The new year has started and we are already well into the first term. This term is normally filled with meet the teacher meetings, class photos, book covering, sports tours, school camps, athletics day, inter-house swimming and so many other things. All this before we have even mentioned normal day to day school work, projects, orals and homework.
I don’t remember school ever being this intense when I was growing up!
As with adults, being disorganised has a severe effect on learners as anxiety will set in if they don’t feel prepared. Knowing and planning ahead will ensure that learners are prepared, and will help them achieve the best results that they can.
If your child is battling to keep up with homework and tasks, please share this 6 STEP simple video demonstrated blog with them!
STEP 1 – HOW MUCH TIME
Kids need to know how much time they have available to do homework, projects, assignments and to study. This will depend on what sports and extramural activities they have on and what your family weekends look like. Using the downloadable time sheet, help them work out their time availability.
- Block off the chunk of time from the morning until the end of their school day.
- Block off time for any weekday or weekend sport or extra murals.
- Block off the time spent eating dinner, preparing for bed, showering, etc.
- Block off any other set commitments that they have during the week or weekend.
- Look at the gaps and decide how many hours they could dedicate to homework, studying & projects each day, bearing in mind that they also need some time to relax.
- Add up the number of hours available to study per week.
STEP 2 – BEING PREPARED
Knowing that everything is done and ready by the time kids go to bed the evening before, will leave your child feeling far calmer, and will save them from getting into unnecessary trouble at school. A good idea is to have a check list for them so that they never forget anything.
- Check their timetable for the next day.
- Make sure all homework has been done.
- Make sure all required books are in their bags.
- Pack in sports and PE clothes.
- Check if there are any orals, projects, tests or assignments coming up soon.
- Get mom or dad to sign the homework diary.
- Any notices for parents to be given and signed.
STEP 3 – MANAGING PROJECTS, ORALS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Because projects and assignments are given a couple of weeks in advance, they often get forgotten or left to the last minute and then rushed through.
Sometimes when there is a big task to do, they leave it because it feels overwhelming.
- Write down each step needed to complete the project, oral or assignment.
- Estimate how long each step will take.
- Check the time sheet to see which days are best to work on various parts of the task.
- Weekends are a great time to put in extra work for things like projects, orals & assignments.
- Work backwards in your diary from the last step & put a date that you are going to complete each part of the task.
- Always aim to finish at least 48 hours before the due date. This gives you time for anything that may come up at the last minute.
STEP 4 – TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
When children are younger, as parents, we email, write notes and call their teachers and friend’s parents for them. As they get older, it is more likely to become their responsibility to do any of the following:
- Excuse themselves from sport.
- Call a friend to find out about homework.
- Send their teacher a message.
- Anything else school related.
STEP 5 – ACHIEVING GOALS
One of the fundamental skills for success is goal setting. Kids are never too young to learn this skill, as long as we keep it age appropriate and make it about bettering themselves and not about being overly competitive.
This creates a platform for great bonding with your child, a time to find out what their dreams and aspirations are. It is also a good time to talk about their goals from the previous year and encourage them in the areas where they did not reach their personal targets and help them deal with disappointment they may be feeling as a result of this.
They can use goal setting to do well in school, sports or any other areas that they wish. The long term benefit is that kids who learn to set goals while they are young, will grow up knowing how to set and reach goals. As adults this could help them in areas of finance, work and personal achievements.
- Know what they want to achieve.
- Pick several goals for the coming year.
- Write them down.
- Work out their steps to achieve them.
- Put dates to the various steps.
- Write the steps in their diary so that they don’t forget to do them.
- Refer back to their goals on a regular basis.
- Reward themselves when they achieve them.
STEP 6 – USING A GOOD HOMEWORK SYSTEM
It is essential to be organised at school or college. Most working people, even top managers use some form of diary or organisational system. Learning a good system now will help your child later in life.
There are various different formats of homework diaries available and most do the job, but an effective system will make all the difference.
The School / Student Sorted™ Planner is a system that can be used at school, college, university or even kept on their desk at home to help your child manage their time.
Here are some of the features of the School / Student Sorted™ Planners:
- Homework is viewed one week at a time – this gives the learner a good idea of what is needed each week.
- There is a key on the left hand side of the diary page, which can be broken down into different subjects and sport or extramural activities.
- This means the daily pages can include sport, extra murals, breakdown of projects, assignments & studying, personal commitments, goal steps and any other school activities like camps, tours, school photos, etc. and is flexible enough to customise to suite each individual.
- It has time sheets for summer, winter and exam times.
- School time table.
- Year planners for the current and following year.
- Sheets to break down projects and assignments.
- Goal setting section.
- Exam study planning sheets.
- Colour tabs to indicate when certain tasks are due.
- Place to write contact numbers & email addresses. This encourages kids to be more independent.