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If your child is in middle or high school, then you know things get busy real fast now that school, sports, marching band, and everything else is back in full swing. When students start having multiple teachers for different subjects, some schools have daily planners as part of the school supply list. Depending on the school or teacher, it may be optional or it may be required.
When I started 7th grade, my dad gave me an At-A-Glance academic calendar and a binder clip so I could begin to get my studies and activities together.
It’s important that your student start learning how to use a planner, calendar, or to-do list in order to start taking ownership of his schedule. During the first few months of school, SpeechWorks often works with middle and high school students to help them with their planning skills. (Yes, that’s something that speech-language pathologists also work on in addition to articulation and language development.) Here are some tips you can use to help your student succeed with a planner:
Make it a habit
Whether your student uses a paper planner or a to-do list app, it’s important that your student refer to it and use it daily. In the big picture, we want our students to be independent with this, but they may need some nudging, especially if planners are new to them, to write down their assignments in class and to refer to the planner each night.
Map it out
Have your student record assignments, projects, tests, due dates, and activities into the calendar. If larger school assignments exist, then break those down into smaller tasks and record those in the planner. For instance, if a project is due in two weeks, then plan to have 50% of it completed in one week, etc.
Keep it simple
There are planners that can be customized. There are planners that include stickers. There are very basic office planner type planners. As your student is learning how to use a planner, keep it simple. Sometimes students can get distracted by all of the stickers and planner inserts that they forget about the tasks to be done. Once they get the basics of using a planner, then they can stickers, memorabilia pockets, and all that jazz.
Color my world
If your student is visual, have her color code assignments or tasks in the planner with colored markers, For instance, academics could be blue, a part-time job could be green, and sports activities could be red. Just seeing the colors can remind your student of the task or activity.
Use these tips to help your student succeed with using a planner. The skills learned by using a planner will help with future success. If your child needs more assistance with planning and organization skills, then reach out to SpeechWorks to let us know how we can help.