nurture these qualities in your students via thought-provoking school homework. Such assignments can ignite students' passion for problem-solving, creative thinking, and strategic planning. Let’s look at some of the ideas below.

13. Pitch Your Business Idea

Holiday homework idea of practising a business pitch

Have you watched shows like Shark Tank or Billion Dollar Buyer? Have you been completely captivated by the business pitches on these shows? Now, imagine doing the same for your students— unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit. It’s time to bring the hustle of the business world into your classrooms! Encourage students to develop a business idea and create a persuasive pitch. They should research their target market, competitors, and unique selling points. In fact, students can present their pitch using multimedia tools, such as slides or videos, highlighting the problem they're solving and the value their business brings. Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

14. Design a Mobile App

School homework idea to design mobile apps

Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. Think about the countless hours that you spend on your smartphone, exploring different apps that make your life easier. This is a practice growing like fire amongst kids as well and is cause for serious concern! What if they spend time on their phone and learn at the same time? This homework assignment encourages students to apply their creativity and technical skills to develop a concept for a mobile application. Additionally, you can also assign this as a holiday homework assignment and let students go wild with learning during summer! Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely:

*Technologies like designing mobile applications can be too complex for the primary school. Hence, we focus on this idea only for middle and high school students.

15. Set up a Stall at the School Fair

School homework idea of setting up a stall at fair

This homework acts as an Introduction to Business 101 class for students of all grade levels. Students get to decide what stall to put up, then work on the logistics and finally manage the stall and finances on D-Day. This will teach students real-world skills and give them a feeling of ownership. Let's look at a few examples to understand this school homework approach more closely: 

Grade-Specific Tips to follow while Preparing School Homework ‍

1. primary school students ‍.

  • Keep it Interactive and Hands-on Younger children thrive on tactile and interactive experiences. Incorporate more of arts and crafts, storytelling, etc., to make homework enjoyable for them.
  • Use Visuals Vibrant colours will capture their attention and make tasks visually appealing.
  • Keep it Short Primary school students have limited attention spans. Give them small tasks that they can accomplish in a limited timeframe. ‍

2. Middle School students ‍

  • Offer More Choices Middle schoolers are often teenagers already on the precipice of changes beyond their control. They will appreciate having some control over their learning. Allow them to choose topics or formats that align with their interests.
  • Incorporate Technology Middle school students are often technologically savvy. Utilise online resources, interactive platforms, and digital tools to make homework more engaging and relevant to their interests.
  • Encourage Independent Research Foster their curiosity by assigning research-based projects. Encourage them to explore various sources and present their findings in creative ways. ‍

3. High School Students ‍

  • Encourage Critical Thinking and Analysis High schoolers are capable of higher-order thinking skills. Assign tasks that require critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical thinking.
  • Encourage Self-expression Offer creative assignments that allow them to express their thoughts, opinions and ideas. Remember that they are young adults finding their voice in a loud world. Encourage them to write essays, create multimedia presentations, or engage in spirited debates.
  • Push for Practical Application Assign tasks that connect to real-world situations, allowing them to see the relevance and importance of their learning. ‍

How to Improve Your Homework and Other Teaching Strategies?

Do you want to learn about more strategies to improve school homework? What if you could upskill and improve all your teaching strategies- classroom management, assessment, and lesson planning, among many others? Book a call with a mentor to get dedicated teacher counselling on upskilling and improving your teaching strategies.

In a world where school homework is generally met with students’ whining, you can use these approaches to turn it into a gateway for innovation! By infusing ideas such as game-based learning, digital activities, and arts and crafts, you can help students engage with school homework meaningfully. This will foster a lifelong love for learning among your students, ultimately helping them succeed in and beyond the classroom. Want a short compilation of all the amazing school homework ideas? Click the button below

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11 vocabulary homework ideas and how to motivate students to do it, by: vocab gal.

Homework is such a valuable formative assessment for both teachers and students, and yet students are motivated* by many different factors when it comes to their desire to actually complete the work. In this article, I'm sharing how to motivate students to do their homework and 11 vocabulary homework ideas and worksheets that work in grades 1–12. Plus, preview and grab my 7 Options for Vocabulary Homework Kit .

Keep scrolling to find vocabulary homework ideas! 

How to motivate students to do their homework.

As a teacher, I try to concentrate students’ learning on activities done in class, because asking some students to complete work at home can be daunting. Many times in my career I have been discouraged when more than half the class does not return to class with their homework assignment complete.

Yet we only have so many minutes with our students, and we need them to practice the concepts and skills they are learning until the knowledge becomes ingrained. Most students have a homeroom, study hall, or other downtime during the day in which they could complete activities, they just have to be motivated to do it.

Many studies cite “student choice” as one of the most important factors in inspiring students to learn. When students have the opportunity to select what questions to answer, what activity to complete or what role to play, they tend to feel more comfortable and confident about performing.

Additionally, research shows that when students are dedicated to a task important to them, like improving their video game scores, or optimizing their success on a playing field, they will go to great lengths to improve. While probably not as meaningful as their video game level, students will be more excited to answer questions about themselves than a generic worksheet.

By providing students with both choice and a topic that is personally meaningful, homework can be a great learning exercise as well as an important formative assessment.

Steps to Ensure Students Complete Homework

There are a few other motivating factors that can help establish homework as a meaningful part of a student’s educational experience. Here are suggested steps a school, parish, department, or teacher might take to ensure successful homework completion.

Step One First, confirm that students have a strong rapport with their teacher(s). While it is difficult to cultivate a deep relationship with each student, teachers should strive to show students that they value their students and are committed to helping them learn and grow to their fullest potential. I would encourage teachers not to assign homework for the first few weeks of school until they develop a classroom community of respect and appreciation for learning.

Step Two Second, once the classroom community has been established, teachers should specifically explain the importance of homework as a way of deeply ingraining knowledge. Teachers should also make it clear that homework is a meaningful formative assessment where both they and their students can understand what students know and where there are knowledge gaps.

Step Three Third, some students may be quite unhappy when being mandated to do specific work. Therefore, teachers should stress the choices a student gets when completing their homework and that students get to complete the work that best reflects their own sense of self.

Step Four Finally, the teacher should praise students individually, as well as praise the class when homework is turned in on time. Many students thrive on positive reinforcement and also many may feel guilt if they let their classmates or teacher down. Additionally, as many teachers know, a word of encouragement or a small sticker can make the difference to many.

How to Respond When Homework is Not Completed

When at last it comes time for homework collection, there will be students who did not complete the assignment, no matter how well it was set up. Teachers can again encourage students who did not complete the homework in time to think about what may motivate them to complete it. If a student seems to dislike direct mandates, providing support such as, “I know that you value your learning and will find a way to demonstrate your abilities,” might be more effective than, “Turn in your paper by Thursday or it’s a zero!”

For others who seem driven by the need to please or help others, teachers might encourage students by stating, “I’m disappointed that you weren’t able to complete your work on time, and I know you will submit your work in order to show us both what you know and understand,” might work better than, “Don’t you want the credit for this assignment?”

Vocabulary Homework Ideas for Students

For this post, I have a few homework assignments that model these ideas. Both in my new It's All About Me vocabulary practice page, and my tried-and true,  7 Options for Vocabulary Homework bundle, students are motivated to continue their learning because they have both choice and a focus on themselves, a topic in which they are already invested.

My new It's All About Me Vocabulary Activity tasks students with answering a series of questions about themselves using vocabulary words in context. On the first page of this download students will list their vocabulary words and write their own brief definitions. On the second page student will answer eight prompts. Each response should include at least one of the vocabulary words from their list in context . In each of their answers students must underline the context clues that would help someone unfamiliar with the word understand what it means.

I find that students tend to be more engaged in an assignment if they are asked to answer questions about themsleves than a generic worksheet. My new It's All About Me Vocabulary Activity tasks students with answering a series of questions about themselves using vocabulary words in context.

With the 7 Options for Vocabulary Homework bundle, students can choose from a variety of fun and engaging activities for learning or reviewing vocabulary words. In addition to the homework selection sheet, the bundle includes worksheets for vocabulary homework ideas number five and six. The other vocabulary homework options can be completed on a plain piece of paper or in student workbooks.

Here are the vocabulary activities listed on the 7 Options for Vocabulary Homework handout:

With the 7 Options for Vocabulary Homework bundle, students can choose from a variety of fun and engaging activities for learning or reviewing vocabulary words. In addition to the homework selection sheet, the bundle includes worksheets for vocabulary homework ideas number five and six. The other vocabulary homework options can be completed on a plain peice of paper or in student workbooks.

#1 Say Your Words

Do you love the sound of your own voice? Do you tend to learn information by teaching others? Then try saying each of the vocabulary words, out loud and in context, to friends, family, strangers, etc. Use either your flashcards or your list of words, and make sure to get initials from someone who heard you say your vocabulary sentence. If you can’t get a signature, just explain when and how you said the sentences and we will invoke the HONOR SYSTEM! Create two sentences per word.

Do you love to write? Do you copy your notes to help you remember information? Then try writing two sentences for each vocabulary word. These can either be two individual sentences for each word or you can put all of your words together in a story. (If you write a story, you only have to use each word once). Have fun and get creative – amuse me and impress me, but make sure you use your vocabulary words in context!

#3 Write Your Words in Other Classes

As an alternative to the above “Write your Words,” use your vocabulary in your assignments for other classes – social studies essays, science notes, art descriptions, etc. Write down the vocabulary you used for this assignment (For example: On my science test I said “Newton was meritorious,” etc.). You can abbreviate your explanations slightly, as long as I understand you know the word’s meaning; remember to use each word twice.

#4 Become Your Words

Do you gesture when you talk? Is it hard for you to sit still? Then consider creating motions to go along with your words. Cry for lament , raise your arms in praise for approbation , etc. See me during class to “perform” your motions, or write them down, making sure that the connection between word, meaning, and gesture makes sense.

#5 Draw Your Words

Are you an artist? Do you constantly doodle? Then create cartoons or drawings that illustrate each word’s meaning. Create one drawing or cartoon per word and make them neat, using clean white paper (consider using recycled paper that has printing on the other side). Paperclip all your drawings together for the end of the week.

Vocabulary Homework Ideas: Draw Your Words - Are you an artist? Do you constantly doodle? Then create cartoons or drawings that illustrate each word’s meaning. Create one drawing or cartoon per word and make them neat, using clean white paper (consider using recycled paper that has printing on the other side). Paperclip all your drawings together for the end of the week.

#6 Sing Your Words

Do you love to sing? Are you constantly creating your own raps? Try rewriting the lyrics to a song to incorporate each of your vocabulary words or write your own song, rap, etc. You can also write poetry; regardless of the form you choose, the words should be used in the correct context.

Vocabulary Homework Ideas: Sing Your Words - Do you love to sing? Are you constantly creating your own raps? Try rewriting the lyrics to a song to incorporate each of your vocabulary words or write your own song, rap, etc. You can also write poetry; regardless of the form you choose, the words should be used in the correct context.

#7 Test Your Words

Do you want to play teacher and write the test as well as take it? Now you can! Create a vocabulary test using all the words in a variety of different types of questions. Make sure to create the answer key to the test as well.

Download the 7 Options for Vocabulary Homework bundle and have students keep the selection sheet in their binders. Now they have seven weeks of vocabulary homework assignments!

Additional Vocabulary Homework Ideas

Ultimately, establishing a culture of community and trust in the classroom, explaining the reasoning behind and the benefits of homework, and providing choice and meaningful topics can make a significant difference in completion rates. Even if homework is not completed on time, teachers can still work to connect with each student to provide motivation to complete the assignments.

As educators, we all strive to make learning exciting and applicable to our students. By setting up clear expectations and providing interesting options, we can make any homework, including vocabulary homework, meaningful and valuable to students.

 *I have recently completed Gretchen Rubin’s audiobook The Four Tendencies about what motivates different groups of people. Many of the ideas about motivating students come loosely from her book as well as my own observations. I highly recommend the book to anyone wanting to learn how to better motivate themselves and others.

homework tasks ideas

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Homework Ideas for Elementary Teachers: Save Time and Make Learning More Purposeful for Students in 2024

What’s the first word you think of when I say “homework?” It’s one of those hot topics that people feel very strongly about one way or another. However, more often than not, it’s a requirement. As a result, I am here to share homework ideas that will make your life as an elementary teacher a little bit easier.

I used to send homework home nightly, but found it to add chaos to each and every day. I would spend many lunch periods copying an assignment for that night. Kids would forget to take their copy home. Parents would call or email to get clarification on what the assignment was for that night.

Then I switched to a weekly packet. The packet included all of the pages for the week along with a cover sheet that listed spelling words and assignments. This was an improvement, but still not ideal.

Last year, I started using a separate folder just for homework. This is one of the best homework ideas I have come up with. The folder includes the homework calendar and all of the printables they will need for the week. I sent home a Paragraph of the Week assignment each week. The consistency was outstanding. We really felt like we hit gold because the kids were all working on something meaningful with a purpose. The parents liked it because it was easy for them to understand and help with. I began experimenting with a monthly homework packet. And let me tell you…

It. Was. Awesome! 

We placed everything into a homework folder for the month and included an assignment calendar. The folder stayed at home and the students returned their completed work each morning in the communication folder . Learn about some of my best homework ideas for elementary teachers below!

Homework is easy with math spiral review no prep printables. Elementary teachers also love them for morning work, quizzes, RtI, bell ringers, guided math workshop warmups & assessments. Homework folders, packets, or binders make organization and management easy. They eliminate the need for test prep yet increases standardized test scores. They’re for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, & fifth grade & include answer keys, digital projectable, & data analysis. Grab the free samples.

7 Benefits of Assigning Homework

Do you question the importance of homework? Are you one of the many teachers or parents who feel homework should be banned? The idea of homework just doesn’t make sense to you. If you are part of the growing number of people questioning if the reasons homework is bad outweigh the benefits to homework, then you might find this to be helpful. 

