We all dream of the day our kids are able to complete their schoolwork without nagging, begging, or bribing them. It does happen eventually, but first, we need to teach our kids how to use a student planner. That’s easier said than done. Just how do you go about teaching your kids?
Before we begin, your child needs a student planner. You can choose the planner you wish your child to use, or you can allow your child to choose their own planner. My preference has always been to allow my kids the option. The more invested my kids are in their education, the harder they’ll work!
Some student planners to check out:
You now need a list of what needs to be done that week.
Don’t forget the master list of assignments! It keeps your child from overlooking a subject such as spelling or math when planning the week.
Children can be quite absent-minded when it comes to schoolwork. It’s amazing what they will forget to put on the planner.
1. Demonstrate How to Use a Student Planner
My children and I sit down with their planners, my list of schoolwork to be done, and their school crates to begin planning their school week. At this stage, I write down the assignments while my child watches.
We begin with math, spelling, and penmanship. These are easy. A page or lesson is assigned to each day of the school week.
Next, we move onto history and literature. We look at the readings assigned for the week. I suggest a few options for dividing the assignments throughout the week. My child ponders the suggestions and chooses one.
Sometimes the kids come up with their own idea. I use theirs unless it has already been proven not to work.
Children have distinct preferences for how they like their week to flow so be prepared for some odd arrangements.
For instance, my 11yo has a marked preference for light Wednesdays and Fridays. As a result, his Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays have heavy school assignments. He’s happy and everything gets done.
We now look at writing because writing is usually based on history assignments. Again, we discuss options, my children choose, and I write the work down.
Science, grammar, Henle Latin, and the other subjects are planned in a similar manner. It usually takes us 10-15 minutes to cover all the work assigned for the week and plan it.
2. Supervise Your Child Using a Student Planner
After demonstrating the process for a time, I begin to have my students work under my supervision. We still sit down for 10-15 minutes together with their student planner, my master list of assignments, and their school crate. However, I take a step back and let them plan under my supervision.
Instead of explaining how I divide subjects or giving options, I ask what they’d like to plan first. How do they want to divide the subject over the week? If the final draft is due Friday, when should the rough draft be finished? What about the outline?
It’s no different from teaching anything else. You step back slightly and ask a lot of guiding questions. You slowly guide the children through the process of how to use a student planner.
The master list of assignments is critical at this time because children will forget about spelling or grammar or their least favorite subject, and if your attention is diverted for an instance, you’ll forget as well.
3. Check The Student Planner
After slowly working through the previous two steps over a number of months or years, most preteens and teens have a good idea about how to go about planning their week. It’s time to give them the reins and allow them to do it without supervision.
In other words, you hand them the weekly assignments and they plan their own week.
You don’t need to walk them through the process. You don’t need to stand over them while they plan. You walk away and allow them to do it themselves.
However, and this is important, double-check the Student Planner each week. Kids are prone to forgetful memories and will neglect their least favorite subject. Make certain they have a reasonable plan laid out for the week. If there are problems, refer back to their time management skills or return to having them work under your supervision.
Once children are consistent about planning their week well, you can let go and stop checking the student planners. The work is either done on time or it isn’t. If it isn’t, reserve the right to go back to the previous step and check the planner each week to ensure it’s filled out correctly.
You’ve now reached the point of freedom. You can assign the work and know your child will have it done and done on time. Feels good, doesn’t it!
Now you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Your kids can complete their schoolwork without nagging, begging, or bribing.
Do you teach your kids how to use a student planner?