As local students continue to navigate the hectic school year, it’s important to take time out and plan ahead to help set yourself up for success. Here are some tips that can help.
Make a schedule or a list
Make a schedule for yourself at the start of the week so you can ensure you have time for everything that you need (and want) to do. Make sure to include homework, any after-school activities and even time to relax before bedtime. If you’re feeling good, you can even search for more advanced templates online. No matter which format you choose, a list or schedule will only help if you pay attention to it and use it. Be sure to keep it where you can refer to it regularly.
Set up an area where you can focus and study
The environment that you study in makes a big difference. Your study area can be in your room, in the kitchen or even the dining room table. Before you set up, make sure that the area you select allows you to focus without getting distracted. After you find your spot, remove anything that might take you off task. That includes electronics you are not using and toys. Make sure you have a desk or a table that you can make your own (at least for the time you’re studying). Feel free to add school supplies and a comfortable chair. One more thing, make sure there is a clock that you can use to help you use your time wisely.
Set goals for yourself
Whether you are in 4th grade or 12th grade it’s important to make a plan. When you set goals for yourself, it helps you to see where you are going and work hard to achieve them. You can make your plan mentally, on paper or online – the important part is spending time thinking through your year and listing the items you want to accomplish. Some things on your plan may be studying for standardized tests, reading a certain number of books, achieving something specific in an extracurricular activity (getting a karate belt or mastering a song on the violin), or even spending extra time learning about different careers or high schools. Whatever it is, make sure it’s in your plan.
Make time to read
Make sure you leave time in your schedule to read each day. Reading has been proven to improve your memory and increase your vocabulary and comprehension. It also helps you to relax and unwind. You can find any type or genre of books in the library. Ask your teacher or local librarian for a reading list for your grade level, and ask friends for recommendations, too. Once you find a book or series you like, you can always look for similar books or authors, and don’t be afraid to try other genres, too.
This story first appeared in our sister publication, New York Family.