I’m going to be honest, as a teacher (and especially as a parent), I am in the camp of not liking the idea of homework at the elementary level. However, each of the districts I have taught in has required teachers to assign nightly homework in addition to reading for 20 minutes. It often felt like a waste of time and paper.

For some teachers, the word HOMEWORK brings about pangs of dread. Others see it as a necessary evil of learning. For many, it merely represents having to fulfill a district requirement. In many districts these days, homework is not counted towards a student’s overall grade. The debate over homework has been waged for years. The question is: What’s a teacher to do?

No matter where you stand on the topic of homework, here are some ideas related to homework that will make you feel better about assigning homework. They may even make you feel good in some cases! I am hoping the 7 benefits listed below will ease the guilt some teachers feel about burdening their students and their families with tasks to complete at home.

1. Prepares Students for the Next Day’s Learning

A great way to use homework is preparation for an upcoming lesson, whether it’s doing some reading ahead of time, or looking over other assigned material, there’s no doubt that preparing for an upcoming lesson is a beneficial way to assign homework.

2. Increases Responsibility

When a student has a task that they MUST do rather than WANT to do, they learn to be responsible. Homework is the “You do” in the learning model of “I do, We do, You do.”.  It gives the learner a chance to practice what was covered in class and take responsibility for their own learning.

3. Advances Problem-Solving Skills

If the student can’t find an answer to something in their homework, (or even where to look for information to find an answer), what steps will they take to solve this problem? Will they look in a dictionary, online, ask a friend, or go to a library? Homework gives students a chance to flex their problem-solving muscles.

4. Offers Review Practice

Whether it’s a new math skill, or spelling/vocabulary words, homework that involves reviewing material covered in class will help students to remember it and is a very useful assignment.

5. Teaches Time Management

For students with an active extra-curricular life, homework teaches them how to manage their time. This helps them learn to prioritize schoolwork.

6. Strengthens Persistence and Grit

There have been many studies done recently that show a lack of persistence and grit in today’s students. Developing the fortitude to complete homework assignments also helps develop a student’s capacity for grit and persistence. These are necessary for success in many areas of life, not just academically.

7. Promotes Self-Esteem

Students will develop a sense of pride when they learn the value of a job well done and take ownership of their work. This carries over into their personal development as well. It is for this reason that homework should always be a review of skills already taught.

5 Problems with Assigning Traditional Homework

These were five of the problems I faced in my 3rd grade classroom. No matter which grade you teach I’m pretty sure you can relate. The good news is I managed to find a solution that saved me time and reduced my stress each day. Not only that, but my students’ math skills were strengthened and their families were less burdened with random assignments each night. Read on to learn about the problems I had and how I solved them.

1. Mandated to Give Homework

My school required we give homework 4 nights per week. It was a mandate, so my personal feelings made no difference. I had to send it nightly.

2. Emails and Calls from Parents

I often received emails and phone calls from confused parents. They often said they didn’t understand the homework or told me that their child said that they had “never seen this stuff before”. Let’s be honest, our time is so limited. We do not want to spend the afternoon or start the morning returning messages explaining directions or convincing someone that you did, in fact, teach it in class.

3. Wasted Class Time Every Day

I needed to spend some of our instructional time every afternoon going over the instructions because each assignment varied.

4. Drop-In Visits from Parents

I frequently had a parent and child return to my classroom because the homework never made it into the backpack. This often resulted in an unplanned conference at a time when I needed to prepare for the next day.

5. Students Forgot what was Taught

Unrelated to homework, I consistently faced a different problem. I often would teach a concept, the students would demonstrate proficiency…and then they didn’t.

How often do you have students who forget what odd and even (or a prime and composite if you teach higher grades) numbers are, not remember how to round to the nearest 10, 100 or 1000, or sit like a deer in headlights when asked to write a number in expanded form in the spring when they were rock stars of that skill in the fall when it was taught.

This is especially troublesome if you teach in a grade that takes standardized testing at the end of the year because you then need to set aside a lot of class time for review and test prep.

How to Grade Homework

Determine if correcting homework is an effective use of your time. Teachers don’t know how much assistance a child had with an assignment so it isn’t always an accurate representation of their abilities. Checking the homework for effort and general understanding may be sufficient. If you are assigning worksheets, consider selecting a few questions to go over in class.

Homework Incentive Ideas

Homework should be completed because it is an expectation and not to receive a trinket. However, some teachers do find that extrinsic rewards are motivational to their students. If you choose to make those a part of your homework procedure, here are a few easy-to-manage suggestions:

Students earn a ticket when they complete an assignment. Have them place the tickets into a container. Draw one ticket a week to win a No Homework Night Coupon.

Certificate

Honor perfect homework efforts with a certificate. This could be done monthly or by marking period.

Offer a “No Homework Coupon.” These are like gold!

Ideas for Homework Consequences

First, check with your school and district to see if there is a policy in place. Next, determine a plan for how you will handle homework that is incomplete, missing, poor quality, etc. and be consistent. Be cautious about using recess as a punishment for not doing homework. Often the kids who are not doing their homework are the ones who most need recess .

10 Homework Tips for Elementary Teachers

Below are homework tips for elementary teachers to consider. You are bound to find some helpful homework ideas on this list that you can implement.

1. Assign Tasks Students can do Independently

The first tip on this list of homework ideas is to strive to find easy-to-manage, yet effective assignments. Although it is true that you shouldn’t be sending home tasks that students can’t complete on their own, you also need to be careful not to give them “busy work” either.  Having them complete an assignment for a skill they are proficient in also creates unnecessary work for the teacher. Time is a teacher’s greatest obstacle so be careful not to spend it copying, correcting, managing, chasing, etc sheets of paper that students are not gaining anything from. 

2. Keep Homework Assignments Consistent Across the Grade Level

The second tip on this list of homework ideas is to strive to be consistent with your grade level colleagues. Ideally, the assignments and policies should be identical.

3. Collaborate with Your Team

The third tip on this list of homework ideas is to save time by teaming up with the other teacher(s) at your grade level. Alternate prepping the packet for the week or designate different subjects to different teachers.

4. Communicate Expectations with Your Students’ Families

Communicate your expectations with parents from the beginning. Discuss them at open house and make a hard copy available for students who may transfer in later in the year.

5. Change the Way you See Homework

Use homework as an opportunity to teach organization and responsibility. While homework may not always be a reflection of a student’s abilities, it can be a valuable learning tool for time management and work habits.

6. Keep a Simple and Consistent Format

Design a simple and consistent format for homework. It could be reading and a math page every night or you may have students work on a different subject each night.  When I taught 2nd grade I used to do Math Monday (computation), Teacher Choice Tuesday (a spelling activity), Word Study Wednesday, Thinking Thursday (word problems).

7. Create a System for Collecting It

The seventh tip on this list of homework ideas is to create a system for collecting it. It’s important to have some sort of turn-in system and procedure so students know what to do with their homework each morning.

8. Implement an Efficient Routine for Checking Homework

Consider implementing an efficient routine for checking homework. If you are just going to check for completion and spot check the homework you could have students place it on their desk while they do morning work and you can circulate and check the pages.

9. Communicate Homework Progress with Parents

Determine how you will communicate homework progress with parents. In general, no news is good news, but I do have a homework alert that gets sent home as needed. It needs to be signed by an adult at home so the families know if they are not meeting the expectations.

10. Consider Creating a Menu of Optional Homework Activities

The last tip on this list of homework ideas is to create a menu of optional homework activities. Some parents find homework to be a burden and others want more. One way to make everyone happy is to send home a basic assignment that is required for all students and a list of optional enrichment choices for those who want additional assignments.

How I Implemented Homework in My Classroom

There are tons of homework ideas out there, but this is what worked for me.

As a public school teacher, I was required to give out nightly homework to my third graders. I found myself spending a lot of time picking out assignments, making copies, communicating directions, answering emails and phone calls from parents who did “not understand the new math” (aka the math workbook pages), distributing, collecting and correcting what essentially was just busy work sent home to meet a requirement I did not agree with. 

My biggest concern was (and continues to be) that many of the assignments from the workbook included 10-20 of the same type of problem. That meant that if a student was struggling with subtraction with regrouping and completed 20 problems incorrectly, that misconception and error became so much harder to fix. 

Parents were signing reading logs, but the kids weren’t actually reading.

I was frustrated by feeling like my time, the students’ time, and the parents’ time was being wasted. I knew there had to be a better option, so I set out to fix the problem. I’m thrilled with the results I must say.

I began creating spiral review math pages for each day for my own 3rd graders. These pages proved to be important and meaningful work. This resource is best if not one of the best homework ideas I have ever come up with.

Homework is easy with math spiral review no prep printables. Elementary teachers also love them for morning work, quizzes, RtI, bell ringers, guided math workshop warmups & assessments. Homework folders, packets, or binders make organization and management easy. They eliminate the need for test prep yet increases standardized test scores. They’re for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, & fifth grade & include answer keys, digital projectable, & data analysis. Grab the free samples.

What are the Spiral Review Math Pages?

The spiral review math pages are a tool for teachers to use to ensure students are having continued practice with previously taught skills. They are available for 1st-5th grade. The spiral review packets were designed to have 25 pages per month, which gives you the flexibility to assign them for homework every night plus have extras. The 1st grade version is set up a little differently, but still has 180 pages so you’ll be covered for the year.

Each of the spiral review pages follow the same daily format, cover skills from each area (e.g. computation, measurement, geometry, data, and word problems) and continuously spiral previously taught skills. This consistent format of 10 standards-based questions focused on topics we’d already covered provides an important spiral review of all the grade-level skills. This helped students to retain previously taught skills. The added benefit was that students who had not demonstrated proficiency earlier in the year had the opportunity to do so over time through repeated practice and instruction.

Using these spiral review math pages makes homework more purposeful and easier to manage. My students became much stronger in all math concepts, the parents expressed gratitude for the consistent format, and the phone calls and emails asking for assignment clarification completely stopped. It was so effective that it completely eliminated the need for any test prep in the spring. My students’ test scores were even much higher than previous years.

These worked so well for myself and the other 3rd grade teachers who were using them, that (by request) I created them for 2nd, 4th, and 5th grade too. Each was designed in consultation with and piloted by experienced teachers in those grade levels. They have since been used the past few years by thousands of teachers who have reported great success as well. I most recently added first grade.

This is one of my favorite ideas for homework of all time!

homework tasks ideas

What’s Included in the Spiral Review Math Resources?

The 2nd-5th grade packets all have monthly/seasonal themes. September targets many of the skills that were required at the end of the previous grade level. It was designed to be used as a review for the new year and to pinpoint important foundational skills that your students must be proficient in before moving on to new standards. The following months build in a systematic, sequential order with lots of spiral review built in so that students retain important concepts. They include the following resources:

  • 250 print and go pages (plus 10 bonus pages) that will cover you for the full school year
  • answer keys to make grading quick and easy for you
  • 2,500 review problems (plus 100 bonus problems) based on the Common Core, which will help you rest easy knowing your students are practicing the math concepts and skills they need to
  • 250 Google Forms so students can access them digitally from home or in school
  • Recording sheets for students to show their thinking
  • Item analysis data trackers to make it easy to see which students need to be pulled for small groups or if it would be beneficial to reteach the concept to the entire class
  • Projectable answer keys so students can check their own work

The first grade version is a little different. It’s format has only 5 problems to better meet the developmental needs of our younger learners. It has 180 printable pages instead. In addition, this resource does not include seasonal pages, which allows you to use them at any time of the school year.

Learn more about the spiral review math resources for your grade level below.

  • 1st grade spiral review math activities
  • 2nd grade spiral review math activities
  • 3rd grade spiral review math activities
  • 4th grade spiral review math activities
  • 5th grade spiral review math activities

Where Can I Learn More about Spiral Review Math?

You can learn more about spiral review in this post: Spiral Review Math .

The Benefits of Using Spiral Review Math Pages

There are tons of benefits to using the spiral review math pages for homework.

  • The spiral review pages provide multiple opportunities for students to become proficient in a skill instead of just teaching it and forgetting it
  • The repeated spiraling practice of foundational grade level skills ensures they were ready to build upon them when y ou introduce new skills.
  • You’ll no longer need to waste hours of valuable class time on standardized test prep in the spring because the spiral review throughout the year ensure your students are always ready for the exam.
  • It constantly shows you if there are skills you need to reteach either to the whole class or to a small group of students. 
  • Students complete them with ease because the skills and the format of the pages are familiar to them.
  • The variety of 10 different problems eliminates the risk of students cementing a misconception into their minds.

Why You’ll Love it as a Teacher

Not only will the nightly spiral review math pages provide your students with meaningful practice of important skills, increase their confidence as learners and make them stronger math students, they will also solve many of the problems you face as a teacher and make the parents’ lives easier too. It’s one of the best homework ideas I have ever come up with!

  • You’ll longer needed to scramble to find homework for each night. Instead, simply print each month’s pages at the start of the new month and copy them all at once into weekly packets for the students.
  • Your lesson planning will become much more intentional and focused because you are able to easily identify which skills your students need to work on more.
  • You will no long waste valuable time correcting busy work. Instead, you’ll go over these important skills as a class.
  • Parents will feel better about being able to help their students and became true allies and partners in their learning.
  • Students and their families will be able to better enjoy their evenings together as a family because they know what to consistently expect for homework each evening.
  • Distributing the week’s packet all at once enables students’ families to support my goal of teaching time management because they can work ahead when they know there is a busy night coming up on their calendars.
  • Homework will be easier for you and more meaningful for your students.
  • The homework assignments will be systematic and routine so parents and students will always know exactly what the expectations are and understand the instructions.
  • You will constantly review all prior skills so that your student reach mastery over time. This will prevent students from forgetting what they learned earlier in the year.

Homework is easy with math spiral review no prep printables. Elementary teachers also love them for morning work, quizzes, RtI, bell ringers, guided math workshop warmups & assessments. Homework folders, packets, or binders make organization and management easy. They eliminate the need for test prep yet increases standardized test scores. They’re for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, & fifth grade & include answer keys, digital projectable, & data analysis. Grab the free samples.

