Helping Your Teen Keep Better Track of their Assignments
Many schools these days, whether public or private, offer students an online portal where they can view assignments as well as grades. While in theory this should be immensely helpful, not all online portals are very good. Contrary to popular belief, most portals don’t present assignments in a manner that allows students to use the portal as their homework agenda book/planner. Obviously when teachers don’t consistently put assignments in the portal in a timely manner, that can add to the difficulties.
Therefore, here are some practical suggestions to help your teen get the most out of their online portal as well as use it as part of a comprehensive approach to keeping track of assignments.
- If the portal provides good options to use it as a planner where a to do list is formed, teens can check off complete assignments,etc. and teachers accurately put assignments into the portal, encourage your teen to use the portal to the full extent possible.
- Otherwise, help your teen use the portal as part of a comprehensive approach to keep track of assignments and follow through on plans to complete them. Here are several ideas related to this:
If your teen wants to keep track of assignments electronically:
- Export assignments from the calendar if possible into a google, iCloud, or phone/tablet calendar. This provides them with easy access to view assignments.
- If possible, your teen may find it helpful to important assignments from the calendar to a task list app such as gTasks, which syncs with the calendar and in many cases will automatically input assignments into a task list for them.
- If importing is not feasible, have them try using a formal homework app such as MyHomework, MyStudyLife, or The Homework Planner app. If using a formal app is too complicated for them, encourage them to use a basic task list such as Reminders, Wunderlist, or Do!
If it makes more sense for your teen to use a paper planner (especially if they do not have access to an electronic device consistently during school), here are a few suggestions:
- Divide each homework box into two parts. Put daily assignments in the top part and long-term ones in the bottom section.
- Put a large sticky note on the current week and have your teen keep a list of any long-term assignments so that they can always see them on the same page as their daily tasks.
In addition to a portal, homework app, or paper planner, many teens need to create a daily to-do list because it is not feasible for them to organize their daily tasks in their mind when viewing everything in their planner.
I hope that these suggestions are helpful.
Copyright 2016 Carey A. Heller, Psy.D.
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*Disclaimer: The previous information is intended as general guidance based on my professional opinion, does not constitute an established professional relationship, and should not replace the recommendations of a psychologist or other licensed professional with whom you initiate or maintain a professional relationship*