Despite this growing trend, experts don’t agree on what might be the underlying problem. Some feel this is an executive function problem in the brain. The executive functioning portion of the brain is responsible for performing activities such as planning, organizing and paying attention to and remembering details. Others suggest this might be an issue of students trying to win a power struggle with adults, as in “no one is going to tell me when to do my homework.” Other reasons might include issues with perfectionism (e.g., “My homework is done, but not to the level I want.”), children seeking attention (even if it is negative attention), or an overall lack of motivation.
Depending on the underlying reason for not turning in homework, there are things parents can do to help reduce or eliminate this problem, especially if the problem is related to trouble with executive function. Here are some tips:
Some teachers have found that it helps if students take personal responsibility for not turning in their homework. Barbara De Santis, a fifth-grade teacher in New Jersey has students not turning in their homework fill out a form (Pink Slip) that explains why they are missing their homework. Teachers like De Santis using this form have a higher percentage homework turn in rate than teachers who don’t use this approach.
Each child is different, and it takes some detective work to understand why your child may not be completing or turning in their homework. But while gathering clues, take a look at your veterinary bill. If your dog has been free of stomach ailments, chances are, the dog didn’t eat it.