009: Kids: Getting School Work Done

Topics

  1. Planners
  2. Daily homework
  3. Larger multi-day assignments
  4. Big term projects

Kids should take ownership of their own grades. Mitchells are not helicopter parents, always asking and reminding or even doing their kids’ work. Part of a parent’s job is to help kids prepare for the world. Mitchells are there for support and providing the right tools. Part of a childs responsibility for school is planning their own time and getting their homework done.

Kids should learn how to organize themselves and be responsible for their own assignments. Mitchells follow up occasionally to be there when kids are struggling.

The oldest two high schoolers in the Mitchell family are in a school where they are also concurrently enrolled in a local college. They are working on high school and college courses at the same time, so that requires a little more responsibility a little earlier in life.

They take ownership of their own studies. All those habits started when they were in elementary school and junior high.

Daily Homework

Students usually have several different teachers and courses to keep track off, so Mitchells encourage their kids to write it down as soon as it is assigned. Then they are less likely to forget it. Write down the pages, the numbers, the assignment, and especially the due date.

Some schools provide planners for kids and require them to take it to all their classes. Some schools have daily planners that are filled out in class and required to be signed by parents at home each night saying the parent saw the assignment, and that the child has completed the assignment. That helps kids develop the habit of writing it all down.

Larger Assignments

In addition to the smaller, daily assignments, students are given bigger projects, book reports, and essays that require more time to complete than just one night. Write down the details and due dates of the assignment. If you work on those big projects a little every day, there is less stress at crunch time the night before it’s due.

Some people, though, feel like they work best last minute. Blue child’s philosophy is he’s thankful for the last minute, because if it weren’t for the last minute, he’d never get anything done! Dave does not procrastinate and doesn’t like the added stress and pressure that comes with it.

Term Assignments

Sometimes students get assignments that are due 2-3 months out. The best way to manage that multi-month project is to lay out all the steps required to complete that task and plan what needs to be done each week on the calendar. If it’s due in 6 weeks, think generously. Say you’ll need two weeks to research, two weeks to do the project, one week to type it up, and one week to edit the report, or whatever. Don’t save it all for the last week.

Different people have different calendaring styles. Some like paper and pencil. Some like electronic lists and calendars. Just find the style that works best for you, and use it.

Amy uses electronic apps for shopping lists, but lays out her daily to-dos in a paper calendar book. Dave uses electronic for day to day, but uses paper for tracking research.

Other School Tips

Study groups can be very helpful. Friends also taking notes may catch something you didn’t, or they may get the deadline of an assignment that you didn’t hear. Kids can share notes if a student missed class.

Red kid has a reputation of being organized. Green kid tries to follow that reputation. Green kid comes home and gets homework done the day it was assigned, not right before it’s due. He’s not a procrastinator.

Work first, then play.
First things, first. (A Stephen Covey rule.)

When you work first, then you don’t get caught with not allowing yourself enough time to complete the task.

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