It seems that school starts up again every time summer is just getting going, especially this last summer. Who wants to be in a class, learning, when it’s 98 degrees outside? And why would we want to do homework when we could go to the pool? There is so much temptation to blow off homework, just for an hour or two, and lay out by the pool with friends. But the bad thing about being by the pool is that it’s so easy to loose track of time and before you know, it’s time for dinner.
It’s so easy to get in the habit of procrastination and it’s even harder to stop. I have been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember. When I entered high school I noticed that my procrastinating was bringing my grades down and because I was rushing through every assignment, I didn’t really learn the material the way I should have. I was unorganized and didn’t want to ask for help. At the beginning of my sophomore year I told myself, ‘This is the year I’m going to stop procrastinating and get my things done on time’. But again I was unorganized and found myself saying, ‘Yeah, I’ll finish it in a bit’. I fell back into old habits and was out of control. After a while I couldn’t keep up with the curriculum and was close to failing a class, or two. One of my teachers noticed my many missing assignments and we set up weekly meetings to try and get me back on track. We were able to pull my grade up and I chose to keep meeting with him even after I was all caught up because I didn’t want to fall back into old habits right after I had pulled it all together.
I have to admit that during the last few weeks of summer I was nervous about keeping up with my work this year. But with the help of my mom I was able to make sure I had all the things I needed to stay organized. The first few days of school my mom checked in with me to make sure that I had been staying organized and keeping up with my work, like she always does. The difference was that this year, I took complete control over my learning.
Here are some tips that helped me, and maybe they can help you, too.
‘Get help’ when you need it
This is probably one of the most important things you can do, so that you won’t get behind at school. And I’m not talking about ‘getting help’ on a math or science problem that you don’t understand. (That’s important, too.) But it’s also important to get help from people that will keep you honest about your work. It doesn’t have to be a parent or teacher that helps you. I know how annoying it can be to have a parent ask you everyday, ‘Have you finished your homework yet?’ or ‘Are you sure ALL of your homework is done?’ So, have one of your close friends or a friend that shares the same class with you, ask if you’ve finished yet or just a quick question about the assignment. It’ll keep you honest because you can’t answer a question about something you haven’t done.
Write down your homework
For me, writing it down in a binder reminder or a daily planner who help me remember. It is easy to say that you’ll just check schoolloop when you get home, and then when you look, it’s not there. Sure you can call or text a friend for the assignment, but what if they don’t know what it is either? Then you’re both stuck and when the teacher collects the assignment the next day, neither of you will have it complete. It is just another good habit to get into, because some teachers don’t even put homework assignments on schoolloop.
I have learned quickly (this year) that there are many benefits to getting a handle on my homework. One of the side effects of this new found knowledge is the confidence I have in myself and the work load that I now believe I am fully capable of doing. Also, there is a new level of motivation that makes me want to try even harder. But something I never realized would be a benefit, of all of this hard work, was the trust that my parents would begin to have in me.
So once you get everything together, and get a routine put in place, you can have the satisfaction of saying, ‘Yes Dad, I did finish ALL of my homework! Would you like to see?’