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Author Topic: Staying on top of homework  (Read 7433 times)

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Re: Staying on top of homework
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2010, 03:49:02 PM »
I definitely agree with letting her find her own system—a lot of my own disorganization stemmed from trying to use other people's systems. (Mine ended up being spiral notebooks for class, any handouts were moved to the subject's 3-ring binder at home. Filled notebooks also went in the binders.)

Also, reassure her that if her system ends up not working, it's ok to change it and try and see if something else works. But not too often or she will never remember.

On a side note, Julie Morgenstern has a book called Organizing from the Inside Out for Teens, and it is really helpful for both space, time, and work organization. Totally saved me when I was younger. ;)
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Re: Staying on top of homework
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2010, 04:20:32 PM »
I definitely agree with letting her figure out her own system. My system seems to be that each subject needs its own notebook and that trying to use binders and folders and all that just doesn't work. Even with lots of printed out notes, I can't deal with a folder. :P

Planners can help, but I noticed I just forget to fill them out after a while. So sometimes it helps me to just write down on a sheet of paper "things to do" and write them all out on the paper instead of putting them in an agenda or planner.

Oh, and I don't know how she is with studying, but if she's like me, studying the week before the test doesn't work. I can only study the night before and the day of if I want to pass the test. :P If it's any earlier than that, and I don't re-brush up on stuff, I forget everything.

If she can, sometimes highlighting and writing stuff in her books helps, too...
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Re: Staying on top of homework
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2010, 04:27:33 PM »
Let her choose an assignment book/planner on her on.  It may be giant, it may be lined and cute, it may have tabs, but let her choose what she wants to keep her school at a glance together.

Also, how about a second set of BOOKS at home?  You may have to buy them secondhand on-line, but the savings on her back!  would be worth it!  Ask the school if they have extras.  I know my very organized kids have sometimes forgotten a book.  If there is a 2nd set at home, no worries! 

Does she like mechanical pencils?  They always made me feel more neat/organized.   

And, a general checklist for her locker each day--

Math        daily homework?  upcoming test?   any projects/reports?  Supplies needed?
English    daily homework?  upcoming test?   any projects/reports?  Supplies needed?
Science    daily homework?  upcoming test?   any projects/reports?  Supplies needed?
History    daily homework?  upcoming test?   any projects/reports?  Supplies needed?
and so on. 

Just seeing the words and reminders for each class can jolt action. 

And, allowing her to fail now, before HS and permanent records, could be a good thing.  Do NOT rush assignments off to her school.  the headmaster at our private school said, "letting a child fail when young can teach them much."  Now, stay in touch with the teachers, also.  If DD says she is turning everything in and the first quarter report is dangerously low, have a conference with the teachers and find out what DD is missing.  Not copying boardwork?  Losing folders?  Talking in class?  Missing papers?  Daily grades or quizzes or homework issues? 

If she has done her work, every now and then get her an unexpected treat.  Be encouraging, but not helicoptering.

Godd luck!!

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Re: Staying on top of homework
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2010, 05:52:41 PM »
Step 1 - what is required by the teachers as far notebooks that are graded. I require Interactive Notebooks for math and science. They contain all student notes and work - and are MAJOR part of their grades. Saying I going to do it this other way is not going fly with me unless you have IEP to back that up.

Step 2 Now she gets to develop her way of organizing things. This should include a daily procedure for making sure everything is organized. Then check in with her regularly maybe daily to start. Don't scold about  setback instead problem solve This isn't working what changes will make it better for you.

I would be careful about you aproaching the teachers. 8th grade is 13 yo - they should be largely responsible for their own homework by that point. You could come of very heliocoptery.

 In 4th grade I would not be happy with a parent wanting to call me every Friday for an update. Friday afternoon like every other person who works Monday - Friday - I want to leave ON TIME. I don't want to have to wait till you get a break and call me after school. I don't want to have to stop my evening plans to answer your questions. I give my cell phone and e-mail to the kids. I don't occasional calls  but weekly forget it.

I only have 40 students. An 8th grade teacher say 7 periods a day - so she teachs 6. Lets be conservative 25 kids in a class that is 150 kids. Once word gets out a good percentage of those parents are going to want the same service. Oh - and I can't e-mail you the info because e-mail is subject to freedom of information act requests.  Also that work that was due Monday is already a zero per district policy on late work.

 Instead I would ask if there is a class blog with assignments, or online grade book so you can spot check as needed. If you need to spot check every day that is fine and the teachers won't pay attention.

Just one thing about online grade books - give teachers a break. Since we send papers home once a week on Wednesdays, many teachers input the grades on Tuesdays. For me I'm much more effiecent if I sit down with a stack of graded papers, alphabetized and input them in one fell swoop.  Also large detailed projects that took a month to do deserve to be carefully looked at and graded. So if it was turn this morning don't expect the grade to be posted by dinner.
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Re: Staying on top of homework
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2010, 07:17:37 PM »
Things that worked for me:

1) Only carrying one binder.  It was just my notes from each class from each quarter (so anywhere from 0-30 pages, depending on how far into the quarter we were), plus about two days' worth of looseleaf paper.  I kept a second binder in my locker - every time we had a test and were "done" with a section of material, I transferred that section of notes to the second binder.  I had them if I needed them, but I rarely looked at them again unless we had a big cumulative test  :P  I also kept a stack of paper in my locker (both plain printer paper and looseleaf paper) so I could replenish my "carrying binder" whenever I needed to.

2) Keeping a physical list of my subjects on the door to my locker, so when I was getting my books at the end of the day I could just glance at it and say "Oh yeah, didn't we have something for English?"  One of my friends actually had little magnets, too - she put the magnet over the subject name if she had to remember something, so at the end of the day it was easy to tell what she had homework for and what she didn't.  I never did that, but it seemed like a good idea  :P  (I tended to bring everything home all the time anyway!)

3) Setting mini goals for myself for longer projects.  I was a nerd and loved getting to show off how well I wrote papers  ::) but I tried to break up the work - get a start on research by Wednesday, finish my research by Friday, write my first draft by Monday, and revise it by the next Wednesday when it was due.  The few times I left everything to the last minute, I had to rely on Internet research (which NEVER impresses the teachers - cite a book or two and they'll think you worked harder!) and I think I did a worse job.