Three Tips to Complete Summer Assignments with Less Stress
Finish Summer Assignments without Arguments
Did your school assign a summer reading assignment? Maybe there is an AP class your teenager needs to prepare for.
It doesn’t matter if you are in elementary, middle or high school, an honors student or not- students don’t like summer homework.
Perhaps you hate it so much suppress the assignment in your brain until the day before the due date.
However, even though you try to forget that horrible assignment, your brain keeps sending you reminders, but you're usually on vacation with your family, at a party with friends, or sometimes just playing a video game which you obviously can't stop in the middle of. You flick the reminder away like a pesky fly and think, “I’ll do that later.”
But later doesn’t come until it's a day before your due date, you're in a frenzy and you don't see how it's possible to finish on time. The result of this is usually either an assignment that receives a low grade (with a lot of stress and panic along the way), an assignment that gets a high grade (with a lot of stress and panic) or you give up and take a zero before the school year starts. Either way, you're a struggling student trying to ’get the work done’.
Does this sound familiar? Why spend summer in misery over school assignments?
But you don't have to spend ALL summer buried in school work. All you need is the right amount of attention, in the right places and you're all set!
Here are three tips for you to finish your summer assignments on time without missing out on any of the fun!
3 Tips for Completing Summer Reading
I’m not talking about long elaborate notes, but let’s get something down! Nothing stinks more than reading a book in July and being tested on it in January. How the heck are you supposed to remember that?
Not only will they help with your summer assignments but also with your test prep! Once you've written it all down once, it is easier to remember. So when you're given an assignment related to it, you will actually be able to recall the answer instead of having to catch up with the readings.
Usually, when you don't take detailed notes in class, you won't have enough information for those assignments and might end up sifting through numerous pages of the book picking out what seems right.
Assignments become 50 percent easier when you don’t need to catch up with class content on the side. All that you really have to do is check your notes!
Need a note taking system for your summer reading? Click here for a tool I use with my academic coaching students!
Break Down Assignments
My hope is that you only have one summer assignment, but maybe you are the poor unfortunate soul that has more than one! Before you get started, break each of your assignments into steps.
Which one’s the longest and most difficult assignment? That goes highest in your list and will have more steps to break into. Which is the shortest and easiest? That falls in the end and should be finished in a lesser number of steps!
Now begin your breakdown (not the nervous breakdown, just the steps). Make a plan and have yourself work on at least two summer assignments each day so that you're not bored of the same subject.
Complete a step or two (as per your plan) each day and give yourself a small reward. Rewards are helpful to keep you going. If you're feeling extra diligent, perhaps finish an extra step in one day and double your reward. If you're not completing steps according to your plan, don't reward yourself but DO look at whether you set the bar too high.
You must make sure that the steps you're breaking your work down into are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound). Aiming for too much in one go won't do you any good and you'll start slacking.
Setting steps that are too simple, on the other hand, will make you feel like you've attained a lot when in actuality you haven't done much of the whole. But with SMART steps, you can get out of the "struggling student" rut!
Assign a Due Date
You obviously can't change the due date of your summer assignment. But setting a deadline of your own for each of your assignments can be really helpful.
What if you set your deadlines after the first month of vacation? That way, the best case scenario is that you have two whole months of pure fun. If not, you still can enjoy 1 and a half months of freedom! Either way, you'll be done well before the actual due date.
Another benefit of setting your own due date is that you get to pick the pace at which you work. If you hope to finish fast to have more of the summer in your hand, then you can set your steps accordingly. But if you're willing to give both your assignments and your party equal contributions, your steps can be less rigorous and more laid back.
One vital measure that you need to carry out is to not delay your own due date. The idea is that if you allow yourself to delay it once, you'll end up doing this continually and before you know it, the actual due date nears!
If you're struggling to meet your own due date, don't give in to the guilt just yet. Reevaluate the steps you are taking.
Give yourself a couple of buffer days to finish these as well so that you don't lose track and can start vacationing before concluding your work.
As an academic coach, I help students develop systems that work for them… that they actually use! If you don’t want to fight this fight alone, sign up for the wait-list for my new course The Organized School Year™
What's next? Go grab yourself some friends and dive into the first pool you find! You're done with all your work and it's time for some leisure! Play that video game without having to worry about any work you are trying to forget! Oh, and when your friends panic about their assignments, lay back with a grin and start binge watching!