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Listen: we know homework isn’t fun, but it is a good way to reinforce the ideas and concepts you’ve learned in class. But what if you’re really struggling with your homework assignments? 

If you’ve looked online for a little extra help with your take-home assignments, you’ve probably stumbled across websites claiming to provide the homework help and answers students need to succeed . But can homework help sites really make a difference? And if so, which are the best homework help websites you can use? 

Below, we answer these questions and more about homework help websites–free and paid. We’ll go over: 

So let’s get started! 


The Basics About Homework Help Websites–Free and Paid

Homework help websites are designed to help you complete your homework assignments, plain and simple. 

What Makes a Homework Help Site Worth Using

Most of the best sites allow users to ask questions and then provide an answer (or multiple possible answers) and explanation in seconds. In some instances, you can even send a photo of a particular assignment or problem instead of typing the whole thing out! 

Homework help sites also offer more than just help answering homework questions. Common services provided are Q&A with experts, educational videos, lectures, practice tests and quizzes, learning modules, math solving tools, and proofreading help. Homework help sites can also provide textbook solutions (i.e. answers to problems in tons of different textbooks your school might be using), one-on-one tutoring, and peer-to-peer platforms that allow you to discuss subjects you’re learning about with your fellow students. 

And best of all, nearly all of them offer their services 24/7, including tutoring! 

What You Should Should Look Out For

When it comes to homework help, there are lots–and we mean lots –of scam sites out there willing to prey on desperate students. Before you sign up for any service, make sure you read reviews to ensure you’re working with a legitimate company. 

A word to the wise: the more a company advertises help that veers into the territory of cheating, the more likely it is to be a scam. The best homework help websites are going to help you learn the concepts you’ll need to successfully complete your homework on your own. (We’ll go over the difference between “homework help” and “cheating” a little later!) 


You don't need a golden piggy bank to use homework help websites. Some provide low or no cost help for students like you!

How Expensive Are the Best Homework Help Websites?

First of all, just because a homework help site costs money doesn’t mean it’s a good service. Likewise, just because a homework help website is free doesn’t mean the help isn’t high quality. To find the best websites, you have to take a close look at the quality and types of information they provide! 

When it comes to paid homework help services, the prices vary pretty widely depending on the amount of services you want to subscribe to. Subscriptions can cost anywhere from $2 to $150 dollars per month, with the most expensive services offering several hours of one-on-one tutoring with a subject expert per month.

The 5 Best Homework Help Websites 

So, what is the best homework help website you can use? The answer is that it depends on what you need help with. 

The best homework help websites are the ones that are reliable and help you learn the material. They don’t just provide answers to homework questions–they actually help you learn the material. 

That’s why we’ve broken down our favorite websites into categories based on who they’re best for . For instance, the best website for people struggling with math might not work for someone who needs a little extra help with science, and vice versa. 

Keep reading to find the best homework help website for you! 

Best Free Homework Help Site: Khan Academy

Not only is Khan Academy free, but it’s full of information and can be personalized to suit your needs. When you set up your account , you choose which courses you need to study, and Khan Academy sets up a personal dashboard of instructional videos, practice exercises, and quizzes –with both correct and incorrect answer explanations–so you can learn at your own pace. 

As an added bonus, it covers more course topics than many other homework help sites, including several AP classes.

Runner Up: offers a free service that allows you to type in questions and get answers and explanations from experts. The downside is that you’re limited to two answers per question and have to watch ads. 

Best Paid Homework Help Site: Chegg

This service has three main parts . The first is Chegg Study, which includes textbook solutions, Q&A with subject experts, flashcards, video explanations, a math solver, and writing help. The resources are thorough, and reviewers state that Chegg answers homework questions quickly and accurately no matter when you submit them.  

Chegg also offers textbook rentals for students who need access to textbooks outside of their classroom. Finally, Chegg offers Internship and Career Advice for students who are preparing to graduate and may need a little extra help with the transition out of high school. 

Another great feature Chegg provides is a selection of free articles geared towards helping with general life skills, like coping with stress and saving money. Chegg’s learning modules are comprehensive, and they feature solutions to the problems in tons of different textbooks in a wide variety of subjects. 

Runner Up: Bartleby offers basically the same services as Chegg for $14.99 per month. The reason it didn’t rank as the best is based on customer reviews that say user questions aren’t answered quite as quickly on this site as on Chegg. Otherwise, this is also a solid choice!


Best Site for Math Homework Help: Photomath

This site allows you to t ake a picture of a math problem, and instantly pulls up a step-by-step solution, as well as a detailed explanation of the concept. Photomath also includes animated videos that break down mathematical concepts to help you better understand and remember them. 

The basic service is free, but for an additional fee you can get extra study tools and learn additional strategies for solving common math problems.

Runner Up: KhanAcademy offers in-depth tutorials that cover complex math topics for free, but you won’t get the same tailored help (and answers!) that Photomath offers. 

Best Site for English Homework Help: Princeton Review Academic Tutoring

While sites like Grammarly and Sparknotes help you by either proofreading what you write via an algorithm or providing book summaries, Princeton Review’s tutors provide in-depth help with vocabulary, literature, essay writing and development, proofreading, and reading comprehension. And unlike other services, you’ll have the chance to work with a real person to get help. 

The best part is that you can get on-demand English (and ESL) tutoring from experts 24/7. That means you can get help whenever you need it, even if you’re pulling an all-nighter! 