How to Implement them in Your Classroom

I used a separate folder just for homework. It included the homework calendar and all of the printables they will need for the week. We placed everything into a homework folder for the month. The folder stayed at home and the students returned their completed work each morning in the communication folder .

I assembled the homework packets for the entire year in one afternoon and didn’t have to think about it again the rest of the school year. I sent them home on Friday afternoons.

The students simply completed one page each night beginning on Monday afternoons and returned only that one page to class in the morning. The other nightly pages remained at home. 

This meant I no longer needed to take any class time to explain the directions or check to make sure the papers made it into the backpacks.

The next morning I projected the answer sheet onto my smart board and reviewed each problem with them. This daily quick review made them accountable and reinforced all of the math skills regularly. Going over it in class sent the message that the work they did outside of school was purposeful and they would be accountable for it. They no longer felt homework was a waste of time so they demonstrated increased effort.

I also created data collection sheets to use either with one specific student’s page, or to examine the class as a whole. The pages were so easy to use and let me see at a glance where I needed to focus future instruction. 

How Can I Use the Extra Spiral Review Pages in the Packet?

There are 25 pages per month in each of the spiral review resources. Since you’ll never need to use all 25 for homework purposes, consider using the extra pages in the following ways:

  • formative assessment to monitor progress
  • morning work
  • math center activity (“at your seat” activity during Guided Math Workshop )
  • Emergency sub plans  activity

Where Can I Buy the Math Spiral Review Pages?

You can purchase the math spiral review pages from my Teachers Pay Teachers store . They are also available in my Elementary Math Resource Collection and grade level math clubs, which you can find below.

What Teachers Who Used these Packets Have Said

Thousands of teachers have used this homework idea in their classroom. Read some of the reviews below!

  • “WOW! I’ve been teaching for 16 years and this has been the most useful thing I have used. My students really understand all of the skills and I loved knowing I wasn’t moving on without all my kids being proficient. The beautiful layout, structured format, and clear expectations made it so easy to make these become part of our daily routine. I highly recommend them to everyone.” (Thank you Jocelyn P.!)
  • “I started using your monthly spiral review pages in October and never looked back. Not only did they provide us with quality daily work, but I just got my end of year scores back for the district math assessments and my entire class crushed it. I attribute their success 100% to these pages combined with your guided math book that opened my eyes to a whole new way of teaching. I can’t thank you enough. My administration has taken notice. I’m so proud of what we’ve done.” (Thank you Kerri K.!)
  • My teammates and I had the opportunity to see you present about guided math and math workshop and excitedly jumped right in with your guided math format the next week! We have been using the spiral review pages as homework and in the “at your seat” station during our daily math workshop. OMG!!! We ALL agree that between the new teaching routines and the use of these pages, our students are consistently performing above average and truly understand the math. It’s not just our opinion either because we just received our test scores from last year and they were not only MUCH higher than ever before, but we outscored the district and student growth from the previous year was amazing. That was what prompted me to finally leave a review. I/we can not recommend these enough. Thank you for not only making our jobs easier, but so much more enjoyable as well. (Thank you Jessica R.!)
  • These are absolutely wonderful for my students! I use them for a variety of things including review and homework. (Thanks Tony C.!)
  • “Love the data sheets! Great way for me and my students to monitor their learning.” (Thanks Kelsey!)

In closing, we hope you found these homework ideas for teachers helpful! If you haven’t already checked out this post about spiral review math , please be sure to do so!

Homework is easy with math spiral review no prep printables. Elementary teachers also love them for morning work, quizzes, RtI, bell ringers, guided math workshop warmups & assessments. Homework folders, packets, or binders make organization and management easy. They eliminate the need for test prep yet increases standardized test scores. They’re for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, & fifth grade & include answer keys, digital projectable, & data analysis. Grab the free samples.

  • Read more about: ELEMENTARY TEACHING , PLANNING ASSESSING AND TEACHING

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homework tasks ideas

Make Homework Meaningful & Manageable with Menus

Are you looking for a new homework management solution try homework menus to motivate your students and differentiate through choice read on for tips on using homework menus plus free printables for 2nd and 3rd grade to get you started..

Looking for a new homework management solution? Try homework menus! Tips on how to organize your homework practices using menus to motivate your kids and differentiate through choice. Click for details PLUS free printables to get you started.

Teacher Homework Confession/Spoiler Alert:

I’ve never been a fan of homework – not as a child and definitely not as a teacher

Homework has been my pet project for awhile, as it’s always driven me crazy that parents, districts, and most administrators required I create and assign something that any research I’ve encountered deemed at worst detrimental or at best only mildly useful. Since I’ve rarely taught in an environment where not giving homework was an option, I’ve attempted to finagle a way to make homework as meaningful as possible for ALL of my students. No easy task, especially when there are so many other things worthy of our time and attention (literacy, math, arts instruction anyone?!)

I’ve tried: *Daily homework – everyone does the same thing, bring it back the next morning *Weekly homework folders – students complete a set schedule of assignments per week (Monday – spelling, Tuesday – math, Wednesday – reading response, etc.) *Homework packets – go home Monday, students finish in whatever order they choose, bring back Friday *Homework point sheets – students earn a specified amount of points for each homework assignment and earn a set amount of points each week

I’ve had varying amounts of success with all of the above as well as a good amount of failure.

Looking for a new homework management solution? Try homework menus! Tips on how to organize your homework practices using menus to motivate your kids and differentiate through choice. Click for details PLUS free printables to get you started.

The Research on Homework

After reading a variety of research about homework at the elementary level, I strongly believe that the most important part of homework for kids K-5 is reading a just right book. After that, the rest is – just that – the rest.

These two articles are good starting points if you are interested in an overview of the research on homework practices.

Synthesis of Research on Homework The Case For and Against Homework

Here were my takeaways from the articles (from a grade 2-3 perspective)

Homework should:  •Give students a chance to review skills they are comfortable with and can practice independently •Give them an opportunity to do what they enjoy •Give students a chance to be successful at home with academics •Help children see connections between what they do in school and the real world

Homework should not: •Require parents to teach their child something new – let parents do the wrangling, not the teaching •Frustrate kids because of the difficulty of the assignment •Be one size fits all – we don’t teach this way, so why would we assign homework this way?

Homework Menus can be a Solution!

After 14 years of facing this homework conundrum I’ve found that homework menus are the easiest way to differentiate homework in a way that’s easy for teachers to assign and grade.

Plus they give you tons of flexibility so you can include exercise, listening to music, hanging out with family, practicing math facts or mindfulness as menu options.

You are still assigning homework, but getting to choose menu options that you know are really important for kids.

Looking for a new homework management solution? Try homework menus! Tips on how to organize your homework practices using menus to motivate your kids and differentiate through choice. Click for details PLUS free printables to get you started.

Homework menus give students choice within a structure and can be easily adapted to what you have already taught in class.

You only have to create one menu a month and collect homework assignments once per week (or even per month – although I wouldn’t recommend this – too much room for procrastination).

There are a few different ways to handle turn in of assignments for students who can’t handle the Friday only turn in option.  I use homework bookmarks for 99% of  my kids and a daily homework tracker for the kiddos who need a bit more daily accountability.

Looking for a new homework management solution? Try homework menus! Tips on how to organize your homework practices using menus to motivate your kids and differentiate through choice. Click for details PLUS free printables to get you started.

Getting Homework Menus up and Running

Want to try out homework menus? Here are a few things to know about getting organized.

At the beginning of every month you will need a new homework menu. Your menu (if you choose to do a monthly one like me) should include around 25 choices. Then you just need the printables and you’re ready to go.  It’s work up front but it saves you time later.

To Do Monthly:

*Get copies of the homework menu ready for every student *Make 15-20 copies of the printable homework options you want to use *Make one set of answer keys for your homework grader (if you are lucky enough to have one) *Find a place to keep homework menu options (you can see some of mine in the pics) – I put them outside my room on plastic shelves so they’re easy to find before and after school

Looking for a new homework management solution? Try homework menus! Tips on how to organize your homework practices using menus to motivate your kids and differentiate through choice. Click for details PLUS free printables to get you started.

To Do Weekly:

*Make copies of homework bookmarks or trackers to send home *Enter homework in grade book and grade as you would like (If you don’t have a parent volunteer to help you, I say put a sticker on the homework bookmark and send that puppy home!)

Looking for a new homework management solution? Try homework menus! Tips on how to organize your homework practices using menus to motivate your kids and differentiate through choice. Click for details PLUS free printables to get you started.

To Do As Needed:

As you teach something in class, add it to your homework options folders, crate or shelves. If I have extra copies of a math or reading response assignment I always put them in the homework shelves for students to do as extra practice at home. These have been introduced to them in class and they should be able to complete them at home with minimal support. They can easily fit with the “Complete a math assignment you haven’t already done.” or “Complete a reading response/log” menu options. Even if I have something that doesn’t necessarily fit with a given option, I’ll let students know they can use it as a homework option (and let the parents know too) and write in the assignment they did instead of a number. Easy-peasy!

Looking for a new homework management solution? Try homework menus! Tips on how to organize your homework practices using menus to motivate your kids and differentiate through choice. Click for details PLUS free printables to get you started.

Homework Menus Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If homework doesn’t really matter anyway, then why even use a menu? Isn’t it just extra work that could be better spend elsewhere? A: I have always worked in schools where there was pressure either by the district, our school administration, or students’ parents to provide some sort of homework . (95% of the pressure came from parents in my experience.)  Providing homework menus with age-appropriate options is my attempt to work within these expectations, while differentiating for every student and honoring their time. This is why exercise, listening to music, practicing mindfulness, and spending time interacting with family members have always been mainstays on my homework menus.  I also like that the menu structure gives me opportunities to include math and reading review assignments that are beneficial for students, since they’re reviews of what we’ve already done in class.

Q: How do parents respond to this type of homework? A: Just like anything else you do in your classroom, some parents are 100% on board and think homework menus are the best thing ever, and others are not so easily persuaded. For the naysayers I use their questions as a jumping off point to explain what research says about homework in elementary grades and that truly my #1 concern is that their child is reading at home. For the most part parents have been very supportive of this type of homework and loved that it gave their child more freedom and less busy work. Kids are busy after school, and they loved that soccer practice and piano lessons (both great uses of after school time!) could be counted toward their weekly homework. Using menus also eliminates complaints from parents who constantly tell you their child isn’t being challenged by the work you’re sending home, since the kids are making the choices.

Q: Parents are concerned that their children aren’t old enough to make choices. What if they just want a homework packet? A: If parents want a packet, I nicely take them outside my classroom (where I keep copies of all the homework choices) with a stapler in hand, randomly take three or four assignments and staple them together. Voila! A homework packet! I don’t think this is the best way to assign homework as it takes responsibility away from the student, but I don’t believe homework is important enough to cause rifts between teachers and parents. I strongly, strongly, strongly (did I say strongly?) disagree that children aren’t able to make choices for themselves.

Q: What if students can’t handle turning in homework only once a week? A: Weekly turn in typically works for 99% of students. For the other 1% I use a Daily Homework Tracker or Bookmark. Students who use these do the same assignments, but turn in a bookmark/tracker each morning with the minutes they read the night before and the menu option they completed (or are working on) so they don’t get behind.

Q: How do you keep track of homework that has been turned in? Do students ever repeat the same assignment? A: I keep track of homework in an Excel document where I record the total minutes of reading and the numbers from the homework menu that students complete each week. At a glance I can make sure students are completing different assignments throughout the month

Q: How do you grade homework? How much time does this take when students are completing different assignments? A: Grading and entering homework into the Excel document is one of the parent volunteer jobs in my classroom. I feel my grading time is much better spent working on reader’s response notebooks or giving students comments on their writer’s workshop pieces rather than grading and entering homework assignments. I have a pack of answer keys that I include in my parent volunteer section of the room for all the monthly assignments, so a willing parent volunteer can do the grading for you. If parent volunteers are scarce, I would grade for completion only. Check! Sticker! Done!

Q: What do you do if students choose only the easiest assignments? A: Parents are usually much more concerned about this than I. Homework is something students should be able to complete independently so technically they should choose assignments that are easy (on an independent level) for them. I talk with my students throughout the year about choosing just right homework assignments and train the parents to do the same. If you can finish it in two minutes it’s too easy. If it makes you want to cry it’s too hard. Since I can’t necessarily control which assignments students pick as this is HOMEwork, I choose my battles. I would rather battle about reading just right books in the classroom than choosing just right homework assignments.

Q: Parents are telling me they have to teach their child how to do the assignment(s). What should I do? A: Remind the parent that there are a number of options for homework. Their job is to provide a calm place, time and structure for their child to work and then congratulate them when their child does their best. Train parents the same way you do students about choosing just right homework assignments (finish in 2 minutes vs. make you want to cry) and make some assignments available online if possible so parents can see what options are available.

Want to try out homework menus? 

Click HERE to download this FREE editable homework menu , homework bookmark , and 4 printables that correspond to the menu and see what you think.  I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Third-Grade-Homework-Freebie-4-NO-PREP-Printables-Editable-Homework-Menu-2802386?utm_source=ST%20Blog&utm_campaign=HW%20Blog%20Post%20Freebie%20Pic

Need more homework menus and printables?

If you are ready to get started with homework menus for the year, homework menus with corresponding printables are ready to go for every month of the school year at the Super Teacher stores. If you’re just getting started for the year, you can check out the August Homework pack HERE and the September Homework Menu pack HERE .

You can buy them one month at a time or take the leap and get the entire year bundle which includes EVERY homework pack + extra presents for Super Pack buyers only!

homework tasks ideas

Have you tried out the freebie? Already using menus for homework? Let me know what you think in the comments!

homework tasks ideas

Need More Back to School Resources?

