- School Life stresses teens out more than home life (64.7% verses 35.3%). Source: Stage of Life
- 59% report that managing their time to balance all activities is a somewhat or very significant stressor. Source: USA Today
- Almost 40% of parents say their high-schooler is experiencing high levels of academic stress with homework being a leading cause Source: NPR poll conducted with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health
- Teenagers need 9.25 hours of sleep per night, but the majority average only seven hours with 25% getting six hours or less. Source: UC Berkley Greater Good Science Center
With never-ending homework, tests, school projects, soccer practice, band practice and countless other obligations, an important factor in overcoming stress as a student is learning how to manage time. Here are 5 simple steps to help organize and structure the life of a student.
Step 1 – Write it down
Write down all assignments in a planner each day at the end of each class. Only leave a classroom when you have written down the complete homework assignment, upcoming tests or projects and when you have a clear understanding of the teacher’s expectations for those assignments. A correctly written assignment looks something like this:
Biology – page 235 #1-5 Write the questions and the answers. Test on chapter 16 Friday, 3/21.
Step 2 – Visualize your week
For students participating in after-school clubs and sports, keep a calendar/planner that shows the hours in each day. At the beginning of the week, make it a point to sit down with your calendar/planner and plan out your week by marking off time for each and every activity. Each hour of the day should be marked with something – sleeping, class, baseball practice, student council meeting, study/homework, dinner. This helps students visualize their week ahead so that they can keep track of how much time they have for different activities.
Step 3 – Keep papers organized
Keeping all school supplies organized is a must. Have notebooks and folders for each subject. Only put math papers in the math folder/notebook, English in the English folder/notebook, etc. Being able to easily and quickly put your fingers on the homework that you completed last night will prevents unnecessary stress. Too often students do work at night and cannot find it when the teacher asks for it the next day.
Step 4 – A few minutes a day keeps the all-nighter away
Spending time each day on each subject will eliminate anxiety when it comes time for tests, project due dates, exams, etc. Because adolescents tend to live in the moment and do not see much past that moment, they often wait until the night before a project is due or the night before an exam to pull an all-nighter of memorizing (not learning) the information. Spending just a few minutes each night on each subject will eliminate the need for unhealthy, all-night cramming. Read over a chapter or the notes you took that day, make flashcards of key ideas/vocabulary that were discussed that day, and outline a chapter you read are all practices that will help students keep up with the information as the concepts are presented over time.
Step 5 – Structure, balance, accountability
Structure and accountability are key. Students need a proper balance of school, sleep, extracurricular time, and down time (or with young children, free play). Parents play a huge role in making this balance possible for their scholar kids. Maintaining a structured lifestyle helps keep students organized so that they can make the best use of their time. Holding students accountable for getting school work done is also paramount. Parents should stay on top of how their kids are doing in school so that they can help them make adjustments to their schedule if they’re missing homework or not performing well on tests.