This is by far the most expensive homework site on this list, so you’ll need to really think about what you need out of a homework help website before you commit. One added benefit is that the subscription covers over 80 other subjects, including AP classes, which can make it a good value if you need lots of help!  


Best Site for STEM Homework Help: Studypool

When it comes to science homework help, there aren’t a ton of great resources out there. The best of the bunch is Studypool, and while it has great reviews, there are some downsides as well. 

Let’s start with the good stuff. Studypool offers an interesting twist on the homework help formula. After you create a free account, you can submit your homework help questions, and tutors will submit bids to answer your questions. You’ll be able to select the tutor–and price point–that works for you, then you’ll pay to have your homework question answered. You can also pay a small fee to access notes, lectures, and other documents that top tutors have uploaded. 

The downside to Studypool is that the pricing is not transparent . There’s no way to plan for how much your homework help will cost, especially if you have lots of questions! Additionally, it’s not clear how tutors are selected, so you’ll need to be cautious when you choose who you’d like to answer your homework questions.  


What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Homework Help Sites?

Homework help websites can be a great resource if you’re struggling in a subject, or even if you just want to make sure that you’re really learning and understanding topics and ideas that you’re interested in. But, there are some possible drawbacks if you don’t use these sites responsibly. 

We’ll go over the good–and the not-so-good–aspects of getting online homework help below. 

3 Pros of Using Homework Help Websites 

First, let’s take a look at the benefits. 

#1: Better Grades Beyond Homework

This is a big one! Getting outside help with your studies can improve your understanding of concepts that you’re learning, which translates into better grades when you take tests or write essays. 

Remember: homework is designed to help reinforce the concepts you learned in class. If you just get easy answers without learning the material behind the problems, you may not have the tools you need to be successful on your class exams…or even standardized tests you’ll need to take for college. 

#2: Convenience

One of the main reasons that online homework help is appealing is because it’s flexible and convenient. You don’t have to go to a specific tutoring center while they’re open or stay after school to speak with your teacher. Instead, you can access helpful resources wherever you can access the internet, whenever you need them.

This is especially true if you tend to study at off hours because of your extracurriculars, work schedule, or family obligations. Sites that offer 24/7 tutoring can give you the extra help you need if you can’t access the free resources that are available at your school. 

#3: Variety

Not everyone learns the same way. Maybe you’re more of a visual learner, but your teacher mostly does lectures. Or maybe you learn best by listening and taking notes, but you’re expected to learn something just from reading the textbook . 

One of the best things about online homework help is that it comes in a variety of forms. The best homework help sites offer resources for all types of learners, including videos, practice activities, and even one-on-one discussions with real-life experts. 

This variety can also be a good thing if you just don’t really resonate with the way a concept is being explained (looking at you, math textbooks!).


Not so fast. There are cons to homework help websites, too. Get to know them below!

3 Cons of Using Homework Help Websites 

Now, let’s take a look at the drawbacks of online homework help. 

#1: Unreliable Info

This can be a real problem. In addition to all the really good homework help sites, there are a whole lot of disreputable or unreliable sites out there. The fact of the matter is that some homework help sites don’t necessarily hire people who are experts in the subjects they’re talking about. In those cases, you may not be getting the accurate, up-to-date, and thorough information you need.

Additionally, even the great sites may not be able to answer all of your homework questions. This is especially true if the site uses an algorithm or chatbot to help students…or if you’re enrolled in an advanced or college-level course. In these cases, working with your teacher or school-provided tutors are probably your best option. 

#2: No Clarification

This depends on the service you use, of course. But the majority of them provide free or low-cost help through pre-recorded videos. Watching videos or reading info online can definitely help you with your homework… but you can’t ask questions or get immediate feedback if you need it .

#3: Potential For Scamming 

Like we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of homework help websites out there, and lots of them are scams. The review comments we read covered everything from outdated or wrong information, to misleading claims about the help provided, to not allowing people to cancel their service after signing up. 

No matter which site you choose to use, make sure you research and read reviews before you sign up–especially if it’s a paid service! 


When Does “Help” Become “Cheating”?

Admittedly, whether using homework help websites constitutes cheating is a bit of a grey area. For instance, is it “help” when a friend reads your essay for history class and corrects your grammar, or is it “cheating”? The truth is, not everyone agrees on when “help” crosses the line into “cheating .” When in doubt, it can be a good idea to check with your teacher to see what they think about a particular type of help you want to get. 

That said, a general rule of thumb to keep in mind is to make sure that the assignment you turn in for credit is authentically yours . It needs to demonstrate your own thoughts and your own current abilities. Remember: the point of every homework assignment is to 1) help you learn something, and 2) show what you’ve learned. 

So if a service answers questions or writes essays for you, there’s a good chance using it constitutes cheating. 

Here’s an example that might help clarify the difference for you. Brainstorming essay ideas with others or looking online for inspiration is “help” as long as you write the essay yourself. Having someone read it and give you feedback about what you need to change is also help, provided you’re the one that makes the changes later. 

But copying all or part of an essay you find online or having someone write (or rewrite) the whole thing for you would be “cheating.” The same is true for other subjects. Ultimately, if you’re not generating your own work or your own answers, it’s probably cheating.


5 Tips for Finding the Best Homework Help Websites for You

Now that you know some of our favorite homework help websites, free and paid, you can start doing some additional research on your own to decide which services might work best for you! Here are some top tips for choosing a homework help website. 