The First Day of Third Grade: A Full Day of Plans for 3rd Grade Teachers

The First Day of Third Grade: A Full Day of Plans for 3rd Grade Teachers

Never forget a student's birthday with the birthday committee! A simple and creative idea to put students in charge of birthday celebrations so you can keep teaching! #education #elementaryeducation

The Birthday Committee – Manage Student Birthdays with Ease

Cute back to school book and art project! Elementary teachers can use Do Unto Otters as a read aloud to set up classroom rules and expectations. Then have students create otter guided drawings with the steps given. This would make a perfect {yearlong} bulletin board display for 2nd & 3rd grade classrooms. #education #dountootters #backtoschool #2ndgrade #3rdgrade

Do Unto Otters Directed Drawing

Ready, Set, Show! Expanded Form Game

Ready, Set, Show! Expanded Form Game

Ready, Set, Show! Back to School Math Game Addition Facts

Ready, Set, Show! Back to School Math Game Addition Facts

Ready, Set, Show! Place Value Game

Ready, Set, Show! Place Value Game

homework tasks ideas

Great idea!!

  • Pingback: But I Don’t Get It! The Late, Great Homework Debate | TWU New Teachers

Do you plan on making different grade levels? I would like to purchase a second grade one!

Thanks so much for your question! For 2nd grade, I recommend using menus as in-class activities rather than homework because all of the choices are a bit too overwhelming for 2nd graders. When I taught 2nd grade we used a more simple homework and it worked well, especially at the beginning of the year. However, I did still have students use menus, but as enrichment or fast finishers.

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[FREE] Fun Math Games & Activities

Engage your students with our ready-to-go packs of no-prep games and activities for a range of abilities across Kindergarten to Grade 5!

13 Fun Homework Ideas: The Best Ways To Make Homework Fun For Kids Quickly & Easily

Sophie bartlett.

Figuring out how to make homework fun can be a tricky task for parents.

Does it feel like you’re constantly nagging your kids to do their homework? If your answer is yes, know that we’ve all been there! It’s natural for parents to want their children to progress and do well in school, but after an entire day of paper, pencils, and books many youngsters will resist getting on with their homework – and that’s putting it mildly!

Top Tips To Make Homework Fun:

1. work together, 2. use rewards and incentives, 3. make them a snack, 4. make it visual, 5. try different learning apps, 6. set up a homework play date, 7. go outside, 8. turn it into a game, 9. let them play teacher, 10. use a timer, 11. create a special homework space, 12. remember to be positive, 13. get help if you need it.

Thankfully, there are ways of making homework less boring and that are a little bit more fun for your child. Whether they need to practice spelling, learn their times tables or revise for an important exam, our top fun homework ideas will help you magically take the ‘work’ out of homework.

Fun Homework Ideas - work together

Adults often work best in the company of others, and the same can be said of kids, so why not sit with your child while they’re studying and get on with some of your own work or life admin?

Whether you’re returning emails or doing your online banking, creating a shared workspace and modeling focused work is a great way to spend quality time together while they complete their homework. Win-win!

Quick win : While your child is tackling their fractions homework, you could sit down with them and take a look through your finances.

Rewards and incentives are great when it comes to getting your children to follow your household rules and routines, and homework is no different. Things like stickers or the promise of time on their iPad or games console for slightly older children can all work wonders in getting them to do their homework without a battle.

Quick win: For every few questions they answer they could get a minute of screen time!

Fun Homework Ideas - make them a snack

Let’s face it: A hungry child is an unfocused, unmotivated and unhappy child.

Most children come out of school ravenous, so let them nibble on a nutritious after-school snack while they get on with homework; things like popcorn, apple slices, grapes, or crackers and cheese are all great snack options.

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, Active for Life has a list of healthy after-school snack ideas and recipes to try.

Quick win: One of the best brain foods for kids is a nice and crispy apple! So when your child is craving something sweet just cut up an apple and let them munch away.

Help to eliminate the late night ‘Oh, I forgot to do that’, and create a weekly homework chart so your child can see what they have to do each day and check off each ‘to do’ task as it’s been completed.

Again, Pinterest has some great free printables to help keep kids organized. Get them involved by letting them color it, or decorate it with their favorite stickers, and pin it up somewhere at their height, where they will see it easily every day as a reminder. Some exciting new stationery and colorful pens might help too.

Quick win: An easy way to make homework fun is to grab a piece of paper and get your child to draw out and decorate a ‘homework chart’ consisting of 5 days. Stick it on the fridge and add a sticker to each day after they’ve done their homework, when they’ve collected 5 stickers they get a treat!

Fun Homework Ideas - try different learning apps

If your child prefers to be online, there are some great online apps around that children will have fun using, yet encourage learning too. Here are our favorite free math websites for example. Speak to your child’s teacher too and see which apps the children use in school so you can support what they’re doing at home.

Quick win: One of our favorite websites that makes homework fun is Tang Math !

Holding a homework playdate where your child can invite one of their best school buddies over to do homework together can be a great way for them to learn and make sure the work gets done, especially older children in elementary school.

Plus, it’s likely that their parents will be delighted!

Younger children may need a bit more support and guidance but can still gain a lot from the experience of learning together with a friend – think of this as a mini-educational play date for them.

Quick win: Let your child and their friend play for a while, and then get them to work through their homework with the incentive of a yummy ‘ice cream party’ when they’ve completed all of their homework.

Fun Homework Ideas - go outside

If the weather allows, create a comfortable outside study space and allow your child to do their homework outdoors.

The fresh air can help kids with their concentration if they’ve been stuck in a classroom all day, and studies also show that being outside, closer to nature, can increase productivity. The reward of a quick game of Frisbee or a kick-around of a soccer ball between tasks will help them stay motivated too.

Who said home learning had to be boring? If children enjoy what they’re learning, they’re more likely to remember what they’re being taught, so turn their learning into a fun game. Using sweets like Smarties to help with math and number work can turn the experience from a chore into a treat. If they get the right answer, they get to eat some!

Another trick that you can use when your child is learning spellings is to write them in shaving cream or in magnetic letters. It sounds simple but we can guarantee that it will make homework a lot more fun for your child.

These math games for kids and times tables games are a great place to start.

Quick win: If you’re looking for some fun homework ideas then check out this simple multiplication activity you can do at home, it’ll even get in one of your child’s five a day!

Make another fun homework game by creating your own mini-classroom and letting your child step into the role of teacher.

Have your child explain a concept to you as a teacher, as you, or their sibling, play the role of the student. This game works particularly well with subjects that require theory, like Science for example, as it will improve their understanding of the concept and build logic and reasoning skills.

Quick win: Make homework fun by getting your child to choose their favorite teddies and toys and setting them up in their own mini- classroom. Start off with registration, ‘mom’ ‘present’, ‘mr teddy’ ‘here’ etc. You’ll soon notice that your child is growing in confidence regardless of the topic as children love playing teacher!

Fun Homework Ideas - let them play

Some children may have difficulty working for prolonged periods of time without a break, so using a timer can be great for getting them to complete homework without whining. For example, if your child is given 20 math problems for homework, you can say “Complete the first 10 questions, then we’ll take a 5-minute break, then complete the next 10 questions”.

Many children will need a mental break and will work more effectively when given the opportunity to take one. At the end of the task, they get to pick an activity of their choice. If your child gets easily distracted, a timer game can work well to keep them focused on the task in hand.

Quick win: Put the timer on your phone so that your child can see the countdown while they’re working.

A special study space can make homework more fun and help motivate your child to get it done! Choose a space in your house that’s least likely to distract your child, and create simple, organized, and kid-friendly homework.

You could hang up some of their artwork above the desk, and have all their school essentials nearby so everything is close to hand.

Quick win: Make sure that they aren’t surrounded by things that will distract them. Televisions and iPads are a no go at homework time!

Remember to always be upbeat and positive about school and the importance of their homework. Give your child lots of praise and encouragement about how well they’re doing to help them stay motivated and on track.

Quick win: After every homework session, spend five minutes talking through what your child has accomplished. If you’re running out of activities to do, have a look at our list of home learning packs – all free to download.

Homework can be frustrating if your child doesn’t understand the material or gets bored easily. If your child is struggling, get them some expert help!

Quick win: Third Space Learning has plenty of advice on learning math for kids and parents but if you need more support, our primary school math tutors are easy to organize and very affordable.

Do you have students who need extra support in math? Give your students more opportunities to consolidate learning and practice skills through personalized math tutoring with their own dedicated online math tutor. Each student receives differentiated instruction designed to close their individual learning gaps, and scaffolded learning ensures every student learns at the right pace. Lessons are aligned with your state’s standards and assessments, plus you’ll receive regular reports every step of the way. Personalized one-on-one math tutoring programs are available for: – 2nd grade tutoring – 3rd grade tutoring – 4th grade tutoring – 5th grade tutoring – 6th grade tutoring – 7th grade tutoring – 8th grade tutoring Why not learn more about how it works ?

The content in this article was originally written by primary school teacher Sophie Bartlett and has since been revised and adapted for US schools by elementary math teacher Christi Kulesza.

PEMDAS Math Poster (Spanish Version) [FREE]

Trying to help remember what the mnemonic PEMDAS stands for? Display this poster to engage young learners with answering questions on the order of operations.

Check out more English and Spanish posters available in our US resource library!

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10 entertaining homework ideas for online English Language Learners

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Did hearing the words, “do your homework,” when you were a child excite you? 

For most of us, the word homework doesn’t conjure up exciting or fun memories. 

Homework was likely one of the last things you wanted to do as a student!

However, what if you could make homework fun for students? What if homework was entertaining? 

In this article, we share some entertaining homework ideas for English language learners to help them improve their English while having fun!

You might be familiar with lots of ESL games and activities for your students , but assigning the right homework can feel overwhelming. 

This is particularly true if you don’t want to burden your students with a tremendous amount of information. 

Have you ever thought about combining games with homework? 

There are many alternative ways to create memorable lessons, such as incorporating karaoke songs to learn English. 

Here are 10 fun and entertaining homework ideas for your ESL students:

  • Cafe hopper
  • Tiktok star
  • Let’s go to the movies
  • Hello Mr. Teacher
  • Interview a stranger
  • Shine like a Karaoke star
  • Expert on the loose
  • 24 hour challenge
  • It’s a wrap!
  • Masterchef in the making

1. Cafe hopper

Most people love checking out cafes and this is an easy homework task to assign to your students.  

Have your students visit a variety of cafes as part of their homework. 

Then, consider what they could do for homework in a cafe of their choice.

Here are some fun ideas for turning cafe-hopping into homework:

  • Practice ordering in English off of the menu.
  • Take a photo of the cafe’s and share the differences and similarities with you in class.
  • Speak to a stranger in each cafe in English and ask them some interesting questions about their life.
  • Interview the barista about their favorite kind of coffee or beverage.

This is a stress-free homework idea that your students will love, especially if they are coffee or tea lovers!

2. TikTok star

Tiktok is a fun social media application where you can watch videos and songs from creators. You can also watch creators lip-synching to catchy tunes.

Show some fun examples in your class of some famous TikTok songs being lip-synched to by others and practice doing one together.

  • For homework, have them choose their favorite song on TikTok.
  • They can lip-synch to the song and download the song to their camera album without having to actually post it to TikTok.
  • Have them share their creation with you in the next class!

Depending on the age and location of your student, TikTok might not be an option for them. If you are teaching older students or adults , then it might be easier for them to use social media for this homework assignment rather than young children.

If they are too young to use the app, have them find an online video of their favorite song and ask a parent to record them singing!

3. Let’s go to the movies

Going to the movies doesn’t sound like homework, does it? Well, as you might already be discovering, homework doesn’t have to be conventional!

Find some interesting movies that are playing in your students’ area or ask them to watch a movie of their choice in English. 

Tell them that their homework is going to be based on the movie they watch.

Here are some ideas for making going to the movies part of their homework:

  • Have them write a summary of the movie or their favorite part.
  • Tell them that they have to give you a movie review in your next class.
  • Have them act out their favorite part of the movie with a sibling or family member and record it (in English of course!).
  • Ask them to make a poster advertising the movie with captions, titles and text to accompany any drawings.

If you are struggling to find movies they can go and watch in the cinema, you can always use these ESL movies and TV shows as a resource. 

Students can also watch movies from the comforts of their homes. 

4. Hello Mr. Teacher!

Students love playing the role of the teacher! 

This can work for in-person or online ESL classes.  

Tell them that as part of the next classroom activity, the first 5 – 10 minutes will be their time to shine as the teacher!

For homework, ask them to:

  • Think of one topic that they know a lot about (This could be a sport, musical instrument, game, topic, etc…).
  • Have them prepare 5 important things that someone needs to know about their topic.
  • Tell them that in their next class they will be the teacher and share their knowledge! (They can even give you homework!).

Have fun with this homework idea and role-play the student where you ask them questions after they finish. 

Your students will love this one!

5. Interview a stranger

This one might need some parent support and guidance if you are teaching children, but having them interview someone is an entertaining homework idea for English language learners.

  • It encourages their own voice as they come up with ideas.
  • It helps with writing skills as they write out their questions.
  • Interviewing encourages conversation and role playing which is a fun way to learn English.

You could have your younger students interview a family member and ask questions related to that family member’s childhood. 

Here are some sample questions you could help your students form:

  • What kind of things did you like to do when you were my age?
  • What was your favorite thing about school?
  • What types of sports did you play when you were young?
  • Tell me about what life was like when you were a child.

Have them choose and write out 5-10 questions and come back to class to report on their findings!

6. Shine like a Karaoke star

Who doesn’t like a bit of karaoke? Imagine….singing your heart out to “I love rock n roll” in the privacy of your own home!

You don’t need to go to a karaoke place to actually sing karaoke songs. There are lots of great karaoke songs available online to learn English with your students.

YouTube is a great place to start, just by searching for your favorite song + “karaoke lyrics” in the search bar.

In class, help your student(s) choose a song and task them with finding the online karaoke lyrics to sing along.

Have them sing this for homework! You could even ask a parent to help them record it if they are comfortable with that.

