November 7

Assignment Organization

The children are in the thick of it now, with short term and long-term assignments. How can we help them to keep organized and work at a pace where they are not doing all the work for the project the day before it is due? One strategy that can be very helpful is calendar mapping. One way to “calendar map” is to use Gantt charts. Gantt Charts are used by business professionals to track their responsibilities across time.

EXAMPLE:

Task                      Assignments Assigned:                      Assignments Due:
Math project      Feb 17                                                    March 5
English (report) Feb 12                                                     March 26
History project   Feb 2                                                      March 15
Science write-up March 2                                                March 15

There is software available: one resource is “www.smartdraw.com”. It provides an excellent visual organization for assignments (both long-term and shorter-term). You may like to sign up for the “trial” which is free for two weeks to see if it is effective for your child.

Once the information is entered, it may help to look at it with your child and discuss:

•How to look at all the assignments at once in order to make a priority list as to when and how much time should be devoted to each assignment.
•Explore with your child why completing assignments ahead of time has great value, especially when the two are due close together.

You can then move to your weekly priority mapping and then your daily time management schedule. This will help him plan according to his overall workload and not just what was spoken about that day in school.