Your child will encounter a wide variety of assignments throughout high school and after graduation. New and challenging projects will help expand your child’s knowledge and skills. As they begin to juggle more-advanced class work, extracurricular activities and jobs, many students have difficulty managing their time. Some discover they can’t seem to find the time to live up to their commitments at school and home. Here are some strategies to help.
Most school assignments probably resemble work your child’s done before. So when your child is given homework, suggest estimating how long it will take to complete it based on experience. It can be helpful, when estimating, to break assignments down into their parts. For example, before writing an essay, your child should gauge how long it will take to:
- Review all the materials.
- Develop ideas.
- Write each page.
- Edit the writing.
- Get someone else to review it.
- Take breaks.
Instead of just saying, “I’ll work on it after school,” your child should try to create a concrete schedule that takes each step into account. It’s a good idea to allow extra time, in case something takes longer than expected.
In the case of an assignment of a new type, size or scope, students should try to compare it to previous assignments whenever possible. For example, if your child has never written a 20-page paper before, a good suggestion is to determine how long a 10-page paper takes and then double it. Remind your child to schedule extra time to tie each part of the essay together.
Your child needs to take breaks periodically. It’s important to rest the eyes, keep the blood flowing, and relax mentally. Sometimes a short jog around the block can refresh and reinvigorate the mind — and get creative juices flowing again.
Learning from Experience
If something takes longer than expected, suggest your child schedule more time for the next similar assignment. If a particular book, website, person or idea is helpful once, your child should keep that resource in mind for future assignments