Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I keep putting off my homework

Hey Sam,

I am having huge trouble getting my homework done. I leave it till the last minute and do it in the lesson before it's due, or copy someone else's, or lie to the teacher about it.

I know it's wrong. My mum and dad don't know anything, but I know they will be disappointed if I tell them. I need to get on top of my homework and stop with my "can't-be-bothered" attitude.

I've tried to get homework done but I still end up getting utterly swamped in masses of homework, revision, and then I have to go to clubs!

I can't do it any more!

Please help me, Sam.

Ask Sam



It can be hard to manage homework and create a good balance with personal time. When we delay doing work and distract ourselves with other things it’s called procrastination. It can be very hard to get out of the habit of procrastinating. You might need to change how you approach your homework.

When we procrastinate, it’s usually because there things we can do instead that would be more fun. The problem is that when we do those fun things we aren’t really enjoying ourselves because we still have that work looming over us.

The first important step is to realise that you have a choice. You have the power to make good and bad choices. To stop procrastination, you need to make it as easy as possible for you to make good choices in the future, even when tempted by bad ones. Planning can really help you to do that.

Creating a weekly planner for your bedroom wall could help you organise everything so that it doesn’t become overwhelming. It also works as a visual reminder of your tasks and events for each day.

It’s important that your plan is specific. Writing “do homework” might be too vague. It's a good idea to write on your plan what subject you will be doing homework for and how you will be doing it. Break it down into a list of things that you need to do, then you can decide which ones are most important. Having a checklist of smaller steps means you’re more likely to follow them.

Sometimes schools offer after school study groups. If your school doesn’t have these at the moment it might be something you could ask your teachers about. Having other people know about your homework can really help make sure you stay focussed. You might want to consider asking your mum and dad to help you by sharing your list with them so they can help you stick to it.

Talking to your parents or teachers about how you’re feeling could help them to understand how hard you are finding it to cope. It can also let them know that you could do with some support. It is difficult for them to help you if they have no idea about what’s really going on.

Remember you are always welcome to come and talk to a ChildLine counsellor about any of your concerns around homework.

I hope some of this helps.

Take care,

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