Tip 1: Decide How You Learn Best 

Before you decide which site or sites you’re going to use for homework help, y ou should figure out what kind of learning style works for you the most. Are you a visual learner? Then choose a site that uses lots of videos to help explain concepts. If you know you learn best by actually doing tasks, choose a site that provides lots of practice exercises.

Tip 2: Determine Which Subjects You Need Help With

Just because a homework help site is good overall doesn’t mean that it’s equally good for every subject. If you only need help in math, choose a site that specializes in that area. But if history is where you’re struggling, a site that specializes in math won’t be much help. So make sure to choose a site that you know provides high-quality help in the areas you need it most. 

Tip 3: Decide How Much One-On-One Help You Need 

This is really about cost-effectiveness. If you learn well on your own by reading and watching videos, a free site like Khan Academy is a good choice. But if you need actual tutoring, or to be able to ask questions and get personalized answers from experts, a paid site that provides that kind of service may be a better option.

Tip 4: Set a Budget 

If you decide you want to go with a paid homework help website, set a budget first . The prices for sites vary wildly, and the cost to use them can add up quick. 

Tip 5: Read the Reviews

Finally, it’s always a good idea to read actual reviews written by the people using these homework sites. You’ll learn the good, the bad, and the ugly of what the users’ experiences have been. This is especially true if you intend to subscribe to a paid service. You’ll want to make sure that users think it’s worth the price overall!


What’s Next?

If you want to get good grades on your homework, it’s a good idea to learn how to tackle it strategically. Our expert tips will help you get the most out of each assignment…and boost your grades in the process. 

Doing well on homework assignments is just one part of getting good grades. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about getting great grades in high school in this article. 

Of course, test grades can make or break your GPA, too. Here are 17 expert tips that’ll help you get the most out of your study prep before you take an exam. 

Need more help? 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.

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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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What we know about online learning and the homework gap amid the pandemic.

A sixth grader completes his homework online in his family's living room in Boston on March 31, 2020.

America’s K-12 students are returning to classrooms this fall after 18 months of virtual learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some students who lacked the home internet connectivity needed to finish schoolwork during this time – an experience often called the “ homework gap ” – may continue to feel the effects this school year.

Here is what Pew Research Center surveys found about the students most likely to be affected by the homework gap and their experiences learning from home.

Children across the United States are returning to physical classrooms this fall after 18 months at home, raising questions about how digital disparities at home will affect the existing homework gap between certain groups of students.

Methodology for each Pew Research Center poll can be found at the links in the post.

With the exception of the 2018 survey, everyone who took part in the surveys is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the  ATP’s methodology .

The 2018 data on U.S. teens comes from a Center poll of 743 U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 conducted March 7 to April 10, 2018, using the NORC AmeriSpeak panel. AmeriSpeak is a nationally representative, probability-based panel of the U.S. household population. Randomly selected U.S. households are sampled with a known, nonzero probability of selection from the NORC National Frame, and then contacted by U.S. mail, telephone or face-to-face interviewers. Read more details about the NORC AmeriSpeak panel methodology .

Around nine-in-ten U.S. parents with K-12 children at home (93%) said their children have had some online instruction since the coronavirus outbreak began in February 2020, and 30% of these parents said it has been very or somewhat difficult for them to help their children use technology or the internet as an educational tool, according to an April 2021 Pew Research Center survey .

A bar chart showing that mothers and parents with lower incomes are more likely than fathers and those with higher incomes to have trouble helping their children with tech for online learning

Gaps existed for certain groups of parents. For example, parents with lower and middle incomes (36% and 29%, respectively) were more likely to report that this was very or somewhat difficult, compared with just 18% of parents with higher incomes.

This challenge was also prevalent for parents in certain types of communities – 39% of rural residents and 33% of urban residents said they have had at least some difficulty, compared with 23% of suburban residents.

Around a third of parents with children whose schools were closed during the pandemic (34%) said that their child encountered at least one technology-related obstacle to completing their schoolwork during that time. In the April 2021 survey, the Center asked parents of K-12 children whose schools had closed at some point about whether their children had faced three technology-related obstacles. Around a quarter of parents (27%) said their children had to do schoolwork on a cellphone, 16% said their child was unable to complete schoolwork because of a lack of computer access at home, and another 14% said their child had to use public Wi-Fi to finish schoolwork because there was no reliable connection at home.

Parents with lower incomes whose children’s schools closed amid COVID-19 were more likely to say their children faced technology-related obstacles while learning from home. Nearly half of these parents (46%) said their child faced at least one of the three obstacles to learning asked about in the survey, compared with 31% of parents with midrange incomes and 18% of parents with higher incomes.

A chart showing that parents with lower incomes are more likely than parents with higher incomes to say their children have faced tech-related schoolwork challenges in the pandemic

Of the three obstacles asked about in the survey, parents with lower incomes were most likely to say that their child had to do their schoolwork on a cellphone (37%). About a quarter said their child was unable to complete their schoolwork because they did not have computer access at home (25%), or that they had to use public Wi-Fi because they did not have a reliable internet connection at home (23%).

A Center survey conducted in April 2020 found that, at that time, 59% of parents with lower incomes who had children engaged in remote learning said their children would likely face at least one of the obstacles asked about in the 2021 survey.

