How to Plan a Homework Schedule

Four Parts:Setting up homework timesHomework space and needsKnowing what needs doingGetting things done

With a little organization and discipline, you can get all of your homework done on time, every day. Develop a plan that will break down your tasks into smaller and manageable units.

Part 1
Setting up homework times

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    Decide how much time you have available for homework after school for each day of the week. For example, Monday - 1 hour, Tuesday - 1 1/2 hours, Wednesday - 1/2 hour, etc. On days where you have other planned activities, whether it's an extracurricular activity or chores or quality time with your family, you will have less time for homework.
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    Consider using your mornings. At the end of the day, if you're really tired and still have homework, go to bed and set your alarm perhaps an hour or two earlier than what you usually do. This way when you do your homework you will have more energy and be able to complete it faster. You also won't have to worry about it after school, when you are tired.
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    Take advantage of your travel time. If you don't get motion sick in the car or on public transportation, try to do some of your homework on your way to a basketball game or on your way home from school. But be careful, as your writing may be messy.
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    Use your study halls or homeroom times well. Don't be fooling around with your friends and then come home annoyed that you have a lot of homework. This will make you more grumpy and you will probably get told off by your teachers as well. Don't let your friends distract you.
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    Use free periods. If you have a free period, don't use it to hang out with your friends at a local pizza place, use it to catch up on your homework. You will have time to hang out with your friends after school or on a weekend, make homework your first priority.
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    Make Fridays count. Unless you have plans on Friday after school, try to do all your homework for the weekend then. It will be easier to enjoy the weekend without having to worry about your homework. What a lot of people do is not do their homework on Friday, and wait until Sunday night to do it so you have all weekend (including Friday) to do whatever. This may sound like a good idea now, but while you are going out to a party or whatever on Saturday night, all you will be able to think about is having to do your homework the next night. Then on Sunday, you will be tired and won't have a good attitude to do your homework.

Part 2
Homework space and needs

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    Select your environment carefully. If your environment is in your living room with all your siblings and parents around, that probably isn't the best choice of environment. You will easily get distracted by your siblings asking you questions or the TV noise in the background. A good choice will probably be your own bedroom (with the door shut) or, if you have one, a study. Make sure your family knows you are doing your homework, otherwise they might walk in while you are working on studying for your math test tomorrow.
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    Make sure you have all your stationery and books (including textbooks) needed before leaving school. Obviously this helps because you don't want to get home and when you are about to do your homework, you realize you have left your textbook at school.

Part 3
Knowing what needs doing

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    Make a list of all the homework and activities you have for that day or week. List games, projects, essays and more. It will be easier to know what homework you have and the details. Then sort out what times and what days you have your out of school activities. Write down the time periods of when you don't have something planned. Assign a subject of homework to that time period. This leads to using your spare time. If you don't have an activity one day, try to do your homework for other days also to get it out of the way.
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    Write your assignments down accurately and promptly when they are given. You cannot plan your homework time effectively if you do not know exactly what to do. Record the following information:
    • The subject or course in which the work is assigned (for example, Spanish, algebra, French or English)
    • Know what you're expected to hand in or do and ask if you do not understand (for example, turn in an essay, develop a PowerPoint presentation, or take a test.)
    • The details of your assignments (for example, double-spaced or single-spaced, blue ink or black).
    • Page numbers (which pages you need to read, study, or refer to complete your assignment.)
    • Due date of the assignment.

Part 4
Getting things done

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    Estimate how much time will be needed to complete each assignment. Be realistic. It is better to block out more time than less. If you finish early, you can use your bonus time for another subject. Remember that if you have extra time left over, you can reward yourself by doing something other than homework.
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    Prioritize your earliest deadlines first (EDF). This is an optimal dynamic scheduling policy. If it is humanly possible to meet all the deadlines, earliest deadline first policy will work. That means, if you get a new assignment due the next day, you need to suspend all work due in 2 days and work on the next day's assignment. However, if you cannot meet any deadlines, you will miss them randomly with EDF. To solve this problem, if you cannot meet all the deadlines, use a static priority rate-monotonic policy. Find the course that releases new homework the most frequently, and list it the highest (do the work first), and so forth. This is mathematically optimal among all static-priority scheduling policies. In other words, if ANY static priority scheme can meet all the deadlines, the rate-monotonic static priority scheme will meet all the deadlines, too. When the static priority scheme misses deadlines, it is deterministic - the lowest priority class assignments will be skipped, so it behaves predictably when you are overloaded. If certain assignments have the same due date, then start with the one(s) that are hardest or will take the longest.
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    Break down your homework time. Look at your assignments and consider how much time you need to devote to each. Find time in your homework schedule to get it done, preferably a day early.
    • If you have a five-page English paper due on Friday, evenly spread the total amount of hours you believe it is going to take to complete the paper between each day.
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    Write in break times. This will stop you from getting too overwhelmed and frustrated during long stretches of homework time and will help you to keep your mind focused. A ten-minute break for each hour of homework done is a good guideline. Use this time to stretch, wash your face, walk around the block, unload the dishwasher for your parents, get something to drink, or do anything that won't tempt you to delay your return to homework. Do not extend the time you take to refuel (such as getting your juice) and do not start with activities that relate to goofing off.
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    Stick with the schedule. Once you have your schedule, follow it, or else all the planning in the world is useless. Your plans won't work if you won't work.
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    Avoid procrastination. Don't spend the first 20 minutes at home complaining about your homework, because in that amount of time you could have done some homework. It really is pointless complaining, because you are going to have to do it anyway.


  • Avoid distractions such as TV, video games, phone conversation, or surfing the internet. You must fully devote your schedule to doing this. That means turning off all electronics except your lamp, clock, and room light, and, if needed, your computer. You may even want to turn off your phone.
  • If you find your energy drops quickly, do the hardest subject first, when your energy is highest. After that is done, everything else will feel like going downhill.
  • If you do not mind spending money, buy a homework planner. This means you can write the homework you receive and when it is due in an already organised space. This is a great idea for people who are usually not so organised.
  • When scheduling, do not forget to jot down time you cannot be doing homework, like when you are at sports practice, or babysitting.
  • If you find that you do not have enough time to get all your homework done, look for more time that you can devote to homework by replacing other regular activities. Instead of spending an hour chatting on the computer with your friends, for instance, limit yourself strictly to twenty minutes. However, if you are still struggling even after you have devoted every available minute to homework, talk to your parents or your teacher about it.
  • Do not do other things while doing your homework. This will distract you from studies. First do your homework and then you can play.
  • Following the schedule is important.
  • Put on some relaxing music and do your homework.
  • Keep it simple. Put all your assignments in a pile and keep other supplies in front of you. The assignment you see on the top is the first one you do. Every time you finish an assignment, put it in your bag so you wont forget it.
  • Follow the Pomodoro Technique while doing your homework. Use a to-do list to list down all your homework and other tasks for the day.
  • Start with the order with what's due. Say you have math 1st period, science 2nd period, and history 3rd period. Do your math first, then science, then history. However, if your math and history homework is due tomorrow and science the day after, save science for last.
  • Once you order what's due, you may also try to predict which will take the most amount of time and go from least amount of time to most.

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