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Teenagers today face schedules that are jam-packed with schoolwork, extra-curricular activities, family responsibilities, part-time jobs, and the list goes on. It is no wonder that they feel overwhelmed and frustrated, and many are not achieving their full potential at school, even with the best of intentions. The key to getting the most out of your child’s study time, i.e. developing effective time management skills, is through creating good habits. Although habits are best developed at the beginning of the school year, any time is better than none to start a program that will encourage a better study routine, reduce frustration, and avert those dreaded ‘Why haven’t you done your homework?’ confrontations. Good Habit 1: Create a distraction-free study zone.
The bedroom is sometimes the worst place for your child to focus,  ホームページ制作 福岡    given the TV, computer, books, and gaming system at his or her fingertips. Rather, the dining room can provide the quiet and ample space that your child needs to get work done. Although teenagers may be reluctant to leave the autarchy of their bedrooms, they soon notice that they are more focused, feel better about their work, and may even finish their homework more quickly than when they are surrounded by their usual distractions.

Location, however, isn’t the only consideration. Students also need to disable the instant messaging on their computers, and turn off their cell phones and iPods. Parents will certainly hear groans over this, but if students set aside an allotted time for homework, at the same time each day, they will truly appreciate the free time and unlimited text messaging that follows. Of course, positive parental reinforcement in the form of praise and the occasional pizza wouldn’t hurt either.

Good Habit 2: Archive and Organize work.
* A PLANNER is a student’s most crucial tool for keeping track of daily assignments. Allow your child free reign over the choice of planner, as long as it has enough room to hold multiple assignments each day. Your child should remember to record every assignment as soon as it is given in class. This takes some getting used to, but is well worth the effort.
* A WALL CALENDAR is an effective visual reminder of upcoming exams and project due-dates. It should contain important dates, not daily assignments, and be hung up in your child’s place of study. The calendar will serve as a reminder for your child to start working in advance of a big deadline, and can avert those harrowing cram sessions or all-nighters sparked by unexpected (read: overlooked or forgotten) exam dates or deadlines.
* Throughout the semester, your child accumulates a forest of notes, handouts and graded assignments, often leading to the “Just in Case” disease. Students lug around heavy backpacks full of work they think they might need, can’t precisely locate, or simply haven’t put away, creating an organizational nightmare and a physical burden that would make any chiropractor cringe. Set aside a shelf and drawer at home exclusively for your child’s school materials, supplies and textbooks. The shelf should house binders that never leave home, where your student can file notes and assignments from completed units. Not only will this keep their notebooks and backpacks clean, it will also make it easier for them to find old assignments and tests when they review for midterm or final exams.

Good Habit 3: Know and use your support systems.
Are you having trouble getting ahold of your child’s teachers? School teachers are often engaged in their own battles with time management. NYC public high school teachers, for example, are responsible for up to 170 students per day (not to mention cafeteria duty, departmental meetings, and administrative duties.) Below are a few resources that parents may find helpful:

* School websites provide calendars listing upcoming school events and activities, midterm and final exam schedules, and administrative and teacher contact information. Some teachers may even have online sites where they post homework assignments and exam dates.
* Ask your child to write down the phone numbers of classmates whom they can call to verify HW assignments, or from whom they can obtain notes on days they were absent from school. If your child is reluctant to do so, ask the teacher to introduce them to a couple of dependable classmates.
* Many public libraries sponsor free online or telephone Homework Help hotlines, manned by teachers or qualified tutors, which schoolchildren can access from home. Check with your local library, or Google “homework help [city name]” to see what’s available in your area.

Busy schedules overwhelm and confuse even the most motivated students, but by implementing good study habits, students learn that effective time management and organization can relieve the stress of disorder, and that an hour and a half of homework a day, in a quiet place, with their planner at their side, can boost their self-confidence – and their grades.

Andrea Shiffman is founder and director of AKtive Learning, a New York City based at-home academic tutoring agency. She is a former NYC high school mathematics teacher and test preparation specialist for such reputable institutions such as Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Cambridge.

 

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