A year into the outbreak, an increasing share of U.S. adults said that K-12 schools have a responsibility to provide all students with laptop or tablet computers in order to help them complete their schoolwork at home during the pandemic. About half of all adults (49%) said this in the spring 2021 survey, up 12 percentage points from a year earlier. An additional 37% of adults said that schools should provide these resources only to students whose families cannot afford them, and just 13% said schools do not have this responsibility.

A bar chart showing that roughly half of adults say schools have responsibility to provide technology to all students during pandemic

While larger shares of both political parties in April 2021 said K-12 schools have a responsibility to provide computers to all students in order to help them complete schoolwork at home, there was a 15-point change among Republicans: 43% of Republicans and those who lean to the Republican Party said K-12 schools have this responsibility, compared with 28% last April. In the 2021 survey, 22% of Republicans also said schools do not have this responsibility at all, compared with 6% of Democrats and Democratic leaners.

Even before the pandemic, Black teens and those living in lower-income households were more likely than other groups to report trouble completing homework assignments because they did not have reliable technology access. Nearly one-in-five teens ages 13 to 17 (17%) said they are often or sometimes unable to complete homework assignments because they do not have reliable access to a computer or internet connection, a 2018 Center survey of U.S. teens found.

A bar chart showing that in 2018, Black teens and those from lower-income households were especially likely to be impacted by the digital 'homework gap'

One-quarter of Black teens said they were at least sometimes unable to complete their homework due to a lack of digital access, including 13% who said this happened to them often. Just 4% of White teens and 6% of Hispanic teens said this often happened to them. (There were not enough Asian respondents in the survey sample to be broken out into a separate analysis.)

A wide gap also existed by income level: 24% of teens whose annual family income was less than $30,000 said the lack of a dependable computer or internet connection often or sometimes prohibited them from finishing their homework, but that share dropped to 9% among teens who lived in households earning $75,000 or more a year.

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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

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What’s the point of homework?

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Homework hasn’t changed much in the past few decades. Most children are still sent home with about an hour’s worth of homework each day, mostly practising what they were taught in class.

If we look internationally, homework is assigned in every country that participated in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2012.

Across the participating countries, 15-year-old students reported spending almost five hours per week doing homework in 2012. Australian students spent six hours per week on average on homework. Students in Singapore spent seven hours on homework, and in Shanghai, China they did homework for about 14 hours per week on average.

Read more: Aussie students are a year behind students 10 years ago in science, maths and reading

Shanghai and Singapore routinely score higher than Australia in the PISA maths, science and reading tests. But homework could just be one of the factors leading to higher results. In Finland, which also scores higher than Australia, students spent less than three hours on homework per week.

So, what’s the purpose of homework and what does the evidence say about whether it fulfils its purpose?

Why do teachers set homework?

Each school in Australia has its own homework policy developed in consultation with teachers and parents or caregivers, under the guiding principles of state or regional education departments.

For instance, according to the New South Wales homework policy “… tasks should be assigned by teachers with a specific, explicit learning purpose”.

Homework in NSW should also be “purposeful and designed to meet specific learning goals”, and “built on knowledge, skills and understanding developed in class”. But there is limited, if any, guidance on how often homework should be set.

Research based on teacher interviews shows they set homework for a range of reasons. These include to:

establish and improve communication between parents and children about learning

help children be more responsible, confident and disciplined

practise or review material from class

determine children’s understanding of the lesson and/or skills

introduce new material to be presented in class

provide students with opportunities to apply and integrate skills to new situations or interest areas

get students to use their own skills to create work.

So, does homework achieve what teachers intend it to?

Do we know if it ‘works’?

Studies on homework are frequently quite general, and don’t consider specific types of homework tasks. So it isn’t easy to measure how effective homework could be, or to compare studies.

But there are several things we can say.

First, it’s better if every student gets the kind of homework task that benefits them personally, such as one that helps them answer questions they had, or understand a problem they couldn’t quite grasp in class. This promotes students’ confidence and control of their own learning.

Read more: Learning from home is testing students' online search skills. Here are 3 ways to improve them

Giving students repetitive tasks may not have much value . For instance, calculating the answer to 120 similar algorithms, such as adding two different numbers 120 times may make the student think maths is irrelevant and boring. In this case, children are not being encouraged to find solutions but simply applying a formula they learnt in school.

In primary schools, homework that aims to improve children’s confidence and learning discipline can be beneficial. For example, children can be asked to practise giving a presentation on a topic of their interest. This could help build their competence in speaking in front of a class.

Young boy holding a microphone in the living room.

Homework can also highlight equity issues. It can be particularly burdensome for socioeconomically disadvantaged students who may not have a space, the resources or as much time due to family and work commitments. Their parents may also not feel capable of supporting them or have their own work commitments.

According to the PISA studies mentioned earlier, socioeconomically disadvantaged 15 year olds spend nearly three hours less on homework each week than their advantaged peers.

Read more: 'I was astonished at how quickly they made gains': online tutoring helps struggling students catch up

What kind of homework is best?

Homework can be engaging and contribute to learning if it is more than just a sheet of maths or list of spelling words not linked to class learning. From summarising various studies’ findings, “good” homework should be:

personalised to each child rather than the same for all students in the class. This is more likely to make a difference to a child’s learning and performance

achievable, so the child can complete it independently, building skills in managing their time and behaviour

aligned to the learning in the classroom.

If you aren’t happy with the homework your child is given then approach the school. If your child is having difficulty with doing the homework, the teacher needs to know. It shouldn’t be burdensome for you or your children.

