Tips for meeting assessment deadlines

For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.                                                                                                       Benjamin Franklin

Getting organized and staying organized is a challenge for most people, but an important hurdle to overcome for high school students.

When students struggle at school, it is not always because they lack the intellectual capability, but more commonly because they do not know how to plan and structure their work. This leaves them feeling over-whelmed and prone to last minute panic. Not a recipe for good grades!

The most successful business people will always stress the importance of goal-setting, brainstorming and action planning. Having a clear and logical list of tasks for each day, establishing priorities, committing to these tasks and then reviewing plans for the next day, are vital strategies for achieving long term goals.

For the high school student, this translates to recording deadlines, scaffolding tasks and setting timelines.

I have to confess here that I am an avid list maker. It is one of the key reasons my students and colleagues see me as an organized and efficient person. But the list, by itself, is not enough. Each item on the list needs to be broken down into small manageable steps, each with their own mini deadlines.

We spend a lot of mental energy trying to keep track of all the things we need to remember. Putting them on paper frees up some of that mental energy.                                                                                                                                                                                 Ballard

When beginning high school, students are usually handed a diary and encouraged to use it daily to record homework and due dates.

As a nightly homework tool it is very useful. It reminds students which books and accessories to take home that night and provides a record of that evening’s set work. Used consistently, it is a great tool to keep up with daily homework.

To train your child to use this tool, get into the habit of asking to see their diary each night. If they know you are checking, they are more likely to get into good habits.

But as the demands of high school increase, the diary is not enough.

Students are encouraged to use their diary to record due dates for assignments and upcoming tests. But a date scribbled on a page a few weeks ahead, is not a useful planning strategy.

Assignment deadlines require a planning process with a formal timeline to ensure that the student has completed the appropriate preparation and paperwork by the due date.

But an A3 sheet of blank paper, some coloured textas and a cheap note pad can do the trick. Want to learn more?

If your child needs help to get organized, take some time over the holiday break to share 6 Steps to Successfully Meeting Deadlines with them.

If you feel that your child could benefit from some individual mentoring or tutoring, click on this link for more information.