Plans, Schedules, and Effective Habits

Summer provides time for growth, rejuvenation, and reinvention. The month of August should reveal a transformed student ready for the new school year.  It leads to anticipation with unlimited potential.  While students are still learning to juggle school’s numerous responsibilities, calm guidance and a great plan can help them find confidence and project leadership! 

Create a Working Plan
While it may be hard to implement initially, a working plan is essential for student success.  Promise!  Consider the following questions:

  1. What is your after-school schedule Monday through Thursday? It’s vital to write it down to create a visual.  
  2. How much time is needed to complete homework, reread notes, or correct quizzes or tests on a given night?   Using your visual as a guide, do you have enough time to complete schoolwork, factoring in your extracurricular activities and practice schedule?   Sometimes, students must sacrifice a few activities to reduce stress levels.
  3. While organizations, clubs, church, and community service provide opportunities for socialization, is time factored in for family, friends, and yourself?

Creating a workable plan is a promise to yourself. By setting boundaries and following a schedule, you will have room for all the essential aspects of life, especially eating well and exercising, laughter, and a good night’s sleep.

Time Management and Organization 

What makes you a great student? Perhaps you can easily find your notes, which are sequentially dated and have a headline, or you consistently record your assignments in one location. What areas need improving?   Many students are easily distracted or become too sleepy during homework sessions. The following tips may help.

  • If deadlines sneak up unexpectedly, would using a dry-erase board or a desk calendar help you to be aware of deadlines?   In addition, starting a project immediately and setting deadlines for completion allows extra time to check for errors.
  • Number your classes from most demanding number 1, to enjoyable.  To eliminate exhaustion, start studying the most challenging subject first. 
  • If easily distracted, could you study at the kitchen or dining room table for 50-minute stretches and take 10-minute breaks?
  • An effective strategy proven to help students gain long-term understanding and improve test scores is reading the day’s notes after class.
  • When do you begin long-term assignments, such as projects, papers, and exams?  By starting immediately, you can achieve a well-deserved grade. 
  • How do you identify completed assignments?  The ability to check off tasks and confirm completion is a great feeling.  

Making Promises
Every student would like the process of reading, writing, calculating, and studying to come naturally.   It takes time to figure out the tools needed to learn and process effectively; therefore, this year, start with a few promises. Perhaps your needs are a study schedule, a means to organize your time or to eliminate the word “procrastination” from your vocabulary. Once you think about what promises you’d like to make, the most challenging part comes—creating a plan that has room for breaks, time with family, and, most importantly, downtime!    

The plan will not be perfect after the first “tweak.”  However, creating a workable schedule is an investment in reaching for the stars.  Students can then define what environmental factors, strategies, and schedule they most need to learn.  A plan can boost confidence, grades, and overall well-being. Don’t give up!   Instead, determine how to devise a solution.  Consider it a form of dance; once the rhythm begins, all the steps will soon fall into place!

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