Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shopping List: Pens, Pencils, School Books and.....Time Management Skills

Summer break has officially ended and we are approaching the new school year at full speed. Whether our children are starting Kindergarten or are at an age where they are deciding which colleges to apply to, we all have something in common: we want our kids to have a productive year.

We begin with the usual rituals. We shop for school supplies, get a new outfit for the first day of school, and we send the kids off with a "goodbye, have a terrific day, and this is going to be a great year for you!" In doing these things, we give our children a sense of ownership over the upcoming year, and let them know that they are in control of their success. As we all know, the encouragement cannot and does not end here. We will be checking daily and weekly on their progress, making sure they are headed in the right direction.

Unfortunately, many families wait until the first progress report appears in October, only to find out their child has fallen behind in a certain subject, has been socializing too much, or forgot to turn in that big report by its due date. By then, it is too late and they spend the rest of the year playing catch-up. It does NOT have to be this way. You can save yourself and your child the stress and anxiety by doing a couple very simple things. First, be sure that the dialogue remains open with the kids on a daily basis. Communication is the key to success in many areas of life, and their education is no exception. Secondly, ensure your children are using their time wisely! As adults, we rely on our calendars, iPhone, reminders and lists so that we remember what we need to get done on a daily basis. Why shouldn't the kids have access to the same tools we rely on ourselves? My kids and I have used the Merit Planner religiously and is something we could not live without. Time management skills are something that your child will use throughout their life, and in fact their success will depend on it. I am a firm believer that this simple tool will help both you and your children achieve the desired educational results that you wish for.

The Planner provides a structured schedule broken down by the hour. They can see what tasks need to be accomplished and by what time, so that they can go to that movie on Friday night with their friends. When time is effectively managed, there are no eleventh hour crises, and your student has not only finished their work, but they can take pride in the fact that they have done so to the best of their ability. A sense of accomplishment is priceless.

So this year, as you buy the kids their new notebooks, pens, books, and set up a designated work area designed for learning, I strongly suggest that you include a reliable time management tool. The Merit Planner has done wonders for our family, and I am confident it will do the same for yours. It is such a simple and easy addition to your life, and it will enrich your child's life for the school year, as well as their adult lives ahead.

Wishing you all a wonderful and successful year; and I am beyond glad to answer any questions you may have about making this school year count for your child!