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Homework battles: What really matters

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Homework. It’s a source of battles in many families. But does it have to be? How can we approach homework so that it doesn’t cause so much stress for our kids — and ourselves? 

In this episode, hosts Rachel Bozek and Gretchen Vierstra talk all things homework with special education teacher Shira Moskovitz. Hear Shira bust common homework myths, like why the best time to do homework isn’t always right after school. And why it’s OK if your child’s homework station is a bit messy. Plus, get tips on how to give kids homework support while fostering their independence. 

Related resources 

FAQs about homework for kids

How to make a portable schoolwork station

6 steps for breaking down assignments

Plus, check out Wunder to get expert support around homework challenges and connect with other parents. 

Episode transcript

Gretchen: From the Understood Podcast Network, this is "In It," a podcast about the ins and outs...

Rachel: ...the ups and downs...

Gretchen: ...of supporting kids who learn and think differently. I'm Gretchen Vierstra, a former classroom teacher and an editor here at Understood.

Rachel: And I'm Rachel Bozek, a writer and editor raising two kids with ADHD. Today we're talking about homework.

Gretchen: Oh, homework. It's the source of many afterschool battles in my household. And I know I'm not alone here.

Rachel: No, you're not. So what can we do to make homework time more productive and less of a struggle?

Gretchen: To answer this, we're delighted to be talking today with Shira Moskovitz.

Rachel: Shira is a special education teacher in New York City, with expertise in technology and dyslexia.

Gretchen: Shira, welcome to "In It."

Shira: Thank you.

Gretchen: So homework. I'm guessing as a fifth-grade teacher, this is something some of your students struggle with.

Shira: Most definitely.

Gretchen: Oh, most definitely. OK. So what do you hear from your parents and caregivers who come to you with questions or concerns about homework? What are their main concerns?

Shira: I think that most parents are worried that if they don't get it all done, a catastrophe will happen. And I think my biggest perspective as a teacher is to debunk that myth. There is no catastrophe.

Gretchen: There is no catastrophe. Great.

Rachel: So what would you say are the overarching issues that get in the way of kids doing their homework? I mean, if you can just lay out kind of the top few that come to mind, and then we can tackle them one at a time or however it works for you.

Shira: Sure. Well, I'll start with probably the biggest one that applies to every child is that they are tired after a long day of school. And they come home and there's more work. That's the biggest issue.

The second issue, maybe they didn't understand the skill exactly in class, or they don't totally understand the instructions. So they come home and there's an adult at home and they say, "Help me with this." With what? Not exactly sure. I don't totally get it. I need help. And if the child is struggling, the parent is definitely going to be struggling, because the parent wasn't with me in class.

Gretchen: Mm hmm. So we have a few areas we love to tackle when it comes to homework challenges. And I'm going to start with the first one that we mentioned already, which is that hurdle of getting kids to actually sit down, maybe not sit down, but do their homework, right? Especially after that long day of school when they're tired and maybe they went straight from school to other activities. And so now it's even later and they're hungry. You know, especially kids who have trouble focusing. Kids with ADHD might have a hard time getting going on this. So what is the advice that you tend to give students and families about the first hurdle: getting on the homework?

Shira: Definitely. So I would say kind of like what you said is that it's not necessarily that they need to sit down. A lot of parents talk about setting up a homework space, and that is definitely something that you want to do with your child. But make sure it's a space that your child is comfortable with. Your child should be driving that decision of where homework is done, what materials they use. At the end of the day, if they're lying down on the floor or they're sitting on a cozy cushion and they feel more comfortable that way, or they're standing and they can get their work done, that's what's best. So ask them. Let them make that choice of where's the best place to do their homework.

The other thing is really helpful is consistency. So having that consistent space and that consistent time. If I know from this time to this time I'm doing homework, my expectation becomes part of this routine. So setting up a set space and a set time, even if it's not the most conventional space or not the most conventional materials, whatever your child feels most comfortable with, that'll be the — produce the best homework results.

Gretchen: So what about the most conventional time? Because I know, you know, when I was a classroom teacher, families were like, well, I want them to get it done right away so that I know we have dinner, that we get ready to bed and it's over. But not all kids want to do it right away.

Shira: I definitely agree. And I think that as a child, I didn't want to do it right away. And there's two things I want to address there. One is basic needs being met. If your child is hungry, they are not going to do homework. I know that if I'm hungry, I'm not going to be productive. So maybe it's not a full dinner, maybe it's a snack. Maybe that's part of their homework space is that there's a snack there. And if that's what your child needs, that's OK.

And other than that, knowing that if your child does best with homework after dinner or after a shower, that's OK. The homework still gets done. And if you create that routine for them with that expectation that, OK, we're going to eat dinner and then do our homework, or going to eat dinner, change, shower, and then do homework, whatever that may be. As long as they know that that's going to happen Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, they'll be ready for that.

Gretchen: Rachel, I know you had a perspective on time, right?

Rachel: I do. And my question — I'll give you a spoiler alert — is about getting your homework done in the morning. And one scenario that I've seen in my own house is if there's an activity like right after school or within an hour or so of getting home from school, there's not really time to make homework happen in a, you know, kind of calm the way it should be done way. But then at the same time, if they come home from, you know, softball practice or basketball practice or something and then go straight into dinner, then they're tired and like kind of done.

