Mini-Study Program Part 2 – Planning
It is essential to develop a plan for homework, assignments and exams. Each presents a different set of requirements and each requires its own study plan.
Planning for Homework
- Take your assignment planner to class and write down assignments.
- Before you leave school, read your planner and make sure that you bring all the necessary materials home with you.
- Follow your planner and begin your homework at the scheduled time. If possible, set a habit for yourself. Always do your homework at the same time.
- Before you start to do your homework, review everything, estimate the amount of time you will require for each assignment, and decide which subject’s homework is the hardest.
- Now, enter this information in your homework planner. The most difficult homework gets done first.
- Take a five-minute break every 20 minutes and relax. That means that you are working only 45-minute hours. Not so bad, eh?
Most Common Homework Problems — recognize any?
- Fail to bring home assignment and necessary materials.
- Don’t know exactly what homework or assignment is.
- Deny having homework.
- Must be reminded to start homework.
- Procrastinate, put off doing homework, studying.
- Don’t do homework satisfactorily unless you get help.
- Daydream or fiddle during homework session – taking too long.
- Are easily distracted by noises or activities of others.
- Are easily frustrated by homework assignment.
- Take unusually long time to do homework.
- Produce sloppy or messy work.
- Hurry through homework and make careless mistakes.
- Forget to bring homework or assignment to class.
Planning for Assignments
Planning is one of the most important elements in completing your assignments. You can save research and writing time if you plan well.
Describe the absolute worst assignment that you ever handed in?
How could you have made it better?
Rules for Assignments
Researching Your Topic
Write down everything that you can think of about the topic. Carefully choose items from your list which define or apply to the topic so you can better understand or define it. This narrows down the topic and allows you to choose only the very specific items needing to be researched instead of having to generally research the entire subject.
Now, do your research by reading only that information which is relevant to your specific needs. Read only about these topics, instead of reading everything you can find on the subject. This will save you time and energy and keep you focused on the actual subject. Too often we know more about a subject than we think, if we follow these guidelines the amount of research we have to do will be limited to those areas which are relevant to the topic.
Now that you have your research narrowed down, break the assignment down into parts. Think carefully. If you need four sessions to read, make sure that you plan four sessions.
For example, here is a sample of an assignment broken down into parts.
Assignment: Prepare a project about the Olympics
Due: 31 days
- Narrow topic and prepare research list
- Go to library and get research material
- Look on Internet for research materials
- Read research material
- Make notes from research material
- Write introduction
- Write history paragraphs
- Write about Canadian sports heroes
- Write outlook for Olympics
- Write conclusion
- Add graphics and pictures
- Do title page and bind project
Total Time Required: 19 days
Using this plan, you would have 12 days left over before your project was due. You could hand it in early just to show the teacher how prepared you are.
Once you have broken the assignment down into its parts, you can begin to enter these parts into your calendar. You know how many days are left before the assignment is due, make sure that you allow sufficient time for the complete assignment.
When you sit down each evening to do your homework, make sure that you have entered the assignment unit that you have planned. Viola! Completed assignments. No more rushing at the last minute. No more excuses.
Planning For Exams
- As soon as the exam or test is announced, divide that subject into units of study. A unit of study is the amount that you can learn in one evening. Remember, you have regular homework and assignments to do as well so don’t make these units too large. Be sure to include four units of study for review.
- Get your planning calendar out and enter one unit of study into each day, making sure that you have time to cover the entire course and do your review before the exam.
- When you sit down each evening to do your homework, make sure that you have entered a unit of study. You are now ready for your exam.