Scheduling For Success Part 2: Keeping is Real(istic)
“The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.” —Seth Godin
Okay, if you read the first part of this blog, and followed my advice, you have the long term plan in the file.
It’s time to break that plan up into some manageable bite-sized pieces. (I keep a jar of bite-sized candy on my desk, so now you know my inspiration). Whitmore School recommends working on 3 classes at a time, and this is wonderful because it sets the student up for success. Students are able to focus on a particular subject, get it done -hi-lited on the plan, and move on to the next course -which they already know what to ask their counselor for because it’s on the plan.
I strongly recommend using a calendar of some sort. I bought a Weekly and Monthly Planner for $1.88 at the local ’mart. It’s the kind that has a blank calendar (remember you start school on whatever date YOU choose, so this is perfect) and plenty of space to fill in the daily happenings. Cruiser and I sit down with the planner, a pencil and his computer (open to his student desk) every time he’s ready to begin a new course. We look over the total number of lessons, glance through some of the assignments, and discuss a reasonable time frame for getting the work completed. Then we write it (in pencil) in the planner. The planner is a living, breathing reality check. We are able to make changes, but ONLY if a crisis arises. It’s important to hold teens accountable, but the fact is nobody is going to get hurt if the plan doesn’t get followed. We just make adjustments as needed and move on.
I realize I talk a lot about what I do for my children, and you may be wondering “Why is she such a helicopter parent? She should let them do it for themselves.” You may be right, but here’s why…Time management is not an innate skill, it must be taught. My method of teaching is to model the behavior, in this case creating a work plan, and hope that by showing them how to divide and conquer tasks, they will remember the “how to” part of their successes. Teenagers are just like large toddlers – they may not need our help, but they sure can benefit from our guidance.
“Cruiser” Cal’s Mom