And for me, I'm sometimes for myself after like a full day of work or sitting at my computer, if I need to like take care of something else, I'm like, you know what? I'm going to do that first thing in the morning. So when my daughter, who's in fourth grade, is like, "I'm going to do my homework in the morning," I'm kind of like, "Yeah, I get it." What do you think about that? Because mornings are not always really set up for getting homework done. But also like sometimes her brain is in a better place to do it at that time.

Shira: Right. I want to challenge what you said that mornings aren't set up to do homework. They would be set up if you made it set up. If that's your routine, if mornings are the best for you, why is that not the best time to do homework? It very well could be with a nice, you know, you know, you could have your cereal and homework, especially when some of the homework is a little more passive, like reading a chapter from a book. There's no reason you can't do that with breakfast. You most definitely can.

Gretchen: What do you think, Rachel?

Rachel: I like it. I like it. I think the answer to my own question there is getting everybody up earlier, but maybe that is the answer.

Shira: I definitely think it takes some flexibility on the parent's part, but also knowing each individual kid. Maybe one child needs homework in the evenings and one child needs homework in the mornings, and that is a lot of extra work for us. But if it's a pressure point at home, setting up differentiated routines for our different children is something we're doing anyway in other areas of life. And homework can just be one of those things.

Rachel: OK. So we've talked about when and how to get our kids to actually sit down and do their homework. But once you get over that hurdle, what do you do about a kid whose tendency is to just rush to get it over with as fast as they possibly can?

Shira: I think this happens more when children have a lot of homework to do. That's a big reaction — I have seven assignments to do tonight, so I'm going to try to get through them as quickly as possible because TV is waiting. My friend is waiting. Dinner's waiting, whatever it may be.

I definitely recommend framing at home. The emotions around homework in general are very tense — and often very tense for the parents as well. So if we frame homework for our children in a way that it's not a race to the finish line. There's not this pressure to get everything done, but just to practice the skills you learned at school that day. Our perspective is different. Our child's perspective is different. Hopefully the quality is different, even if they don't get through every single math problem. They do three and they do them really well. At the end of the day, they practice that skill more than rushing through 17 problems or whatever it may be.

Gretchen: That makes total sense. I love the framing idea. Let's say that we've, you know, set up this tone that, you know, while we want you to practice your skills and if you're not going to get through all of them, that's fine. But you'll need to at least, you know, accomplish like maybe three or focus on this for 10 minutes. Are we supposed to hover and make sure they get that done? Or what are we supposed to do as parents in that situation?

Shira: I would really say ultimately it depends on the child. But no, the goal is independence. This is not your homework. I always tell my students, "Your mom and dad went to fifth grade already. I know they know this stuff."

So I ask parents to be as hands-off as possible in this situation. If you know your child is not yet independent and they do need more frequent check-ins, then do that for them. But I would explain to them the goal is "I'm checking in because I know this is hard for you, and this is something that we've discussed is a way that will help you. But one day the goal is that you can do this on your own."

But check-ins are only one way to make sure that they're getting done. You can also do things that help foster independence, like having them set a timer for themselves. And they say, "OK, in those 10 minutes, I'm going to get through two problems," and then they have to self-reflect after the 10-minute timer rings. Now, granted, does that take a certain level of independence when the timer rings to reflect on that goal? Yes. But maybe that's something that the first couple of times you can do with them and then they can do on their own.

Rachel: I have a question on the organization front — or really the disorganization front. You know, sometimes for us in my house, the biggest hurdle to getting the homework going is the organization factor. You know, it starts with like, "Hey, how much homework do you have?" Or "Do you have homework?" And it's like, "No, I don't." Or "I just have this one quick thing." And then later you find out that it's actually like not one thing and they're not quick things. But regardless of how much there is, sometimes it's also just like, where's your pencil? You know, like the most basic thing leads to, like, the meltdown. And I mean, do you have any suggestions for just being set up, especially if they're not doing the work in a conventional workspace? Like if we're at the kitchen table or we're, you know, kind of just somewhere else in the house besides a desk — that "having it all together" piece of it.

Shira: Yes. So I think this is another thing that you want to let your child drive. My favorite activity is going to Dollar Tree and letting my child pick out the pens and pencils and highlighters and the caddy, because that's for me, the conventional learning space is not going to work for homework, you know. So if you have a caddy and it sits on the floor, or if you've a lap desk with materials, and if your child owns that, this is mine. I picked out my Superman pencils. You want all those different pencils to go back in the container at the end of the night because you want them there tomorrow.

Will it solve everything? No. Because that still comes down to organization at school, which as a parent can be frustrating, but you can't really control. Because if there is no system in place or the system in place doesn't work for your child, yeah, you're not going to know. But that's a conversation you can have with your teacher. "Hey, you know, my child struggles with knowing the homework. What are some tools we can set up so that my child comes home with an agenda or with a list" — whatever that may be that works for your child. And it's OK to ask for that type of thing, even if it's not what works for the rest of the class, so that you do come home with the most positive potential outcome.

Rachel: I think that the caddy suggestion is actually really great because who doesn't love a good caddy for their markers and pens and pencils? And, you know, one thing that came to mind as you were talking about that, though, was the executive function piece, right? So what I've seen is we'll get, you know, the most kind of amazing setup for that kind of thing. And then it's still like everything's on the floor next to it. And so, you know, maybe that's just, you know, the executive function, you know, challenges for some kids, I think, will still probably come into play. But I think it is a great start for them to have something like that to work with so they can kind of carry it around.

