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For the past four years, I’ve worked as we’ve homeschooled and I have also had high schoolers who have been going through fairly rigorous academic programs. Throw in a few extra-curriculars, like music and karate and Latin National Exam, and a play mid-year, possibly TeenPact, and you have a lot going on.
We’ve managed all of this by using planners for everyone.
Because all of us are so different, we all have a different planner. For example, I like Bullet Journals- it allows me to keep a detailed calendar, take copious notes, brainstorm, brain-flow, and Venn diagram without leaving a zillion papers around the house. My son likes a very structured planner, with room for notes; he color coordinates his day and refers to it all day long. My daughter has a very girly planner where she keeps notes, doodles, writes comedy sketches. My husband is a Franklin Covey man from way back.
First, find a planner that works for each individual.
If it’s too structured, doesn’t leave enough room for doodles, notes or creative thinking or not structured enough when you need it, it’s a recipe for not getting used. Study your kids’ personalities and get them a planner that fits what they need.
Then, teach them to use it!
I sit down with my kids weekly throughout high school and talk them through planning their week. We put in daily details, overall big picture planning, on-going projects, monthly re-occurring things, church, music, school, sports and volunteer activities. They often forget to plan on driving time when they might need to get to church early to help with tech. These things take time and are all part of teaching young adults how to manage and balance everything.
We try to schedule a weekly morning basket, and some years we’ve had better success at this than others. This year has thrown us for a loop because I am either teaching first thing in the morning or my daughter is online in class first thing. So, our morning basket is going to be an after-lunch basket. The point is that we touch base for an intentional time throughout each day.
In the past, our week has revolved around our academic class day, making things somewhat easier in that projects, papers and presentations were all due on that one particular day. This year, we are no longer involved in that program and my daughter is taking several online academic classes, throughout the week. This has provided some stress for her as due dates are on-going (more like how public school is or college will be). That has provided a great learning opportunity as well, as we’ve had to discuss how to manage the various class and due dates.
We regularly have weekly planning meetings, as we have several drivers and multiple cars, live out of town and often have engagements in the evening.
(Need more information on teaching your student to use their planner? Check out these 7 tips from Student Tutor.)
Why all of this work on planning with my kids?
Because scheduling is one of those skills that lead to time and self-management skills that I want my kids to have before they leave home. So tell me, do your kids have planners of their own? What are your top tips for teaching planning skills?
(Are you looking for more skills to teach your high school student before they leave your home? Check out our tips for teaching effective online communication.)