Here are some fun and popular karaoke songs online to learn English:

  • “I Will Survive” with Gloria Gaynor
  • “Livin’ on a Prayer” with Bon Jovi
  • “Summer Nights” with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John
  • “Don’t Stop Believin’” with Journey

7. Expert on the loose

There is an expert in all of us, including your students!

In this fun and entertaining homework idea, have your student share their expertise on something!

To add a different dimension to the homework idea, “Hello Mr. Teacher,” task your students to dress up as the expert and make a short speech on their topic of choice.

Here are some examples:

  • Harry Potter
  • Michael Jordan (to talk about basketball)
  • Favorite sports athlete
  • Insect scientist
  • Astronaut (if your student knows a lot about space)
  • Presidential candidate
  • Pilot (for students who know a lot about countries)

Even if they are not an expert on the topic, part of the homework assignment could be to do some research and learn more about their chosen field.

You could even ask them to dress up and come to class in the role, ready to share their knowledge with you! 

8. 24 hour English challenge

This one is self-explanatory and incredibly fun!

Set a challenge for your student to only speak in English for 24 hours. 

This means that you might need to get parents involved with the homework assignment, so that they can help out.

The idea is that they have to speak only in English (as much as is possible given their situation) when interacting with family, friends and at school.

Your students might already be immersed in English environments, but, oftentimes, they are speaking their native language at home with family and friends.

Having your students force themselves to only speak in English is challenging and a great way to encourage English outside the classroom.

9. It’s a wrap!

Lots of students love to rap! Rap music is poetic and encourages a lot of ESL language skills that we want to build in our students.

This is an activity that you can model with your students in class and assign it for homework for them to create their own rap.

Again, they can come back to class and rap their new song to you! It might, however, work better with older students who have a good base level of English, to begin with.

Here are some fun homework assignments incorporating rap:

  • Create their own rap if they are the creative type
  • Find a well known rap online and practice it to present in class
  • Assign your students to find a rap online that they sing and record with their friends

10. Masterchef extraordinaire

For the food lovers, creating a homework assignment that includes cooking can be really fun.

Most kids love the idea of cooking, especially if it centers around cooking their favorite food!

When considering this as a homework idea, consider these possible assignments:

  • Create and write out a recipe for a unique culinary dish.
  • Make a video about the cooking experience.
  • Record a tutorial of how to cook something.
  • Turn it into a competition if you have multiple students.

Plus, this works with physical and online classrooms. 

Of course, if you have a physical classroom with multiple students, this could be a really fun in-class experience with some homework assignments to accompany it.

Who doesn’t love a food-related assignment? 

If you choose Masterchef extraordinaire, allow your students to share the food they make with the class and encourage lots of conversations in English.

Homework doesn’t have to be boring!

As you can see, homework doesn’t have to be boring! 

Most of your ESL students have a lot to do even outside class, and that’s why assigning homework that doesn’t feel like homework is ideal!

This is an opportunity to get creative, creating excitement for your students to learn English.

If you use some of the homework ideas mentioned here, make sure you document the experience and continue to discover new activities that bring laughter and joy to the classroom. 

And when you are applying to online teaching jobs , be sure to share how you plan to creatively incorporate class assignments and homework for your students!

Enjoy the process and make learning an enjoyable experience for everyone. 

Enjoyed this article? Don't forget to share.

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Homework Ideas for Teachers to Try

homework tasks ideas

Too often, homework assignments get a bad reputation for being tedious, repetitive, or unnecessarily lengthy. As educators, we aim to provide work that is rigorous, purposeful, and engaging. T he last type of task we want to assign is an irrelevant or disconnected assignment used solely as “busy work.” Homework is meant to allow time to practice and reflect on the skills or concepts that we have been teaching in class. Of course, assignments cannot always engage every student on every level. However, a few different strategies can ensure that, as much as possible, students bring home tasks that hold their attention, assess their skills, and promote reflective practices concerning their learning styles.

Provide opportunities for student choice as often as possible

T his could mean that students are given the option to choose from a list of assignments, all with the same objectives or learning goals. The idea behind this is simple: the manner in which students exhibit their learning is not what matters . P roviding options that boost engagement can often enhance learning. Assignment options can range from a paragraph or collage to a PowerPoint or Adobe Spark page. With a wide range of possibilities, students are able to play to their strengths. A tech-savvy student and an artistically-inclined student can both exhibit knowledge of the content or skill, but produce different representations of their knowledge. This allows students to focus on the same learning goals and participate in the same instruction, while allowing them to differentiate the product that they create.

Permit students to opt-out of homework they have mastered

Along with student choice should be an opportunity to “opt-out” of certain assignments—for instance, a student that aces an algebra practice test may be given the option to opt out of the night’s homework involving the same concepts. This idea supports the notion that busy work not only lends itself to boredom, but also has the potential to lower motivation and determination. If a student has proven mastery of a concept, rote or redundant practice is unnecessary.

Create a weekly or monthly calendar of assignments

T his not only helps teachers with their planning, it also assists students with organization and proactivity. The calendar acts as a visual or digital reminder of assignments that are coming down the pike. Be sure to include the date that the task was assigned, as well as the due date. Double check that a week’s worth of assignments is balanced and reasonable—i.e. , something that students can realistically accomplish in the timeframe given. Encourage students to cross off tasks as they are completed. Also, allow students to submit work prior to the due date. This way, students that struggle with disorganization or misplacing papers can rid themselves of the assignment before it disappears.

Hold a homework session during lunch

T his can be as frequent as needed, but once a week is a good start. Allowing students to have a quiet place to work is a benefit to them and you , as well. By working through an assignment with students, teachers are better able to gauge the effectiveness of their instruction. A lunch session also allows students to ask questions or voice confusion over a particular homework task.

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13 Entertaining ESL Homework Ideas to Keep Your Students Engaged

Homework may not be many students’ favorite thing, but research says it’s truly an effective learning tool that teachers should use .

The trick is assigning great homework.

To help you do this with ease, we’ve compiled an awesome list of 13 homework assignments that will have your ESL students begging for more.

1. Read a Short Story

2. share a passion, 3. start a chat group, 4. listen to a podcast, 5. write a letter, 6. write an amazon review, 7. do a wikipedia edit, 8. write a short story or poem, 9. share their culture, 10. catch a movie, 11. meet new people, 12. analyze a song, 13. go on a photo scavenger hunt, what makes homework effective.

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Have students read a short story for homework and then ask them to tell the class about the story in the next session.

I would recommend giving students some suggestions on what short stories to read, depending on the level of your students.

Here are some suggestions of short story collections for each level of ESL learner:

  • “The Very First Americans” by Cara Ashrose: This collection of short stories features Native American culture and history, written in simple language.
  • “Oxford Bookworms Library: Starter Level” This series offers simplified versions of classic stories, such as fairy tales, adventure stories and more.
  • “Classic Tales for ESL Students” by L.A. Hill: This collection of classic stories from literature is retold with easier vocabulary and sentence structure.

Intermediate

  • “The Best American Short Stories” This series features contemporary short stories from a wide range of American writers, so there’s something for everyone here.
  • “Short Stories in English for Intermediate Learners” by Olly Richards: This collection of engaging stories is designed specifically for intermediate ESL students.
  • “Roald Dahl: The Collected Short Stories” This delightful collection of quirky and imaginative tales has become a favorite of many of my students.
  • “Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri: This Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories explores the immigrant experience, something which many ESL students can relate to.
  • “Dubliners” by James Joyce: This classic collection of interconnected stories captures the essence of Dublin in 1914. But it still feels modern to many students.
  • “Nine Stories” by J.D. Salinger: This classic collection of short stories is a class favorite when I’ve used it.

What do your students really care about? Give them a chance to talk about it in front of the class. 

Have each person choose something they’re passionate about, something they might consider themselves an expert on.

Challenge students to think of a creative way to present five must-know facts about that subject. They might make a movie, create a poster or brochure, write a song or even put on a skit.

Have each person present their creative project to the class, and then give the class five minutes to ask questions of the presenter.

Set certain parameters like students must speak in complete sentences or require that every student ask at least two questions at some point during the presentations.

Students will love sharing about their passions, and they’ll get some great speaking, listening and discourse information in the process, as well as teach the rest of the class some interesting vocabulary.

Ask for class for a volunteer to start a class WhatsApp chat group. They can also decide to use another messaging app like Telegram, Viber, Voxer or any other app that has a group chat function. 

Encourage them to send at least one message and to respond to a couple others for their homework. 

This text group has the added advantage of students being able to make friends with one another, and a place to ask about missed homework assignments on days when they can’t make it to class.

Note that if a student doesn’t want to be included in the chat group, you should have a back up assignment prepared for them.

Listening is one of the ESL student’s most difficult skills to acquire, so listening to a short podcast episode is ideal homework.

You can ask students to write a little about the podcast to turn in to you, or you can ask them to briefly summarize what they heard for the class in the next session.

Here are some suggestions for well done podcasts:

The English We Speak : Produced by the BBC, this podcast focuses on teaching commonly used phrases and idioms in conversational English.

The Moth : A storytelling podcast where real people share their personal experiences and anecdotes in English.

Stuff You Should Know : Though not specifically designed for ESL students, this podcast covers a vast array of interesting topics, providing exposure to diverse vocabulary and subject matters.

Ask your students to write a letter . The letter can be written to a friend or family member (which they could then actually mail or email), or it could be a fan letter to a favorite musician or actor. They could even write a letter to Santa Claus or a historical figure. 

For example, a student might choose to write a letter to Marie Antoinette, asking her what it was like to be the queen of France at such a young age. 

You can also choose to have students write letters to one another. Then the next homework can be writing that letter writer back.

Ask you students to review a product on Amazon (or any other shopping website that has reviews). Ask them to select a product they have really used, so they have a genuine opinion on the quality of the product and whether it lived up to their expectations.

Then, in the next session, show the reviews on the overhead projector to the class and ask a student to read the review.

You can then go over any errors in vocabulary, grammar or sentence structure and revise the review together as a class.

Since anyone can edit a Wikipedia article, it’s a great place for ESL students to hone their writing and editing skills, and they’ll have a built-in readership, too!

Ask students to select a person that they know a lot about—a well-known figure from history, pop culture, music or film would all work. Then ask them to read the Wikipedia entry to see if they can add anything else to the article.

Perhaps the article on Ryan Gosling is missing a key detail about his recent Ken performance. If so, the student will revise and edit the article. They should take notes on what they changed, so they can explain it to you or the class the next day.

Ask your students to get creative. Have them write a short story or a poem . This can get them to use descriptive language that they don’t always have a chance to use.

One good activity to do before you assign this homework is an adjective bubble chart. For this, you start with one adjective. For example, write “moist” on the board, circle it and then draw 4-5 lines coming off of the”moist” bubble.

Ask your students to come up with other adjectives that are related to “moist” and so on. They may come up with “wet,” “watery,” “soaked” or “damp.” Then draw lines from each of those. This can lead to words that you never expected to come up.

Have your students select 3-4 adjectives from this introduction activity that they’ll use in their story or poem.

Ask your students to prepare a short presentation on an aspect of their home culture to tell the class about in the next session. 

For example, a student from China may explain the Lunar New Year, a student from Vietnam may explain Tet or a student from El Salvador may tell the class about their quinceañera .

They can use photos, art, a PowerPoint presentation or they can just explain in their own words.

Then open the class up for questions.

Can you legitimately send students to the movies for homework? You can when you’re teaching ESL.

Your students don’t have to commit to a full-length movie. Instead, you can use the videos on FluentU to screen mini-lessons using clips from TV shows and movies, movie trailers, news segments, vlogs or music videos.

homework tasks ideas

Use these videos in the classroom or assign homework to watch a few and complete the subsequent quizzes. You can also ask students to complete flashcard quizzes based on vocabulary words you want them to pay special attention to. These quizzes are adaptable so every student will have a unique experience catered to his learning level.

There are plenty of ways to use a movie for language development. And whether students watch a new release or catch an old Elvis flick on TV, they can do any of the following activities as homework:

  • Summarize the plot.
  • Describe a main character.
  • Note new or interesting vocabulary (particularly slang) they hear while watching.
  • Write an interview with one of the characters in the movie.

I’m sure you also have your favorite movie-related language activities and many work as homework assignments. So get creative with how you have students share about what they watched.

For the most part, people are willing to help someone in need, and that is doubly true for someone who needs to complete an assignment for school.

That’s why sending students out to interview native speakers on campus is such a fun homework assignment.

Start by helping your students write a list of questions they’ll use for their interviews. Students can choose a topic or you can assign one, like leisure activities or celebrity news.

Tell students to list five to ten questions they might ask on that topic that will elicit specific answers. 

As a class, discuss how students might introduce themselves to a potential interviewee. 

Then send students out to their interviews after class. They can share the answers they got in the next session.

Music is great for English learners since it stresses many aspects of language that can otherwise be hard to isolate, like the emotion of language, intonation and stress.

Have students choose their favorite English language song to listen to for homework and then ask them to do the following:

  • Practice the lyrics to learn intonation and rhythm.
  • Note slang and cultural references in the songs.
  • Summarize the theme of the song, or just what it’s about.
  • Have students share their favorite lyrics and what a particular song means to them.

Give individual students or groups of up to three students a list of items to find on their homework scavenger hunt. But instead of being specific in your list (for example, including items such as cat), be descriptive in your list.

You might include items such as something frightening, something beautiful, something quiet, something cool.

Students find items they think fit the description. For example, someone who is claustrophobic might choose an elevator for something frightening. They then take a picture of it.

The next day, have each person get with a partner and show them the pictures they took for each item on the list.

If the connection is not obvious, students should ask their partner to explain why they chose a particular item, such as the elevator.

Assigning homework that works isn’t as hard as you might think, especially if you focus on the following points.