Shira: Right. I think that if you're talking about executive function, really, is it a problem if all the materials are on the floor or does it just look messy so it bothers us? I would say that if their zone of doing homework includes papers and pencils on the floor next to them, maybe that's their done pile. As long as it gets put away at the end, that's OK.

Rachel: I like it.

Shira: Teaching into, you know, where to get your materials, how to put them away at the end. What it looks like in the middle may look like a mess to us. And if that's what works best for our child, that's the best mess that they can have.

Rachel: That's great. Done pile. I need that.

Gretchen: You know, speaking of executive function, let's talk a little bit about time management. I know that sometimes kids may look at an assignment and it's overwhelming, right? And they don't know — they think it might take too long or too little time or they don't plan for it. And I know lots of teachers recommend chunking assignments, breaking it down. Can you maybe talk to us about how you help kids manage their time when it comes to assignments at home?

Shira: Yes. And that's actually the first thing I wanted to say is that I wouldn't ask parents to chunk an assignment for a child if they don't totally know the background of the assignment. So let's say we do have a bigger project for a whole end-of-unit assignment. And if you're a parent in that situation and this seems overwhelming to your child and you're not sure, don't feel that pressure to come up with a timeline on your own. Reach out to the teacher. Because what I do is I will give an outline to the whole assignment.

And sometimes I'll even give a heads-up to the parent. I haven't told your child about X, Y, and Z, but this is what's coming. So in week one, I recommend doing this. In week two, I recommend doing that. So I wouldn't ask a parent on their own to figure all that out, but I'm very happy to collaborate with a parent. Or maybe I send home a timeline, and the parent's like "This is still overwhelming." Great. Let's break it down further.

But don't as a parent feel that overwhelming sensation that your child feels and then drown in it. Because like I said in the beginning, our attitude towards homework and this space that we have at home will be mirrored in our child. So we have this positive outlook. Our child can have that positive outlook. So we say, "That's OK, we'll figure this out. Let's get the teacher's help." That's what your child is going to do the next day. They're going to say, "It's OK. I'm going to go to my teacher and get help." As opposed to spiraling.

Gretchen: Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, I have found at home as a parent, sometimes when I — at first there's some overwhelm, right. They say, oh, my gosh, it's so big and I have so much to do, blah, blah, blah. And I will give space for a little bit of venting. And then I say, "Did your teacher kind of break it out into smaller assignments? Is there anywhere where you have an outline?" "Oh, oh, yeah. I have it here somewhere."

And sometimes I think that as parents, we need to — we might have to dig a little with our kids to ask for this chunking information because it's there. But they're — maybe their feelings are in the way, right? And they're forgetting that it's there, because they're just so stressed about the big assignment.

Shira: Right. And definitely validate. And I want to say in general that sometimes the assignment is not very big. But for some reason it feels very big for our child. Maybe it's just that one worksheet and today that's feeling really big. And I do encourage families to set a time limit or a question limit, whatever that may be, even if you're not going to get anywhere near finishing it. We don't want our child —I don't — and as teachers, we don't want our students to go home and feel this just overwhelmed or negative feelings about learning. Then the homework wasn't productive. Maybe they got it all right. But if that negative emotion comes back to school the next day surrounding this work, we still have a lot to deal with.

So I would rather, "OK. You only got two done. That's fine. That's what felt like your max for that day. OK. Maybe another day won't feel as overwhelming." But I really want parents to cut off. Homework should not be that stressor, should not be the thing that's spiraling. We know the concept of homework may be overwhelming. But when it comes down to doing it, if it really is getting overwhelming, that's where as a parent you can say, "OK, we've had enough for today."

Gretchen: Sounds good to me. I just wanted to check in on one particular area. So if you know your kid has dyslexia and so they have trouble with reading, or they have dyscalculia, so math is more difficult. When you're home working with your child, first of all, I wonder, do you do those things first because they're hardest? Do you save them for later because they're hardest? And what kinds of supports do we suggest to families? I mean, I'm sure there's some that they already know of from meetings with teachers and such. But I'm just wondering what your advice is around that.

Shira: Well, I would say about which comes first. That's your child. Your child is driving this homework scenario, right? So your child's going to pick whether that comes first or that, you know, because the least favorite thing for last or smack in the middle. But I would also say about tools: Mimic whatever is going on in school. If your child's able to read in school because they have assistive technology, you should have those same resources at home. And specifically with assistive technology, because you mentioned dyslexia, but really it applies to lots of disabilities, lots of times on a child's IEP, they'll say this works best for them with the support of X, Y, and Z technology. And oftentimes the school itself will provide that technology. And what a lot of parents don't realize is that that technology is not just for school learning, it is for learning, which means that your child can bring that device home every single day as long as they bring it back the next day.

Gretchen: That is such a good tip.

Shira: Build on to that. Are there virtual math manipulatives that we can use? All these things that are free and available — use them. But especially please, please, if they're using them in school and being successful with them in school, use them at home. You don't want to reinvent the wheel. If this is working for them, make sure it's continuing to work. And specifically about assistive technology, parents can ask the school to get trained in the apps or tools that your child is using so that you know how to use it the best way, just like your child's teacher did. So that it shouldn't be any different than what they're doing in school.

Not to say that it's going to be easy. Any of these tools, assistive technology or these manipulatives, don't suddenly erase a learning or thinking difference. But if it's a support that was determined to be necessary, then don't take that away from your child at home. Then you're signing yourself up for some challenges.

Gretchen: I love that advice of make sure you're getting those tools at home, ask for them, and ask for the training. I think the training is key. So thank you, Shira, for mentioning that.

