Help your Teen Tackle Summer School Work
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Help your Teenager Tackle Summer School Work - Episode 040
Ready for the summer vacation? Days by the pool. Nights hanging out with friends. Summer reading.
Summer reading and summer assignments!!??
Yes. Summer reading and assignments have been handed out since I was in school. I would love to tell you not to sweat it - but recently all of my students have been tested or given projects based on their summer reading.Okay, it’s terrible - but we have to do it. And we’re gonna go over how you can get through the summer reading as painlessly as possible.
The best ways to handle summer reading and assignments
Suck it up Buttercup
Let’s dive into what we are here to talk about, which is summer reading.
Okay, why do people assign summer reading? I don’t know.
They want to keep your brain fresh; they want to assign something pointless that they’re never going to grade again.
Those are the things I thought when I was a kiddo. Here’s the hard truth.
I’m seeing more and more teachers address the material that they assign over the summer when you get back to school. Gone are the days in the 80s when we had Ataris and stuff like that, but also gone are the days that the teachers would assign it because they had to and then they’d never talk about it again. No. It is coming. SO you kinda have to do it. Or you should do it.
There was one teacher who assigned summer reading and then didn’t test on it until January, and I was like “Whaaaat? That is some rude stuff right there.” You don’t assign summer reading and then test on it in January. But that’s beside the point.
The point is, we gotta suck it up buttercup. Summer reading is coming and we gotta get it done. But, what I can guarantee is that it’s going to be far more painful to whine and cry about it and stretch it out as long as possible. Like, I’ve done that game myself, and if you want to do it the painful way, I can guarantee that is it.
But, if you would like to make it a little less painful this year- I’m not saying it’s going to be like “Woohoo! Cotton Candy factory!” but it can be better. Stay with me. The first thing you have to do is suck it up buttercup because you have summer work.
Decide how you will Eat your Chex Mix
Next question: I had a student a couple years ago. Can’t user her name but this is completely her theory.
How do you eat your Chex mix?
I don’t eat Chex Mix because I think it’s disgusting, but if you did, how would you eat it?
Would you take out all the parts you hate and eat them first, and save the good stuff for last, or would you eat the good stuff first and save the bad stuff for last? My smart A response is “We’d just throw it away.” But we can’t do that. I’ve been there. We have to make a choice.
Do you like to eat the good stuff first or the bad stuff first?
And you also have to get honest and say “okay, if I save the bad stuff for last, am I ever going to end up eating it?” Because if that’s the case, we might want to switch things around.
The point is, if you have multiple assignments to do this summer – I’m so sorry my babies! – you’re going to have to choose which one you’re going to do first. What’s going to give you the most feeling of accomplishment? Is it going to be to knock out anything? Is it going to be to knock out the one you can’t stand? What’s going to make you feel like “Yeah!! I’m awesome!”
That’s the assignment you want to start with. Then, we need to break it down. If you start now, you could read for five minutes a night and still finish all of your summer reading, most likely. Versus if you wait and you’re reading Pride and Prejudice for two hours a night. Which sounds better?
So set your goals. Look at the number of pages you’re going ot have to read and do some math. And you know I don’t love math. But this is good math.
If you were to start today, how many pages would you have to read a night to finish? Let that be your goal. I don’t care if you’re starting so far in advance you only have to read two pages.
How are you going to reward yourself? Is it going to be “Okay, I finished my two pages a night and now I’m going to go eat a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s? Or I read my two pages a night and then I get to go hang out with my friends. What are you going to reward yourself with afterward?
Take Notes on your Assignments
The last thing I would encourage you to do with your summer reading, and its going to depend. If you’re reading a 50 page book and that’s it, you might not have to do this, but take notes. What’s going to happen is if you are a rockstar student and starting this in advance and your teacher gives you a test on that first day, you’re going to be like “WHAT? I’m being punished for reading this, on the first day?” No.
Take notes. Doesn’t have to be detailed. But often when I’m working with students we create spreadsheets to track characters or important points. You might be reading AP history books. It might not be fiction. Take notes and track them. You want something really easy to go back to if your teacher says “hey! It’s January. We’re going to have a test on that now. Create a spreadsheet. Write notes in your notebook, whatever your system is. But keep track of them. So it doesn’t come back and haunt you later.
IF you are reading a book for English or a nonfiction class, I do have a freebie for essay prep and for note-taking that you can download. It’ll give you guidelines to take helpful notes you can quickly reference at the start of the school year.
The Organized School Year
I will be releasing my very first course. It is called “The Organized School Year,” and I am so excited about it. Because when we look at test prep or study skills, or time management, or procrastination, it really comes down to that first building block: organization and planning.
So, I created the course that I wish I had in middle school, high school and college, because one thing I hated was being told what to do. I wanted to know why, how it would impact my life, why they didn’t like the current system I had. Oh yes, this rebel girl did not like being told what to do, and I was not about to create a course where I told people what to do.
I have tips, I have strategies that have worked for students, but I go into this with the mindset that you, kiddo, are the expert, and that you’re ultimately going to know what works best for your style and your life. By the end of the course, you are going to have a system and an organization strategy that you can bring into the school year that is going to make your life a lot simpler. Can I get a what what?
Okay, I tried to make organization and planning as exciting as I can, but there’s a reason I was in the movie theater and a bunch of students who did the beta test that I’d never met ran up to me and said “we like the Course!” They said they really enjoyed it. How many students do you know who will come up to some random old lady in a movie theater and say “Wow! We really enjoyed your course?” NONE. Unless, maybe you like school that much.
Get on the waitlist: teampasch.com/theorganizedschoolyear. Hop on the waitlist so you don’t miss a thing, because it’s only going to be open and shut for a period of time. And then it closes. So don’t miss it.
I wish I could wish away the summer reading, but I can’t. It’s here. So we gotta suck it up. We gotta decide how we’re going to eat that Chex Mix. You have to set goals for yourself, and I’m tellin ya, your goals are going to be far less painful if you start now than if you wait.
Reward yourself and take notes so you’re not in a bind when your teacher says “Oh hey, remember that summer reading book I assigned and you didn’t think I was going to do anything with it? Well guess what. It’s May 2020 and we’re going to have a test on it.”
Okay, that teacher wasn’t that bad, but keep notes and prepare yourself. That’s it. Have a fun summer!
I know I couldn’t make this look like a Ferrari, but it’s still a car to drive, right?
Be awesome and be safe this summer, okay guys?
How to complete summer assignments
Having an organized school year
Taking notes on summer reading
Marni Pasch| Host of School Counselor Gone Rogue| Academic Coach | Team Pasch Academic Coaching
I work with students in grades 6th and higher, who struggle with academic confidence and motivation. I help them survive school with less stress by helping them create concrete goals, tackle procrastination and learn creative study techniques. I empower students to take charge of their education and reach their goals. I do this through individual or group coaching so students achieve success in life, school, career readiness and their social endeavors. I provided in person academic coaching in Orlando, FL, but work with students across the country through Zoom!