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3 Things I Say When Clients Don't Do Their Homework

3 Things I Say When Clients Don't Do Their Homework

I do not have German students, I have German clients.

This creates a different kind of dynamic than you’d find in some classroom settings, but my clients still get homework in their lessons. Sometimes they get a lot of homework, sometimes they get little homework, but when they don’t do their homework, I do have something to say about it.

Here are the three things they often hear me say, which probably aren't what you'd expect.

Sometimes clients look really, really guilty and then they tell me, with a sheepish look on their face, “I didn’t do any of my homework this week.” My response is usually a dry…

1. “Oh, did you expect me to get mad? Haha, that’s funny!”

But seriously, I don’t have time for that. And who needs that noise?! You’re an adult--if you didn’t get it done, you didn’t get it done. Take another step next week.

Or they look sad because something horrible happened and they had a really, really horrible week and I really feel for them!

Then I say something like…

2. Did you think that I’d still expect you to get your homework done when…

  • your basement flooded
  • your boss suddenly quit
  • you had to euthanize your pet
  • your flight from Portugal was delayed 6 hours and you got home at 4 a.m. after not sleeping a wink on the plane
  • you worked a 75-hour week
  • your spouse left you
  • you had a minor accident but ended up in the ER
  • someone close to you died?!

Life happens! I know it does. It happens to all of us, and at times like that, German can simply wait. It’s OK.

Usually, though, people were simply busy with the week’s activities and they come right out and say “I didn’t get any of it done, I had too much going on.

And I respond with:

3. “OK, then let’s pick up where we left off, shall we?”

This is why I included this question in the Frequently Asked Questions section on the German Lessons page:

"Are you going to get mad/yell at me if I don’t do my homework?"

No, I won’t. I promise.

Simply tell me at the beginning of your lesson and I can adjust for that lesson. I can help you with your homework or we can move on. Also, if you know you have a busy week coming up, simply tell me “No homework for me this week, please.” And I won’t assign you any.



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