“If you're a bear for TV, loud music, and fun, how ya gonna get your homework done?”
—Opening quote for The Berenstain Bears and the Homework Hassle
The Berenstain Bears and the Homework Hassle is a book in The Berenstain Bears First Time Books series that was originally published on July 14, 1997.
Mama Bear and Papa Bear suddenly smell something funny. Mama Bear discovers the funny smell smells like garbage and it was coming from Brother’s backpack. After dumping the garbage out of the backpack, she finds an old, wrinkled letter from Brother’s teacher, Teacher Bob. It says that Brother is falling behind from school.
Mama and Papa find Brother with all sorts of distractions near the TV, but nonetheless there was homework on the table. Papa chastises Brother for not reading much of anything and had been on Mars for all the attention he’s been paying to his homework. Mama then chastises Brother that his backpack is not private anymore when it starts to smell like garbage.
Sister smugly says that there’s a lot for Brother to go around than to catch up on his homework, much to Brother’s annoyance. Mama tells everyone to calm down to figure out what the problem is, but Brother angrily tells them that the problem was too much homework. Papa calms him down and asks him what his homework was for today, which was memorizing two stanzas of “The Bear Stood On the Burning Deck”. Papa then replies what the problem really was that Brother didn’t take care of business and he was falling behind at school. He punishes Brother for no more other stuff and it’s just him and his homework until he’s all caught up, much to Brother’s dismay.
He sadly heads out the door for a walk, but it lead him to Gramps and Gran’s house. He explains to him that he is punished for no other stuff until he was caught up on his homework. But Gramps gives him advice that he will catch up on his homework at school, which made Brother feel better.
Brother returns home and Papa was talking to a man from the BRS. The man replies that Papa was falling behind in his taxes and tells him to catch up. And so. Brother was starting to catch up on his homework and Papa was catching up on his tax payments, which was a good lesson for the both of them.