I’m sure most, if not all students, have at least a few times (or more!) during school where they’ve handed in a homework assignment late, and so as not to get into trouble, given an excuse to their teacher as to why they couldn’t complete their homework on time. Be careful not to use the same excuse too many times, or your teacher may not be so sympathetic next time!
If you’re like me, and often forget about their homework (oops), then maybe this list of excuses can help to bail you out:
- “My dog ate my homework!” – Hmm, perhaps not the most subtle or workable of excuses, but if you really do have a dog… There may be more than a 0.0001% chance that it could work?! If all else fails, you could always bring a stool sample as proof…
- “Homework? I don’t remember getting any homework?” – You probably DO remember getting your homework, but your teacher doesn’t know that, right?
- “Ahh, I thought it was in my bag, but it looks like I’ve left it at home by accident!” – Of course you left it at home by accident! This one is a great excuse, it’s worked a fair few times for me, anyway…
- “I didn’t understand the homework, could you explain it to me so I can give it a second go?” – This excuse works better more for maths or question based homework rather than essays. However, it’s a good way to hit two birds with one stone (you get help on your homework, and a deadline extension!), especially if you actually don’t understand the homework assignment!
- “My computer crashed and I didn’t save my work/my printer stopped working!” – With more and more people using computer based software to complete their homework, a whole new spectrum of excuses have been opened to the desperate, homework-lacking student.
- “I had too much homework from my [insert subject name] class to complete the homework you assigned,” – Poor you, clearly you’ve been given way too much homework by all your other teachers to do this piece! A homework overload is never a good thing.
- “Oh, I think I was absent when the homework was given out…” – You were obviously ill when the homework was handed out in class, even though your teacher is looking at your ‘tick’ of attendance in the register!
- “I’ve been busy with extra-curricular activities and volunteering work outside of school,” – If you’re doing any work or activities outside of work, hey, why not use them as an excuse for not doing your homework! It’s a pretty believable one (especially next to excuse 1.).
- “I’ve been so ill over the past few days, so I haven’t been able to do any of my homework,” – Bed ridden, feverish and unable to distinguish your cat from your sheet of homework, how on earth can you be expected to work in this state?!
- Tell the truth – After using all these excuses, perhaps it’s time to pull out your triumph card – the truth. On the occasion, your teacher may appreciate your use of the truth rather than the usual bombardment of (unbelievable) excuses. Use this one when you’re feeling especially sincere (and desperate).
I hope these excuses have been helpful, just remember that the more you use them, the more unbelievable they’ll become to your teacher. In fact, it may just be better (and easier) for you to hand in you homework on time!
The 10 Best Homework Excuses
1. I got my backpack stolen: use rampant crime among high school students to your advantage. No teacher in his right mind would expect you to turn in that big assignment if it got stolen the very day it was due. Although most teachers won't follow through, filing a missing backpack report might not be a bad idea.
2. My mom and dad got in a huge fight last night and the cops came and I couldn't concentrate on the assignment: Domestic violence isn't something to lie about...unless it's done to save your grade. This excuse works on so many levels: (1) Your teacher will never bring this up to your parents; and (2) you will garner sympathy for the rest of the year. The only way this could go wrong is if your teacher reports this to your guidance counselor and your counselor contacts your parents. That's probably not going to happen.
3. I stayed at my dad's this weekend and left it there and my mom refuses to let me go back and get it: Teachers are suckers for dysfunctional family stories. This is an all time classic.
4. I left my binder in my mom's car and she's at work across town: This is a twist on the easy to see through "I left it at home" excuse. A teacher can reasonably expect someone from home to bring your homework, but not even the meanest teacher would expect your mom to leave work.
5. I was really sick yesterday and unable to do anything. The only reason I came is because I didn't want to miss any more work: Teachers will admire your perseverance and give you the extra day.
6. It's that "time of the month": If you're a boy, don't try this. This only works for females on male teachers.
7. Grandma died: Even if the teacher doubts the veracity of your grandma's death, he's not gonna call you out on it just in case it's true. There are obvious problems with this excuse, including the guilt you'll feel if your grandma does die that week.
8. My dog died and I was too upset to do my homework: This is rarely used, but effective, especially if your teacher has a dog. Only a heartless task master would not cut you a break over losing your best friend.
9. I had to take care of my baby sister who was up last night throwing up: Another underused classic. Be careful your teacher isn't an e-mailer or he just might e-mail your parents for an update on your baby sister who doesn't exist.
10. Tell the truth: This is a revolutionary excuse. Often if you just go to your teacher in the morning and tell him or her the truth, you'll get some additional time.
What's your favorite homework excuse?