Rachel: Yeah, because nobody wants to be like sitting on YouTube trying to figure out how to use this thing that, you know, the teacher probably could have shared.

Shira: Especially during a homework crisis.

Gretchen: Yes. Especially when you're hungry, when you're...

Rachel: "Hold on a minute. Let me — let me check YouTube for 15 minutes. Just hang tight. Hang tight."

Rachel: So this might be our last question, but I think it's a really important one. What is your biggest piece of advice regarding homework? Like, what do you find yourself telling families the most?

Shira: I think it comes back to the emotions. There's a lot of stress for parents about homework, and we inadvertently pass that on to our children. And that stress comes from so many different things. I'm worried that my child isn't doing well. I'm worried that I don't know the skill well enough to help my child. I'm worried that it's not all going to get done. All the things we discussed.

So when we change our perspective on homework, that it all needs to be right, that it all needs to be done, that it needs to be perfect — any of that — and we're just having a more positive outlook on homework, we're more likely to let our child drive those conversations, pick the space, pick the time, pick all of those things. And if we're relaxed, they'll be relaxed. And will it all get done? Not necessarily. Will it all be perfect? Not necessarily. And all those things are OK. And if we accept that as parents, our children will accept that as students.

Rachel: That's so helpful.

Gretchen: That's great advice. Thank you so much for joining us today, Shira.

Shira: It's been my pleasure. It's been great to talk to you.

Gretchen: By the way, you can find more great tips and insights from Shira on Understood's Wunder app.

Rachel: Should we explain what that is for anybody who doesn't know?

Gretchen: Yeah. Good idea. Wunder is a free community app for parents and caregivers raising kids who learn and think differently. So it's a place to connect with other parents who get what you're going through.

Rachel: There's all these different groups there on topics like ADHD or dyslexia. The one that Shira leads is called "Ask an Expert: Dyslexia, Tech, and Learning," where she gets into some of that stuff that we talked about today, like how parents can get comfortable with the assistive technology their kids are using at school. So if that sounds interesting to you, go check it out.

Gretchen: You've been listening to "In It," from the Understood Podcast Network.

Rachel: This show is for you. So we want to make sure that you're getting what you need. Email us at [email protected] to share your thoughts. We love hearing from you.

Gretchen: If you want to learn more about the topics we covered today, check out the show notes for this episode. We include more resources as well as links to anything we mentioned in the episode.

Rachel: is a resource dedicated to helping people who learn and think differently discover their potential and thrive. Learn more at

Gretchen: "In It" is produced by Julie Subrin. Briana Berry is our production director. Justin D. Wright mixes the show. Mike Errico wrote our theme music.

Rachel: For the Understood Podcast Network, Laura Key is our editorial director, Scott Cocchiere is our creative director, and Seth Melnick is our executive producer. Thanks for listening.

Gretchen: And thanks for always being in it with us.

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homework we know

Gretchen Vierstra, MA

is the managing editor at Understood and co-host of the “In It” podcast. She’s a former educator with experience teaching and designing programs in schools, organizations, and online learning spaces.

homework we know

Rachel Bozek

is co-host of the “In It” podcast and the parent of two kids with ADHD. She has a background in writing and editing content for kids and parents. 

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Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in.

homework we know

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas about workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework. 

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says, he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy workloads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold , says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace , says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression. 

And for all the distress homework  can cause, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says, homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night. 

"Most students, especially at these high achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends, from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no-homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely but to be more mindful of the type of work students take home, suggests Kang, who was a high school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework; I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial 

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the past two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic , making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized. ... Sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking up assignments can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

More: Some teachers let their students sleep in class. Here's what mental health experts say.

More: Some parents are slipping young kids in for the COVID-19 vaccine, but doctors discourage the move as 'risky'

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When you decide to get someone to offload the homework burden from your shoulder, always aim for the best. The suitable helper will help you meet your goals and bring you closer to a potential scholarship opportunity. Our top writers have all it takes to turn your misery into joy and laughter. Do not hesitate to ask us to ‘do my English homework’ today. We will serve you hot and sweet!

Benefits Of Our Writing Experts

Students stand to benefit a lot from online homework help. All our papers get to students on time, and urgent ones are prioritized. You can shoot your assignment to us at any time, and we will be glad to complete it for you. Our assignment help service tries to kill two birds with one stone by offering you fast writing help with pocket-friendly rates.

We also have transparent dealings that ensure accountability and follow-up. When you check our privacy, confidentiality, and money-back policies, you can be sure we are legit and reliable. If you doubt any, check online reviews from out satisfied customers. Our writing company also allows you to pay in installments, especially for bulk projects. And don't forget about our juicy discounts!

Getting A Homework Doer – How It Works

Having set up a team of professional writers and affordable writing services, we move on to ensure that they are reliable and accessible to all. You do not have to struggle to find a writer from our site. We have a simplified website to navigate through and arrive at whatever service you need. The exciting part is that you can use this website regardless of your digital literacy level.

First, you will give us directions on how you want your paper to look. During this process, you will also choose a writer from a list. You can always talk to your writer as the project progresses. Moreover, you can see completed sections and advise your writer before the final submission. Our seasoned editors will review every paper and check for plagiarism to ensure its complete uniqueness.


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  1. Parents, are there enough hours in the day for THAT much homework?

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  2. Why do we do homework???!!!

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