The Art of Getting Things Done With Kids’ Homework

The art of getting things done is to have a system and then implement that system. Dave Allen is the guru of “getting things done” of the modern era. Though his books and seminars he has actively engaged with people to organise their life and get things done!

For kids, it is about getting organised and taking action.

The 5 Keys of Getting Things done

Key 1: Capture your thinking
This means have a place to write everything down. Either in a diary or a notebook or on an electronic device.

Key 2: Define actions and next step
The key here is to define what the work to be done and use the right map

Key 3: Use the right map and organise information in appropriate categories

Key 4: Review actions

Key 5: Track the big picture

You can watch a video of Dave Allen in action here.

Primary School students are pretty good at knowing what their homework is as teachers usually give the students a homework folder with one or two sheets to complete. It is usually due the same day every week and given the same day every week.

I often find that I have teenage clients who don’t use an effective system to capture their thinking or their homework. They simply say to me, “I just remember what the homework is,” or, “I just ask my friends when it is due!”

For parents helping their children get organised it can be an uphill battle sometimes. So it is important to apply a few strategies and use some common sense to make life that little bit easier!

The main thing that kids need to get done is their homework and it only becomes more intense as they move up the school years. SO here are a few tips to help. I suggest starting this as soon as they begin school!

KEY 1 – Capturing what needs to be done
Use a family calendar and list everyones activities. Encourage your child to keep their own planner – either on their wall or using a diary.

KEY 2 & 3 – Defining Actions & Using the right Map
Help your child decide what days they have free to do their homework and write this on the planner as, “homework day” or “study time”. Help your child to break larger tasks down into more manageable tasks. Create an action plan for assignments. Mind Maps are also great to help plan tasks. Then write down the time required and when each section will be completed on the mind map.

 Key 4 – Review Actions
For homework it is about editing and reviewing work. Sit with your child and discuss the homework or with an older teen to read over their work (be certain to provide heaps of praise, as well as ways to improve!)

Key 5 – Tracking the big picture
For younger children reward charts work well. Celebrate their homework success with a sticker and then a larger end of term celebration. For the teens, track their grades and offer as much praise and support as possible. Offer to take them out at the end of the week or term to celebrate big achievements.

There is an art to getting things done and the most important step is being organised and knowing what needs to actually be done! The rest should naturally follow. Just keep things fun and encouraging, no kid wants to be nagged! Good luck!


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