  • Put your homework in writing. It can be tempting to just announce homework assignments to students at the end of class, but language learners benefit when you reinforce what you say with what they can see. So take a minute to write any homework assignment on the board so students can read it as well as listen to it.
  • Let students know what goals you have for a particular assignment. Is it practicing a certain grammar point ? Improving their listening skills ? Pronunciation practice ? When students know why they’re doing something, they’ll be able to tell on their own when they’ve successfully completed their homework assignment.
  • Keep your homework practical . Your students may not find themselves planning out a menu for Thanksgiving when they leave your ESL classroom, but odds are they’ll have to order food at a restaurant at some point. Think about realistic ways students will have to use English in the real world and try to make your homework practical.
  • Let your students be creative . Give your students choices on how they express themselves or present information. It’s okay for students to make a home movie, put on a one-man play or paint a picture to present to the class. Just because you prefer a particular type of creative expression doesn’t mean your students do, so give them choices and let them express themselves.
  • Make homework fun! Every class has its own personality, so what’s fun for one might not be fun for another. Tailor your assignments to the personality of your class. Think about what they would think is fun, and go with that.

No matter what you believed in your student days, homework doesn’t have to be boring. With a little creativity when assigning homework, you might find that the activities you assign for outside of class become the highlights of your students’ days.

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StoryLearning

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Learn A Language Through Stories

ESL homework ideas

11 ESL Homework Ideas To Engage Your Learners & Simplify Lesson Planning 

Olly Richards Headshot

Are you looking for ESL homework ideas for your classes? If you’re thinking about setting homework you’re onto a good thing. Learning a language requires a lot of exposure and practice. And much of that happens outside of class. 

The more students make contact with English outside the classroom, the faster they’ll progress. And if you can connect their homework assignments to what you’re teaching in class, you’ll make lesson planning a lot easier for yourself. 

So, without further ado, here are 11 ESL homework ideas for adults that you can use with groups, individuals, in-person or online.

If you want to become a qualified online language teacher and earn a living from home, I recommend checking out CeOLT (Certificate of Online Language Teaching).

Click here to find out more .

How To Make Homework Work For You &Your Students 

homework tasks ideas

Many ESL teachers are wary of setting homework because students often don’t do it! You may remember being set useless homework in language classes that you weren't motivated to do, such as learning lists of words for a test. 

The problem is, if ESL learners rely too much on you or on coming to lessons, they will make slow progress because so much language learning takes place outside of the classroom. 

The trick then is to integrate homework assignments into what happens in class so that it becomes non-negotiable. In the list of ESL homework ideas below, you’ll find tasks that are fun and motivating to do as well as ways to fit them into your class time. 

1.Read A Short Story Or Short Book Chapter 

short stories in english intermediate

Reading is the foundation of the StoryLearning method and makes for the perfect ESL homework idea.

Instead of spending time reading in class, get the students to do it between classes. 

They can find a quiet time to read the story or chapter as many times as they like.

In my short story books , they’ll find tools to help them understand the material such as glossaries and comprehension questions. 

In class, students can then discuss the chapter or story together. If you’re teaching 1:1, you can ask them to present a summary and show you new words they learned from the chapter. You can then discuss it together.  

For more ideas on how to use my short story books for teaching check out my Short Stories teacher’s Guide .

2. Listen To A Short Podcast Episode 

homework tasks ideas

Many ESL students struggle with English listening skills so they need as much practice as possible. 

If you teach conversation classes then this activity will also mean fewer lesson planning headaches. And you won’t waste any class time on listening. 

Tell your student to listen to a short ESL podcast such as the BBC’s 6-Minute English podcast. Ask them to prepare a summary of it to present to you in class. If the episode includes show notes, they can compare their summary with those notes. 

You can also adapt this homework activity for groups and ask them to discuss the podcast in pairs in class. This is also a great opportunity to use class time to clarify and new words, or structures that came up in the episode. 

If you’re feeling ambitious or your students have a high level, you could plan a whole series of lessons or a semester around a particular podcast such as a true crime or other investigative journalism show. 

3. Presentation About A Passion 

homework tasks ideas

Not everyone is passionate about learning English and many ESL students come to class because they have to. But even if they’re not interested in English, they must be interested in something, right? 

You can harness their hobbies and passions and generate some excitement for the English language by asking them to present a special object to the rest of the class. 

This can also work well in a 1:1 online lesson. You can ask your student to prepare a short talk about an object that they hold up to the webcam to show you. 

You can use time in class to work on presentation and storytelling skills. You can model this type of presentation by telling them about your own significant object so they know what to aim for.

4. Write A Review 

homework tasks ideas

Who doesn’t love sharing their opinion whether it’s about the latest movie they’ve seen or the hot new restaurant they had dinner at? 

You can harness this desire and get your student to practice useful language by getting them to write reviews as homework. These could be movie reviews, product reviews, restaurant reviews etc. 

In class, you can take a look at the structure of reviews in English plus the language used such as colourful adjectives or phrases for giving opinions. 

That way, your students will have a model they can use to write their own reviews at home. Back in class, students can share their reviews with each other and discuss them – would they see this movie, buy this product etc or not based on the review. 

You can also give feedback both about the content of the reviews as well as any language points to improve. 

5. Get Creative 

homework tasks ideas

Creativity requires constraints and there’s no greater one than writing a story in your second, third or fourth language. 

You can challenge students to write a short story based on words they’ve learned recently in class or on a particular topic you’ve been discussing. Give them a word count to respect as well. 

Again, you can use class time to read stories together and analyse their structure so that they know what to aim for. 

After they’ve written a short story at home, they can come back to class to read and discuss each others’ stories. 

6. Share Amazing Anecdotes 

homework tasks ideas

Telling an interesting anecdote is a real skill in any language, especially in a new one that you're learning. But it's a great way to work on your speaking skills. 

You can use your class time to read or listen to anecdotes in English. You could even tell your learners a funny or sad story about yourself. Once they’ve understood what makes a great anecdote, it’s time to create their own one for homework. 

At home, learners can write their anecdotes, or even better, can prepare and rehearse them orally, so they’re ready to tell them in class. 

During the lesson, you and the other students can react to the anecdotes and ask follow-up questions. 

7. Blogs And Blogging 

homework tasks ideas

Did you know that blogs are an incredibly rich resource for language learning and teaching? You can use blogs in many ways both inside and outside of the classroom. 

As a homework activity you could ask students to read a blog post of their choice and leave a comment for the writer. 

If your students prefer watching YouTube videos, they can watch videos and leave comments underneath them. 

In both cases, in class time, students can report back on the blog they read, why they chose it and what comment they left and why. 

If you and your students are feeling really ambitious, you could start a class blog or they could start writing their own individual blogs about their English learning journeys. 

For even more inspiration for your teaching, check out these best ESL bloggers .

8. Start A Podcast 

homework tasks ideas

This one is a bit more ambitious, but as well as listening to podcasts, learners can also consider starting their own! 

In fact, English learner Daniel Goodson from Switzerland started his podcast, My Fluent Podcast , to develop his speaking skills and gain confidence. He interviews other learners who have similar projects. 

Of course, your students don’t have to make the podcast public. It can simply be a project between you and the members of the class. They could interview each other or otherwise upload short episodes on a topic of their choice. 

Again, if they do this outside of class as homework you can use time in class to give them feedback on their work. Their episodes can also be a springboard for further discussion as well as a listening comprehension activity for the other students. 

9. Class WhatsApp Group 

WhatsApp logo

Another way for students to use English outside the classroom thanks to digital tools is to create a class WhatsApp group.

Other chat apps like Telegram or Voxer would work just as well. 

In this group, you can ask your students questions or share material for them to discuss.

Their homework in this case could be as simple as sending at least one message per week in the group. For more ideas about using apps check out this post about English teaching apps.

10. Write A Letter 

homework tasks ideas

Do you remember writing letters to a pen friend when you were learning languages at school? 

Instead of writing letters to someone else, your students can try some creative writing activities that involve writing letters to themselves. 

That’s right, you can ask them to write a letter to their younger self with advice or to their future self about goals and dreams. There’s even a website where you can write and schedule a letter to your future self called FutureMe . 

This activity is quite a personal one so you’d need to be willing to get vulnerable yourself and share your letter before encouraging your students to talk to each other about the content of their letters. 

11. The Student Becomes The Teacher 

homework tasks ideas

Here’s an interesting reversal of classroom roles that works well with groups. For homework, you can ask your students to teach the rest of the class some new vocabulary or a spelling or grammar rule. 

You won’t expect them to give a whole class on the topic. But they could do a short presentation of the topic in the format they prefer – through song or story or in a more traditional way.

As long as you keep expectations clear, they’ll benefit from peer teaching this way. After all, you can only teach what you’ve understood well yourself. 

11 ESL Homework Ideas 

So there you have it – 11 engaging ESL homework ideas that your students will actually want to do outside of class! 

As you can see, these ESL homework ideas are a million miles away from the types of boring worksheets that you had to fill in for language classes at school. 

Thanks to these engaging ideas, you’ll make your lesson planning easier and your students will be excited to do their homework. And they’ll start to become more independent learners who make faster progress. 

homework tasks ideas

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13 Exciting Homework Ideas for EFL/ESL: No worksheets!

Who likes homework? Nobody, right? Especially not if it’s the same dreary worksheets and textbook exercises every time.

Well, some students actually do like homework! That’s because their teachers give them engaging, interesting and unique activities to do.

I used to find setting homework a challenge in EFL/ESL classes. What can you do to give them good practice and develop confidence without boring them to tears?

Simple – do one of the activities on this list!

  • Narrative Telephone
  • What Do You See?
  • Write a blog
  • Record a vlog
  • Scavenger photos
  • Watch films & series
  • Write a journal
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Write to a pen pal
  • Prepare a mini-presentation
  • Read the news
  • Enjoy some English music

The first six entries are creative and unique, suitable for classes where you really want to get students active and involved. The following seven are just as engaging, but a little more focused and “normal”.

1. Word Hunts

A Word Hunt is a vocab acquisition activity (a technique I describe in my article How to Elicit Vocabulary ).

You can do it in class, with students searching for things they don’t know the word for in English. They take a photo and add it to a list of vocabulary to learn.

homework tasks ideas

The home version is similar. Students go around their house and photograph things they’d like to learn the name for in English. They bring the pictures to class and start learning the words.

It doesn’t have to be restricted to things in their home, either. If they go shopping, to the park, on holiday, etc. they can take photos of things they see and share them with their classmates.

Any student who has their own phone can do this activity. For younger kids, you’ll need the support of the parents.

For more on vocab learning techniques, check out my article Ultimate ESL Vocab Teaching Guide: Revolutionary system .

2. Narrative Telephone

This game features in my 9 EFL/ESL Games and Activities for Advanced Learners article, so it’s an advanced activity. You can adapt it for intermediate students, but it won’t work well with beginners. It requires everyone to have email or a messenger app on their phone. So not ideal for young kids.

You can play it in the classroom, but the homework version is just as fun, if not more so. It’s like the Telephone/Whispers game, but with stories instead of words.

homework tasks ideas

The way it works is the teacher records themself reading a short story and sends it to one of their students. That student listens ONCE. Then they record themself re-telling the story and send it on to the next student who does the same.

This continues until the last student, who records themself re-telling it. They can send the final audio to everyone, or keep it until the next class to share the hilarity.

Here’s a video I made on my YouTube channel that explains how it works:

With a large class, you can set off multiple telephone chains. If you have 30 students, instead of having the chain go all the way around the 30, have three chains which go through 10. Then see which chain transmitted the story the best.

When choosing a story, keep it relatively short (a couple of paragraphs at most) and use it to introduce or consolidate new vocab and grammar.

3. What Do You See?

What Do You See? is another great activity for expanding students’ breadth of language.

They should go somewhere: to the street, the park, into the countryside, etc. You can tell them where to go if you want to direct their learning, for example if you’re learning about transport, they should go near a busy road.

With a pencil and paper, they find a comfortable place and write what they see.

homework tasks ideas

For beginners, this can just be individual words. For intermediates it could be sentences like “I see a woman jogging with her dog.” And for advanced students, challenge them to create a full description of the place, taking into account all the senses.

While they are doing it, they are allowed to look up individual words. In this way they learn language that is immediately relevant. However, they shouldn’t translate sentences. By writing what they see, they develop sentence formation skills.

If you want to avoid making them writing, or want to repeat the activity in a different way, get students to record themselves talking about what they see.

4. Write a Blog

Blogs are a fun way of getting students to explore their interests while using English.

This one isn’t great for young kids who aren’t used to using tech yet, although if their parents are on board, they can help get things set up.

It’s super easy to set up a blog nowadays, and students can post articles from home or from their phone while travelling.

The way you set up the homework really depends on your class. With an individual student, you could get them to write one short article a week, then you can take a look at it in the next class.

homework tasks ideas

With a small group, you might want to alternate who posts an article each week. And with a large class, you may want to choose a few students each week to post their article, or get everyone to write something short every week.

The content of the articles is up to you, or up to your students!

You could make it an account of what they did that week, an explanation of something they know a lot about, or a review of a film or series they recently watched.

5. Record a vlog

Recording a vlog is just like writing a blog, but challenges students speaking skills while on camera.

Yes, it requires students to have access to video recording technology, but let’s be honest, even 10-year-olds nowadays have powerful cameras on their phones.

If you really want to push your students, challenge them to record a short post every day for a full week. Maybe when they’re on the way to school/work or in their free time afterwards.

homework tasks ideas

Again, the content can be whatever you or your students decide.

A word on privacy and safety. If you’re going to do this with students under 18, DEFINITELY get their parents’ permission. Most will be perfectly fine with this.

And if you’re worried about privacy concerns, you can keep the videos private – only for those in the class to watch. Most video content platforms like YouTube and TikTok have this option now.

6. Scavenger photos

A fun challenge for kids and adults alike, scavenger hunts with photos are great fun. Give students a list of things and over the week they have to take a photo of one.

With beginners, this can be household items, food, common things in the city, etc. It’s a great way to introduce new vocabulary.

Challenge students with more abstract things, like “something that is squishy” or “something that you can’t break”.

And go a step further: “something you couldn’t live without” or “something which terrifies you”, or “something worth over a million dollars”.

In the next class, students can share the things they photographed and, with the more abstract ones, talk about why they chose that thing.

