Last week, I wrote about homework and strategies parents can use when helping children successfully complete homework. This week, I want to provide parents with ideas to help with homework assignments and projects that may stretch out over several days or weeks, such as science fair projects, book reports, spelling or other tests, or research projects. It is important that our students learn how to manage their time so that they are not waiting until the very last minute to complete these longer assignments. Organization and time management are important skills that help both parents and children meet deadlines. Here are a few suggestions to help parents as they assist their children in learning these important skills:
1) Encourage children to keep track of assignments and projects on a calendar or in an agenda book. Our high school students, as well as our junior high school students, and some of our older elementary students all have school agenda books. Even young children can learn to keep track of important deadlines in an agenda book or on a calendar.
2) Help your children break down long range assignments into small manageable tasks. It might be unrealistic for a young child to learn ten spelling words in one night but it becomes a much easier task, if the child works on three or four words a night until the day of the spelling test.
3) Keep a family calendar and ask your children to note on the calendar important assignments, especially those that require your help. It might be an item that they need for a special project in class or an important project or book report. By putting a note on the family calendar, parents can make sure that no one is rushing around at the last minute to meet an important deadline or complete a long-term project.
4) Set aside time every night for school work. Depending upon your family schedule, this may not be the same time every night but it is important for children to get into the routine of “homework time.” During this time, children can not only complete nightly homework assignments but parts of longer projects and assignments as well.
5) If your child is unsure of what the teacher expects, have your child ask the teacher specific questions about the assignment or you contact the teacher.
Learning organizational and time management skills will help your child throughout their life and perhaps make your life as a parent a little less stressful. As always, if you have questions about our schools, please contact me at the Administrative Offices (237-6300) or through e-mail at Susan.Gunnell@huberheightscityschools.org.