7. Watch films & series

Everyone loves watching films and series. Since most of the famous ones are in English, they’re a great resource for fun homework.

You can make things as structured as you like – focus on specific words and grammar that appear in dialogue, or just have a chat about what happened in the film/episode in the next class.

I like to let students recount the events. Older students can even make predictions about what will happen in the next episode.

A word on subtitles: Advanced students should try to watch the English version without subtitles. For most, though, this is too difficult. Just make sure subtitles are in English, not their native language, otherwise you lose all benefits of the activity.

8. Write a journal

Either at the start of the day or before they go to bed, writing a short English entry into a journal is a powerful way of embedding English in students’ day-to-day lives. This activity is for most ages, except the youngest kids.

homework tasks ideas

As a journal is a private endeavour, I would never expect to see it. Just encourage them to write a few sentences, not worrying too much about accuracy.

When they’re writing, they’ll come across words they don’t know. They’ll be motivated to learn this vocabulary, as it’s immediately relevant to their lives. It’s valuable .

This is an example of organic acquisition, something you can learn about in my article What Vocab Should You Teach in EFL/ESL .

9. Listen to podcasts

Podcasts get more and more popular with every year. You can find them on pretty much any topic, and they provide excellent listening practice.

Advanced students can attempt to listen to natural English podcasts in their original form.

homework tasks ideas

For beginners/intermediates, there are some podcasts designed for EFL/ESL learners, podcastsinenglish.com being one example, with British English, and Effortless English for those wanting to learn the American way of speaking.

10. Write to a pen pal

Writing homework is always a tough sell. Pen pals can provide the kind of motivation which is impossible to get from the usual writing assignments.

The challenge is finding pen pals who will write back consistently. PenPal World is a good option to connect with people online, although there are plenty of other sites which do the same.

Alternatively, write the responses yourself. Have an ongoing back and forth of letters between you and your students, where you can get to know each other (and give some helpful corrections!)

11. Prepare a mini-presentation

Mini-presentations are a great peer-teaching activity. Give students a topic (can be anything: grammar, a famous person, a favourite hobby, etc.) and have them do a 1-minute presentation on it in the next class.

homework tasks ideas

Scripts are optional. Personally, I prefer my students to speak without a script, but for those who aren’t as confident, encourage them to make brief notes.

12. Read the news

Reading the news is a more advanced activity. Most newspapers and websites require a fairly high level of English to understand, and the content isn’t interesting for most children.

However, there are websites designed for EFL/ESL students, such as News in Levels and Simple English News . Also, try CBBC Newsround . It’s not specifically for EFL/ESL students, but it is perfect for kids.

For more advanced learners, any news network is great. I prefer BBC News for the quality and clarity of writing.

News-based homework can be formal, with a conversation and questions about specific articles in the next class, or you can allow your students to pick what they read and share their findings.

13. Enjoy some English Music

This one applies to learners of all ages and levels. Many students will already listen to music in English, as it’s popular around the world.

You can make this a structured homework, assigning specific songs, with the aim of recognising certain words or grammar structures. Supplement this by studying the lyrics in class.

Or keep it relaxed. Introduce your students to some new artists, and encourage them to share songs they’ve enjoyed over the week. Ask them why they like the music, how it makes them feel, etc.

homework tasks ideas

With younger kids, just having them listen to English songs is enough. Give parents a playlist to put on in the car or when they wake up in the morning.

Homework can be fun. In fact, I’d argue it should be fun to get the best results.

The important thing is to know your students and keep things varied – that way you won’t have to chase your students up every week.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you use these ideas for wonderful teaching. If you’re looking for ideas of what to do in the classroom, check out my article on Why All EFL/ESL Teachers Should Use Role Play Activities

If you’re looking for more games and activities, check out my other lists: 9 EFL/ESL Speaking Games & Activities Perfect for Beginners 9 EFL/ESL Games & Activities for Intermediate Learners 9 EFL/ESL Games and Activities for Advanced Learners 9 High Energy EFL/ESL Games for Boosting Vocabulary 9 Engaging Homework Ideas for EFL/ESL: No worksheets! 9 Exciting EFL/ESL Activities for Writing & Spelling 9 Fun EFL/ESL Games & Ideas With Standard Playing Cards 9 EFL/ESL Games With No Materials or Preparation Needed 9 EFL/ESL 5 Minute Games Every Teacher Needs to Know 9 Superb EFL/ESL Games & Activities Using Just Pen & Paper 9 Classy EFL/ESL Games & Activities for Adults (+ tips) 9 Confidence-Boosting EFL/ESL Speaking Games for All Levels 9 Exciting Flashcard Games for EFL/ESL Classes

homework tasks ideas

I’m Will, a teacher, blogger, and fantasy author. I grew up in England, but now I live in Spain where I teach private English classes to dozens of wonderful students.

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Empower Your Clients: Effective Therapy Homework Ideas Unveiled

The power of therapy homework, what is therapy homework.

Therapy homework refers to assignments or tasks that are given to clients by therapists, psychologists, coaches, or practitioners as part of the therapeutic process. These assignments are designed to be completed outside of therapy sessions and are tailored to address specific therapeutic goals and objectives.

Therapy homework can take various forms, depending on the therapeutic approach and the client’s needs. It may involve activities such as journaling, practicing mindfulness exercises, completing worksheets or thought records, engaging in self-reflection, or working on specific skills. The purpose of therapy homework is to actively involve clients in their own healing process and empower them to take ownership of their growth and development.

Benefits of Assigning Therapy Homework

Assigning therapy homework offers numerous benefits for both clients and therapists. Some of the key advantages include:

  • Continuity and Reinforcement : Therapy homework provides an opportunity for clients to reinforce and apply what they have learned in therapy sessions to their daily lives. It helps to bridge the gap between sessions, ensuring that progress continues beyond the therapy room.
  • Active Engagement : Engaging in therapy homework encourages clients to actively participate in their treatment. It promotes a sense of agency and responsibility, empowering clients to take an active role in their own healing journey.
  • Skill Development : Therapy homework allows clients to practice and develop new skills, strategies, and coping mechanisms in real-life situations. It helps to reinforce positive changes and build resilience.
  • Generalization of Learning : Through therapy homework, clients have the opportunity to generalize the insights gained in therapy to different contexts and relationships. It supports the transfer of therapeutic gains into their day-to-day lives.
  • Increased Self-Awareness : Therapy homework often involves self-reflection and introspection, which can deepen clients’ self-awareness and understanding of their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This increased self-awareness can be a catalyst for personal growth and transformation.
  • Collaborative Process : Assigning therapy homework fosters a collaborative therapeutic relationship between clients and therapists. It encourages open communication, feedback, and discussion, leading to a more effective and tailored treatment approach.

By incorporating therapy homework into the therapeutic process, therapists can enhance the effectiveness of their interventions and facilitate meaningful change in their clients’ lives.

To explore therapy homework ideas for different therapeutic needs, refer to our articles on  therapy homework assignments ,  therapy homework for anxiety ,  therapy homework for depression , and many more.

Finding the Right Therapy Homework Ideas

When it comes to assigning therapy homework,  tailoring  the activities to each individual client is essential for maximizing their engagement and progress. By customizing the homework, therapists can address specific needs and help clients work towards their therapeutic goals. Additionally, incorporating the client’s  goals and interests  into the assignments can enhance motivation and make the process more enjoyable.

Tailoring Homework to the Client

To ensure the therapy homework is effective, it’s crucial to consider the unique characteristics and preferences of each client. Tailoring the assignments involves taking into account factors such as the client’s age, cultural background, learning style, and personal circumstances.

For example, if a client is struggling with anxiety, it may be beneficial to assign homework that focuses on relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. On the other hand, a client who is working on building assertiveness skills may benefit from practicing role-plays or assertiveness exercises outside of therapy sessions.

By tailoring the therapy homework to the client’s specific needs and challenges, therapists can provide targeted support and facilitate progress towards their therapeutic goals. For more ideas on therapy homework assignments, check out our article on  therapy homework assignments .

Incorporating Client Goals and Interests

Incorporating the client’s goals and interests into therapy homework is an effective way to increase motivation and engagement. By aligning the assignments with the client’s aspirations, they are more likely to be actively involved in the therapeutic process.

For example, if a client is working towards improving their self-esteem, therapy homework could involve engaging in self-affirmation exercises or creating a self-compassion journal. If a client is interested in mindfulness, incorporating mindfulness exercises and  meditation  into the homework can be highly beneficial.

By connecting the therapy homework to the client’s personal goals and interests, therapists can foster a sense of ownership and investment in the therapeutic journey. This approach helps to create a more meaningful and impactful therapeutic experience.

Remember, therapy homework is most effective when it is tailored to the client’s individual needs and incorporates their goals and interests. By taking these factors into account, therapists can empower their clients to actively engage in their own healing process.

Therapy Homework Ideas for Different Needs

When it comes to therapy homework, tailoring the assignments to the unique needs of each client is essential. This ensures that the homework aligns with their therapeutic goals and interests. In this section, we will explore therapy homework ideas for different needs, including  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques ,  mindfulness and meditation exercises ,  journaling and writing prompts , and  creative expressive arts activities .

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Techniques

CBT techniques are widely used in therapy to help individuals identify and modify negative thought patterns and behaviors. Assigning CBT-based homework can provide clients with practical tools to challenge unhelpful thoughts and develop healthier coping mechanisms. Some therapy homework ideas for CBT may include:

  • Thought Records : Encourage clients to keep a thought record where they write down and examine their negative thoughts, identify cognitive distortions, and reframe them with more realistic and positive alternatives.
  • Behavioral Experiments : Suggest clients engage in real-life experiments to test the validity of their negative beliefs and assumptions, helping them gather evidence to challenge and modify those beliefs.
  • Activity Scheduling : Encourage clients to create a schedule of activities that promote positive emotions, engagement, and a sense of accomplishment. This can help them break the cycle of negative thoughts and behaviors.

To discover more therapy homework ideas for specific topics or concerns, such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem, or assertiveness, check out our article on  therapy homework assignments .

Mindfulness and Meditation Exercises

Mindfulness and meditation exercises can be valuable homework assignments to help clients develop present-moment awareness, reduce stress, and cultivate emotional well-being. Some therapy homework ideas for mindfulness and meditation include:

  • Breathing Exercises : Encourage clients to practice deep breathing exercises, focusing on their breath as it enters and leaves their body. This can help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
  • Body Scan Meditation : Suggest clients engage in a body scan meditation, guiding their attention from head to toe, paying attention to physical sensations and releasing tension.
  • Mindful Eating : Encourage clients to practice mindful eating by fully engaging their senses, savoring each bite, and paying attention to the tastes, textures, and smells of their food.

For more mindfulness and meditation exercises, along with guided scripts, consider referring to our article on  therapy homework for mindfulness .

Journaling and Writing Prompts

Journaling and writing prompts can be effective tools for self-reflection, emotional expression, and personal growth. Assigning writing exercises as therapy homework allows clients to explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a safe and structured way. Some therapy homework ideas for journaling and writing prompts include:

  • Gratitude Journal : Encourage clients to keep a gratitude journal, writing down three things they are grateful for each day. This practice can help shift their focus towards positive aspects of their lives.
  • Letter Writing: Suggest clients write a letter to themselves, expressing self-compassion , forgiveness, or encouragement. This can be a powerful exercise for promoting self-acceptance and self-care.
  • Emotional Release Writing : Encourage clients to engage in free-writing, allowing their thoughts and emotions to flow onto the paper without judgment or self-censorship. This can be a cathartic exercise for emotional processing.

To explore more journaling and writing prompts for therapy homework, consider referring to our article on  therapy homework for journaling .

Creative Expressive Arts Activities

Engaging in creative expressive arts activities can provide clients with a unique and alternative way to explore their emotions, enhance self-expression, and gain insights into their inner world. Some therapy homework ideas for creative expressive arts activities include:

  • Art Therapy : Encourage clients to engage in art therapy exercises, such as drawing, painting, or collaging, to express their emotions and access their subconscious mind.
  • Music Therapy : Suggest clients create a playlist of songs that resonate with their emotions and help them process their feelings, or encourage them to engage in music improvisation as a form of expression.
  • Drama Therapy : Encourage clients to engage in role-playing exercises or create and act out scenes to explore different perspectives and gain insights into their own experiences.

For additional therapy homework ideas for creative expressive arts activities, refer to our article on  therapy homework for self-expression .

By incorporating therapy homework ideas that align with the specific needs and interests of each client, therapists can empower their clients to actively participate in their own healing journey and make progress towards their therapeutic goals.

Implementing Effective Therapy Homework

To ensure the effectiveness of therapy homework assignments, it is crucial to follow certain guidelines. This section will discuss three key aspects of implementing effective therapy homework:  providing clear instructions ,  setting realistic expectations , and  encouraging accountability and follow-up .

Providing Clear Instructions

When assigning therapy homework, it is essential to provide your clients with clear and concise instructions. Clearly outline the purpose of the assignment, the specific tasks or exercises involved, and any guidelines or resources they may need. Using simple and straightforward language will help ensure that your clients understand what is expected of them.

Additionally, consider providing written instructions or  therapy homework worksheets  that your clients can refer to as they complete their assignments. This will serve as a helpful reminder and guide, increasing the likelihood of successful completion.

Setting Realistic Expectations

Setting realistic expectations is crucial when assigning therapy homework. Take into account your clients’ individual circumstances, such as their available time, resources, and personal commitments. Tailor the assignments to their specific needs and abilities to ensure they can be realistically accomplished within the given timeframe.

By setting achievable goals, you will motivate your clients and increase their confidence in their ability to complete the assignments. This, in turn, will enhance their engagement and overall progress during therapy.

Encouraging Accountability and Follow-up

Encouraging accountability and follow-up is essential for effective therapy homework. Regularly check in with your clients to inquire about their progress and address any challenges or questions they may have. This demonstrates your support and commitment to their growth.

Encourage your clients to keep a record of their experiences, insights, or reflections related to their therapy homework. This can be in the form of a journal, a digital document, or even a dedicated  therapy homework app  that allows them to track their progress and thoughts.

By reviewing their completed assignments and discussing their experiences during therapy sessions, you can provide valuable feedback and insights. This feedback will reinforce their efforts and help them integrate their learnings into their daily lives.

Remember to offer encouragement and praise for your clients’ hard work and dedication. Celebrate their achievements, no matter how small, as it will motivate them to continue their therapeutic journey.

As you implement these strategies for effective therapy homework, you will empower your clients to actively engage in their healing process. Providing clear instructions, setting realistic expectations, and encouraging accountability and follow-up will ensure that therapy homework becomes a valuable tool for their growth and progress.

Enhancing Client Engagement

When it comes to therapy homework,  client engagement  is vital for effective progress and positive outcomes. Building a supportive relationship, offering feedback and encouragement, and addressing challenges and concerns are key elements in fostering client engagement .

Building a Supportive Relationship

Establishing a supportive and trusting relationship with clients is essential for effective therapy. Creating a safe and non-judgmental environment allows clients to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Actively listening, demonstrating empathy, and validating their feelings are effective ways to build rapport and foster a strong therapeutic alliance.

By developing a supportive relationship, clients are more likely to engage in therapy homework willingly and openly. They will feel understood, respected, and motivated to actively participate in their therapeutic journey.

Offering Feedback and Encouragement

Providing feedback and encouragement throughout the therapy process can significantly enhance client engagement. Regularly acknowledging their progress, recognizing their efforts, and celebrating their achievements can boost their motivation and self-confidence.

Offering constructive feedback that highlights their strengths and areas of improvement can help clients gain valuable insights. It’s essential to provide feedback in a compassionate and non-judgmental manner, ensuring that clients feel supported and encouraged to continue their growth.

Addressing Challenges and Concerns

Therapy is not always a smooth journey, and clients may encounter challenges or have concerns along the way. As a therapist, it is crucial to address these issues promptly and effectively. Actively listen to their concerns, validate their emotions, and work collaboratively to find solutions.

By addressing challenges and concerns, clients will feel heard and supported, which promotes their engagement in therapy. Whether it’s modifying therapy homework assignments, exploring different strategies, or adjusting treatment goals, adapting the therapy process to meet their specific needs can enhance client engagement and overall therapeutic outcomes.

Remember, client engagement is a dynamic process that requires ongoing attention and effort. By building a supportive relationship, offering feedback and encouragement, and addressing challenges and concerns, therapists can empower their clients and create a collaborative therapeutic environment. This environment promotes active engagement in therapy homework and facilitates positive change.

homework tasks ideas

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A family's guide to the total solar eclipse: Kids activities, crafts, podcast parties and more

homework tasks ideas

Some lucky children will be able to catch a total solar eclipse April 8 alongside their parents in an incredible event that will not present itself again until 2044.

Families in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont New Hampshire and Maine, according to NASA , will have the opportunity to experience the moment when the moon completely blocks the sun. Families in parts of Tennessee and Michigan may also experience its full effect.

With many schools closing across the U.S. on the day of the eclipse, parents are left looking for ways to keep their kids busy, but also, ideas on how to make the day fun.

We've gathered some stellar leads, but first, a little on how to talk to kids about what to expect.

Solar eclipse information for kids

Michelle Nichols, director of public observing at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago shares an easy way to explain the event to kids.

“At its very simplest, when the moon gets in between the Earth and the sun, and the moon appears to pass over the sun as seen from Earth, then we get a solar eclipse,” Nichols told Scientific American .

“If the moon partially covers the sun, we call it a partial solar eclipse. If it completely covers the sun, we call it a total solar eclipse.”

Other information that may be fun for older kids to digest would be how the solar eclipse phenomenon differs from the "new moon," Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist and senior education manager at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, told Scientific American.

The two are similar, yes, but the moon's orbit around the Earth "is not completely lined up with our planet’s orbit around the sun," Faherty said. It is actually tilted by about five degrees, so "when the moon moves between Earth and the sun, the three bodies are out of alignment."

"The moon doesn’t block the sun, and the shadow of the moon cast by the sun lands in space instead of on Earth’s surface."

Solar eclipse activities for kids

There were some creative ideas that surfaced during the 2017 solar eclipse that more families are trying out this time around. Here are some of the best.

Make a pinhole viewer

The Boy Scouts of America have an idea for how to get kids excited about the eclipse. Why not personalize a viewing box for the event?

You will need:

  • A small box with a lid
  • A small piece of aluminum foil
  • A small sheet of white paper
  • A utility knife or hobby knife
  • A needle or sharpened pencil
  • Some art supplies to decorate your box

For instructions on how to make the pinhole viewer, visit Scout Life Magazine.

Create sun prints

Scholastic has a fun art project kids can engage in ahead of the eclipse.

"Human eyes can’t see ultraviolet light, but using construction paper, kids can create sun prints to see for themselves how the sun’s powerful UV rays break down dyes and bleach paper," Scholastic shares.

  • Colorful construction paper
  • Clear plastic wrap, or a large piece of plexiglass
  • Leaves, flowers, or other flat items
  • Small rocks to use as weights

For instructions on how to create your sun print, visit Scholastic's blog .

Recreate a solar eclipse at home

A fun way to keep your kids busy and also increase their understanding around how a solar eclipse works is by creating your own eclipse at home.

Multiple parenting blogs suggest using an inflatable earth, tennis ball (or ball of a similar size), and a flashlight to experience an in-home solar eclipse.

Follow NASA's interactive map

Know the exact time the eclipse will pass over you by tracking it using NASA's eclipse map.

You will be able to see when the eclipse begins, when it will get to you and how much of the Sun will be covered during the event.

"Wow In The World": The Great Solar Eclipse Party Podcast

Another way to celebrate the event is with a fun podcast episode for the entire family to enjoy. The " Wow In The World " special eclipse episode will be available April 1 on the Wondery app and wherever you get your podcasts.

In the special episode, “The Great Solar Eclipse Party,” hosts of the show, Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz, plan an eclipse celebration for their special friends. They explore the basic physics behind the event and discuss ways to stay safe while observing it. The party ends with a song called "Eclipse Party" by a kid band called "Moon 5."

"Wow In The World" is a the #1 science podcast for kids and their grown-ups, according to the show.

Solar eclipse glasses: Everything you need to know, including where to get them

Kids eclipse glasses

Amazon has plenty of options for solar eclipse glasses for kids. Including some really cool plastic pairs that look more like sunglasses and come in fun colors.

My Science Shop has wraparound solar glasses for smaller heads at risk of having them fall off, and Lunt Solar Systems has a really creative paper pack of four glasses for kids to enjoy.

IMAGES

  1. 7 Ways To Make Homework Fun For Back To School

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  2. Back to School: Fun Homework Ideas

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  3. Free Printable Homework Planner

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  4. Homework alternative, incentive system, editable, homework raffle, play

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  5. Homework Twist Task Cards: 25 Fun Tasks to Make Homework More Fun

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  6. 7 Ways To Make Homework Fun For Back To School

    homework tasks ideas

COMMENTS

  1. Creative Homework Ideas

    Self-driven projects, posters, creative tasks and research are more exciting than standard comprehension tasks and might encourage pupils that find sitting and writing dull or hard to complete the homework set - give students the freedom to learn and be creative in their home study. ... Creative Homework Ideas For All Ages.

  2. 20+ creative alternative homework ideas for teachers

    2. Make a board game. This is definitely one of the most creative homework assignments. Let your students come up with an idea for a board game about the lesson content. They have to make cards, and pawns, draw, write, cut, and paste. They have to use their imagination and inventive ideas to create a coherent board game. Click to open.

  3. 13 Fun Homework Ideas: The Best Ways To Make Homework Fun

    Set up a homework play date. Go outside. Turn it into a game. Let them play teacher. Use a timer. Create a special homework space. Remember to be positive. Get help if you need i t. Thankfully, there are ways of making homework less boring and that little bit more fun for your child.

  4. 10 Helpful Homework Ideas and Tips for Primary School Teachers

    Firstly, divide your class into smaller ability groups, 3 or 4 groups would work. Each group can be given their own coloured homework basket. You then fill the coloured homework baskets with activities, games and task cards that the students can take home and play with parents, carers or older siblings throughout the week.

  5. Interesting ideas for primary homework

    6 creative homework tasks. 1. Ask questions. Interview a family member about their school days, work, play, food, etc. This develops questioning skills and can be recorded rather than written. Digital dictaphones are available for 20 quid and are within the reach of most schools.

  6. Ten Easy Homework Tasks to Set

    Here are a couple of thinking questions you could give as homework. 'Think about the best things about your country. Explain them to yourself in English. You'll tell the class about it tomorrow.'. 'Think about the most important person in your life and why they are/were important. Describe them to yourself in English.

  7. Creative Homework Ideas For Your Students

    Go on a treasure hunt. As a fun homework task that will get your students out and about, ask them to go on a treasure or scavenger hunt, finding certain things that are related to your topic. For younger children, this could be as simple as collecting leaves, flowers, or twigs they might find in their local park, or particular shapes or colours ...

  8. 7 Ways To Make Homework Fun For Back To School

    Instruct students they need to do five activities this week. If a word list, a game, or other resource is useful for completing the activity, you can attach it to the bingo card. You can even use the same card for more than a week. Let students know if they can repeat any activities or have to do all new ones in week 2.

  9. Engaging and exciting homework tasks

    So to sum up the main takeaways: To make homework tasks more engaging, try making them more personalised, authentic, and challenging by integrating several 21st century skills and involving the real world around your students. Don't hesitate to share your ideas here or on social media! Joanna is a very active educator, trainer and blogger.

  10. How to Do Homework: 15 Expert Tips and Tricks

    Here's how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break.

  11. 15 Innovative School Homework Design Ideas for Teachers

    Homework for classes 1 to 5(or Primary School) Design a board game on animals with jungle-themed cards. Add tasks like imitating the animal or guessing the animal's habitat. Homework for classes 6 to 8(or Middle School) Create a board game depicting important events from World War 2.

  12. 11 Vocabulary Homework Ideas And How To Motivate Students To ...

    In addition to the homework selection sheet, the bundle includes worksheets for vocabulary homework ideas number five and six. The other vocabulary homework options can be completed on a plain piece of paper or in student workbooks. Here are the vocabulary activities listed on the 7 Options for Vocabulary Homework handout: #1 Say Your Words

  13. Homework Ideas for Elementary Teachers: Save Time and Make Learning

    Below are homework tips for elementary teachers to consider. You are bound to find some helpful homework ideas on this list that you can implement. 1. Assign Tasks Students can do Independently. The first tip on this list of homework ideas is to strive to find easy-to-manage, yet effective assignments.

  14. Make Homework Meaningful & Manageable with Menus

    Homework should: •Give students a chance to review skills they are comfortable with and can practice independently. •Give them an opportunity to do what they enjoy. •Give students a chance to be successful at home with academics. •Help children see connections between what they do in school and the real world.

  15. 13 Fun Homework Ideas: The Best Ways To Make Homework Fun

    Use a timer. 11. Create a special homework space. 12. Remember to be positive. 13. Get help if you need it. Thankfully, there are ways of making homework less boring and that are a little bit more fun for your child. Whether they need to practice spelling, learn their times tables or revise for an important exam, our top fun homework ideas will ...

  16. 5 Most Creative Homework Assignments: Homework That Works

    And if you're still stumped as to which worksheets to assign to practice grammar, vocabulary, or reading, BusyTeacher.org is always available to help, 24/7, with wonderful ideas for activities and great ready-to-print worksheets. If you have any ideas for other wonderfully creative homework assignments, share them below!

  17. Entertaining homework ideas for English language learners

    1. Cafe hopper. Most people love checking out cafes and this is an easy homework task to assign to your students. Have your students visit a variety of cafes as part of their homework. Then, consider what they could do for homework in a cafe of their choice.

  18. Homework Ideas for Teachers to Try

    Too often, homework assignments get a bad reputation for being tedious, repetitive, or unnecessarily lengthy. As educators, we aim to provide work that is rigorous, purposeful, and engaging. The last type of task we want to assign is an irrelevant or disconnected assignment used solely as "busy work." Homework is meant to allow time to […]

  19. 13 Entertaining ESL Homework Ideas to Keep Your Students Engaged

    3. Start a Chat Group. Ask for class for a volunteer to start a class WhatsApp chat group. They can also decide to use another messaging app like Telegram, Viber, Voxer or any other app that has a group chat function. Encourage them to send at least one message and to respond to a couple others for their homework.

  20. 11 Time-Saving & Engaging ESL Homework Ideas

    1.Read A Short Story Or Short Book Chapter. Reading is the foundation of the StoryLearning method and makes for the perfect ESL homework idea. Instead of spending time reading in class, get the students to do it between classes. They can find a quiet time to read the story or chapter as many times as they like.

  21. Homework Activities Teaching Resources

    Homework Activities. An extensive collection of resources to use when compiling a range of learning at home tasks. Homework gives students opportunities to explore concepts at home which have been covered in class. Engaging homework activities can also encourage students to explore new ways of thinking away from the classroom.

  22. 13 Exciting Homework Ideas for EFL/ESL: No worksheets!

    8. Write a journal. Either at the start of the day or before they go to bed, writing a short English entry into a journal is a powerful way of embedding English in students' day-to-day lives. This activity is for most ages, except the youngest kids. Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

  23. Empower Your Clients: Effective Therapy Homework Ideas Unveiled

    Therapy homework refers to assignments or tasks that are given to clients by therapists, psychologists, coaches, or practitioners as part of the therapeutic process. These assignments are designed to be completed outside of therapy sessions and are tailored to address specific therapeutic goals and objectives.

  24. Solar eclipse ideas for kids: Videos, crafts, activities and more

    Solar eclipse activities for kids There were some creative ideas that surfaced during the 2017 solar eclipse that more families are trying out this time around. Here are some of the best.